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Study: mHealth Helps Diabetes Management for Disadvantage Populations

September 21, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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According to a new study from the Washington D.C.-based, independent, non-profit organization, the eHealth Initiative (eHI), mobile health (mHealth) applications have been a help those who are socially disadvantaged in managing their diabetes. The study, supported by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), found that socially disadvantaged patients are using smartphones and mobile devices to overcome obstacles that often contribute to poor diabetes management, such as lack of access to health care providers.

"Research shows that the majority of patients, including those who are disadvantaged, have access to a mobile device or smartphone. These patients have tools at their fingertips to help manage their diabetes more effectively," Jennifer Covich Bordenick, CEO of eHI, said in a statement. "The use of mHealth tools provides a straightforward way for all populations to access information that assists in reducing risk factors."

The study’s authors looked at 107 published articles since 2005 which evaluated the use of mHealth tools for diabetes management in medical practice. These tools, the authors say, allow patients to take a proactive approach to diabetes management by frequently monitoring their glucose values and healthy weight levels.

"This study shows the potential for mobile applications to improve disease management among all populations and how patients can play a central and active role in effectively managing their health," Sophia Chang, M.D., director of CHCF's Better Chronic Disease Care program.

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