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Cellphone technologies may have the power to help individuals with diabetes improve their HbA1c test scores, a measure of their long-term blood sugar control, according to a new study published in the journal Diabetes Care.
Smartphones are becoming a ubiquitous part of modern life. Nearly everywhere Americans go, they are likely to find someone with the the technology. The findings show that it may be possible to leverage the availability of these tools to improve chronic disease care.
For the study, researchers from the University of Maryland assigned a group of 169 participants to receive either standard diabetes care or treatment that was augmented by a mobile phone application. This program allowed users’ blood sugar test scores to be wirelessly sent to their mobile device, which recorded the readings and made recommendations based on the scores.
The findings showed that those who used the mobile phone application had 1.9 percent lower HbA1c test scores after one year. The researchers described this finding as significant, as previous studies have shown that just a 1 percent drop in HbA1c is enough to reduce the risk of complications like heart disease, stroke, blindness and kidney disease.
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