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Professor Robert Istepanian is a Guest Speaker at 75th Annual Scientific Sessions of the American Diabetes Association, Boston, MA

Dr. Robert Istepanian, of Imperial College, London, UK, spoke at a plenary session today about “Mobile Applications (Apps) for Diabetes Management—Challenges and Efficacy Issues”. Istepanian is a pioneer in the field, having coined the term “mHealth’,which he defined as “emergingmobile communications and network technologies for healthcare”. The speaker characterized mHealth as a “lucrative market”, a $1.3 billion industry today and projected to be $20 billion by 2018. In 2014, 19% of US adults downloaded and used at least one mobile health app. With regard to diabetes, there are currently ~1,100 apps (e.g., supporting blood glucose monitoring, diet and carbohydrate management, insulin/medication administration, education), with the largest growth in the areas of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and support for patients using an insulin pump. According to healthline.com, in 2014, the most popular diabetes apps for the iPhone were: Fooducate, Glooko, Diabetic Connect, Glucose Buddy, Diabetes App, dbees.com, Diabetes Pilot, and WaveSense Diabetes Manager. According to Istepanian, clinical evidence to confirm the value of mHealth on outcomes of diabetes patients is ambiguous and debatable. In a Cochrane review of 16 studies of self-management interventions for Type 2 diabetes, including internet-based interventions that could be used from home and mobile phone-based interventions, small benefits on glycemic control were observed (pooled effect on HbA1c: -0.2%, 2637 participants; 11 trials) (Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2013 Mar 28;3:CD008776). He stressed the need for randomized, controlled trials to validate the benefit(s) of such apps. In the absence of such data, the speaker advised the cautious use of apps for diabetes care, noting that security/privacy features among others require further consideration and refinements. http://professional.diabetes.org/Congress_Display.aspx?CID=95553

Source: Diabetes 2015, Yale School of Medicine, Volume 31 ■ June 8, 2015 ■ Issue 3

 

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