Do-It-Yourself Diabetes Management With A Digital App Makes Better Weight And Blood Sugar Control Easy | Latest news for doctors, nurses and pharmacists
According to data from the Diabetes Lifestyle Intervention using Technology Empowerment (D’LITE) study, diabetes self-management through the use of smartphone health apps appears to lead to positive changes in disease outcomes such as weight and blood sugar.
In a cohort of Singaporean adults with diabetes and prediabetes, frequent use of the Nutritionist Buddy (nBuddy) Diabetes app facilitated marked reductions in weight and HbA1c over 6 months. Weight decreased by up to 10.6% from baseline for participants who engaged in ≥5 vs JMIR Diabetes 2022;7:e35039]
These findings are consistent with previous reports that increased app engagement leads to better health outcomes and is the primary determinant of successful weight loss, according to researchers from the National University of Singapore. [J Med Internet Res 2017;19:e160; Transl Behav Med 2017;7:277-285]
“We posit that the more time spent on the app, the more likely participants are to engage in learning, self-monitoring, and health-enhancing behaviors that, in turn, [change the patients’ overall approach to their health, enabling] better self-management capacity and better commitment,” they stressed. [Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 2016;13:127]
personal health assistant
Conceptualized based on a theoretical behavioral model, the nBuddy Diabetes app has several features that support the user’s self-management efforts, including meal logging, calorie and carb limit alerts, and step tracking. Using data from these features, the app sends real-time prompts that remind its user to make a healthier meal choice, with automated suggestions for culturally appropriate food alternatives. [JAMA Netw Open 2021;4:e2112417]
Additionally, the app incorporates tracking features such as weight mapping and self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG), fasting, and random blood glucose. It also enables two-way communication between the dietitian and the participants to enable individual lifestyle modification and coaching via a chat function.
In the study, 6-month app engagement was defined as the active use of individual app features, such as entering a body weight value instead of just browsing or scrolling through the app. ‘application. The threshold used was 75%, which is considered common and realistic uptake, as reiterated by similar mHealth studies in the literature. [JMIR Mhealth Uhealth 2020;8:e14802]
Median overall app engagement rate was maintained above 90% for 6 months among 171 participants with diabetes and prediabetes (median age 52 years, body mass index 29.3 kg/m2HbA1c 6.5 percent) included in the analysis.
Meal logging was one of the most used features of the app. Of note, participants with diabetes who had a full meal diary for >5.1 days per week or who met their carbohydrate limit for >5.9 days per week each saw greater reductions in HbA1c of 1.2%, compared to 0.2% among those who used the features
Meanwhile, meeting the carb limit of >5.9 days per week and choosing healthier food options for >4.3 days per week had the most impact on weight, leading to reductions by 9.1% (p=0.001) and 8.8% (p=0.005), respectively.
“Taken together, meal recording should be part of routine monitoring, similar to SMBG, not only to guide the management of diabetic patients during clinic visits, but also as a behavioral intervention. important,” according to investigators.
“It’s also important to note that participants communicated with the dietitian through the app every other day…Two-way communication with a dietitian could allow participants to make immediate changes based on SMBG readings, diary of meals and physical activity. Indeed, engagement with the dietitian via the app was associated with a significant reduction in body weight and HbA1c levels,” they added.