Friday, March 29, 2019

Using Mobile Devices to Treat Prediabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a serious disease in today's society. And the disease is well known. A less well known disease in prediabetes. Prediabetes is a chronic disease that affects 84% of the adults in the U.S. Someone with prediabetes has a higher risk for diabetes heart disease, stroke and other conditions. The  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) in 2012 to address prediabetes. The DPP program is based on a study, funded by the National Institutes of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease (NIDDK). The study was performed and reported on between 1996 and 2002. The services delivered in the DPP can potentially be replicated with the use of mobile devices.
For those with prediabetes, the DPP study demonstrated that lifestyle modification, diet and increased physical activity can reduce the risk of diabetes by 58%. The DPP study was done using highly trained individuals to deliver the one-on-one counseling. These highly trained individuals included registered dietitians, and healthcare workers with master's degrees. These trained individuals worked one-on-one with the DPP participants.
The one-on-one program was subsequently translated into a group based program. Delivering the program in a group-based setting was less costly than the one-on-one program. And delivering the program using mobile devices, such as smart phones, may be a way to make the program even less costly than the group-based program. A mobile-delivered DPP has been looked at in a study.
The study was a "24-week virtual DPP with human coaching through a mobile platform." The investigators concluded that "A fully mobile DPP intervention resulted in significant weight loss and high engagement during the maintenance phase, providing evidence for long-term potential as an alternative to in-person DPP by removing many of the barriers associated with in-person and other forms of virtual DPP."
Healthcare providers might want to take note of the mobile DPP study results. Treating prediabetes is important. And using the most cost efficient delivery method will benefit the patient.


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