Remote therapy improves blood glucose control among teens with Type 1 diabetes, study suggests

Jessica Kim Cohen -

A pilot program focused on remote therapy and data exchange improved blood glucose control among children and teenagers with Type 1 diabetes, according to a study published in Pediatric Diabetes.

For the study, researchers from Minneapolis-based Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota and UnitedHealth Group launched a pilot program in which they assigned 117 pediatric patients with Type 1 diabetes to one of two groups — standard care or intensive remote therapy — for six months.

All patients involved in the study met with their physician on a quarterly basis and used a blood glucose monitoring system to share data with their provider. However, based on information related to blood glucose, insulin delivery and fitness activity, providers worked with patients in the remote therapy group to adjust their insulin dosages on a weekly basis, rather than waiting to review at a quarterly visit.

The researchers found patients in the remote therapy group reduced their glycated hemoglobin — a measure of blood glucose control — by 0.34 after the six-month period, compared to 0.05 in the standard care group.

"[Intensive remote therapy] substantially affected diabetes metrics and improved [quality of life] among pediatric patients with T1D," the study authors concluded. "Adolescents experienced a stronger treatment effect, but had difficulty in sustaining improved control after intervention cessation."

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