Objective: There is interest in current care delivery models for diabetes (DM) management that utilize mobile technologies as a new standard, especially during and following the COVID-pandemic. The objective of this study was to examine the impact of a digital health program (iHealth Unified Care model) which integrates remote patient monitoring (RPM) and nutrition/lifestyle coaching in primary care settings for patients with DM.
Methods: Primary care physicians (PCPs) across primary care practices enrolled patients with DM into the iHealth Unified Care program during 2019-2021. Bluetooth connected devices with a mobile app were provided to monitor blood glucose and other vital signs . PCPs and their supervised care team including registered dietitians and certified diabetes educators provided the initial assessment and nutrition consultations to set up personalized treatment and behavioral goals. PCPs' care team had regular follow up visits with the patients every 3-6 months virtually and provided vitals monitoring and dietary coaching on a daily basis via the iHealth Unified Care platform which connects the patient's mobile app, bluetooth devices, and data analytics engine in real-time.
Results: 691 patients with DM (66 ± years old, 47% female) were enrolled in the program and stayed ≥3months. Compared to the baseline, the HbA1c decreased from 7.35% ± 1.75 (Mean,SD) , to 6.77% ± 1.17 at 3 months (n=691, P<0.01) and 6.78% ± 1.at 6 months (n=262, P<0.01) . The average HbA1C reduction was 0.57 (CI:0.48-0.67) after 3months. The HbA1c poor control (≥9%) rate was 17.2% at baseline, 5.6% at 3 months and 4.2% at 6 months.
Conclusions:The iHealth Unified Care model significantly improved the glycemic control of patients with DM after 3 months and 6 months compared to baseline. Randomized control trials are needed to further confirm the long-term effectiveness.
L.Wang: Employee; iHealth Labs, Inc. H.Xu: Employee; iHealth Labs. Z.Liu: Employee; iHealthlabs Inc. N.D.Wong: Consultant; I Health, Research Support; Amarin Corporation, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation, Novo Nordisk.