A smartphone-based system to record blood glucose levels in real-time has won ‘best digital initiative’ at the 2014 Quality in Care (QiC) for Diabetes Awards.
The system, called GDm-health, transmits blood glucose readings from a Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter to a smartphone application, with results sent via a secure website where health professionals can review the information and follow-up with an SMS message to patients.
Led by a collaboration of researchers from the John Radcliffe Hospital and Oxford University’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering, the system has been developed in response to an increase in women with gestational diabetes mellitus, and aims to provide a management tool to improve the efficiency of clinical care.
The QiC judges noted the reliability of the technology, and when used by pregnant women commented that it “fitted in well with their lifestyle.”
In a recent study of 52 pregnant women, the system was found to be effective, with results showing high usage and excellent compliance.
The technology was developed, with patient input, by Professor Lionel Tarassenko, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Head of Engineering at the University of Oxford, and his research group. He said: “Our digital health work (smartphone apps for managing your health) has now been shown to be clinically useful. This has only been possible because of the partnership between engineers and clinicians that exists in Oxford.”
Professor Andrew Farmer, Professor of General Practice in the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, was involved in the design of GDm-health and the recent research into its effectiveness.
GDm-health really demonstrates the potential of mobile devices to improve health care when integrated properly into clinical pathways.
- Andrew Farmer, Professor of General Practice, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford
With funding from National Institute for Health Research Oxford Biomedical Research Centre, GDm-health is now being implemented as a new clinical initiative in hospitals across the Oxfordshire region. A fully randomised trial is also under way. Two hundred women are taking part in this and results should be published next year.
QiC Diabetes recognises, rewards and shares good practice in diabetes management, education and patient care. The programme is sponsored by Sanofi and supported by a range of groups including Primary Care Diabetes Society, the Association of British Clinical Diabetologists and Diabetes UK.