Mobile Phone Diabetes Project Led To Improved Glycemic Control And Net Savings For Chicago Plan Participants

HA cover Feb 2014

Even with the best health care available, patients with chronic illnesses typically spend no more than a few hours a year in a health care setting, while their outcomes are largely determined by their activities during the remaining 5,000 waking hours of the year.

As a widely available, low-cost technology, mobile phones are a promising tool to use in engaging patients in behavior change and facilitating self-care between visits.

The researchers examined the impact of a six-month mobile health (mHealth) demonstration project among adults with diabetes who belonged to an academic medical center’s employee health plan. In addition to pre-post  improvements in glycemic control (p ¼ 0.01) and patients’ satisfaction with overall care (p ¼ 0.04), they observed a net cost savings of 8.8 percent.

Those early results suggest that mHealth programs can support health care organizations’ pursuit of the triple aim of improving patients’ experiences with care, improving population health, and reducing the per capita cost of health care.