WellDoc’s Mobile-Based Diabetes Management System on the Horizon
Sometimes, it might seem like the only way mobile phones improve your doctor visits is by giving you a chance to text your friends from the waiting room. That could be about to change thanks to WellDoc’s promising new mobile phone-based Diabetes Manager system, which was cleared by the FDA in August and is slated for commercial launch in early 2011. The program allows people to enter their diabetes data into their phone – blood glucose values, carbohydrates eaten, diabetes medicines taken, and other comments – and provides real-time feedback on that data using WellDoc’s Automated Expert System, a computer algorithm designed with the input of physicians, CDEs, dieticians, and other health care providers. Physicians can access the data via an online portal and receive data analysis reports in order to stay informed between check-ups. Additionally, the system provides certified diabetes educators (CDEs) and their patients an e-mail like messaging system for two-way communication, but it’s HIPPA compliant and secure. Access to educational content such as video on lifestyle, food, and behavior change support can also be found on the phone and the WellDoc webportal. Fortunately, Diabetes Manager is designed for data-enabled mobile phones – basically any phone that can receive text messages, not just smart phones.
At the recent American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) conference, researchers showed the preliminary results of a one-year trial where patients using the DiabetesManager system achieved nearly a 2% decline in A1c levels versus a 0.5% decline in A1c for patients not using the system. The system also demonstrated a similar 2% decline in A1c among users in a three-month study in 2006. The recent study was the first trial of a mobile health device that ran for a full year. We hope this is an indicator that mobile health solutions that have real impact are on the horizon. --PA/JS