Background: There has been growing availability of ehealth technologies (ETs) for management of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM). While ETs have the potential to improve the efficiency and quality of GDM care, the nature of information and support provided through such technologies and their benefits are unclear. This review aims to summarise data on features and outcomes for ETs specific to GDM.
Methods: We conducted a systematic literature search of studies on ehealth technologies in EMBASE, OVID, SCOPUS and Web of Science in November 2019. Studies reporting data on use of ETs for management and follow up of women with GDM were included.
Results: We identified 17 studies with data on over 2,000 women with GDM that described ETs for management and follow up of women GDM. The studies were categorised into telemedicine (n=4), web-based (n=4) and smartphone application (n=9). The types of studies included in the review include randomized controlled trials (n=9), cohort studies (n=3), quasi experimental study (n=3) and focus group discussions (n=2). Some features of the ETs include electronic transfer of blood glucose data, bidirectional communication with physician, web based lifestyle program and a virtual diary to log blood glucose measurements (BGM), step count and dietary intake. Studies evaluating telemedicine and web based systems showed significant reductions in the number of in person clinic visits during pregnancy (2 studies), better glycemic control (2 studies), lowered insulin use (2 studies), and weight loss after delivery (1 study). Studies that evaluated smartphone applications showed significantly higher adherence to BGM (4 studies), patient satisfaction (92% in one study) and acceptance through thematic evaluation of app (5 studies), supporting the potential of smartphone app for managing GDM.
Conclusion: Ehealth technologies have the potential to improve management and outcomes for women with GDM.
B. Balaji: None. I. Halperin: Advisory Panel; Self; Tandem Diabetes Care. Speaker’s Bureau; Self; Abbott, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd., Dexcom, Inc., Novo Nordisk Inc., Sanofi. G. Mukerji: None. L. Lipscombe: None.