The paper reports very positive short-term outcomes. 72% of patients agreed to try it and 84% of the scheduled calls were completed. On average, the system detected about one problem for every 5 weeks of patient participation. Patients who had informal caregivers tended to have fewer problems. Of course, the Pareto Principle applies here as everywhere and almost half of the problems were concentrated in 15% of patients. The best news is that the number of problems seemed to decrease over time, suggesting that the patients were achieving better stability.
At this time, there are no data on whether the patients actually got better in terms of physiologic control, complications, utilization or satisfaction with care. However, it looks like the relatively old fashioned technologies of phone and fax still have great potential to enhance care by engaging patients, caregivers and clinicians.
Aikens JE, Zivin K, Trivedi R, Piette JD. Diabetes self-management support using mHealth and enhanced informal caregiving. J Diabetes Complications. 2014;28: 171-6.