In the real-world, lifestyle and environmental barriers can adversely impact self-management of diabetes. Emerging health technologies such as mobile diabetes management apps can potentially help people with diabetes navigate such barriers with features like reminders for self-monitoring blood glucose (SMBG) checks and medications. While such features are designed to help people with diabetes improve the structure and adherence of SMBG and medication regimens, real-world evidence of their effectiveness have been inconclusive. In the current study, we assessed whether the use of reminders features corresponded with improved behavioral and glycemic outcomes in the real world. We compared the distributions of SMBG check rates, and low (<70 mg/dL), in-range (between 70-180 mg/dL), and high SMBG readings (>180 mg/dL) between users of a mobile diabetes management app who had set up reminders and app users who did not (n=500 in each sample, balanced by age, gender, and app use duration). Two-sample Kolmogorov-Smirnov tests showed that app users with reminders performed more frequent SMBG checks (D=.20, P<.001), had more in-range readings (D=.096, P=.020), and had fewer high readings (D=.086, P=.049) than users without reminders. No difference was observed in the distributions of low readings, though a trend may be present (D=.084, P=.059). These findings indicate that mobile-enabled reminders can contribute to improved SMBG behavior and glycemic outcomes in the real world. As mobile health/digital therapeutic tools (and their ever-growing features/capabilities) continue to evolve, patients and clinicians have reason for optimism that such tools can improve diabetes management and reduce burden.
R. Abad Juan: Employee; Self; Glooko, Inc. T. Sheng: Employee; Self; Glooko, Inc. S. Babikian: None. M. Greenfield: Stock/Shareholder; Self; Glooko, Inc.