The Department of Defense has awarded Clemson University a $1.2 million grant to develop and evaluate mobile technology for diabetes self-management.

The prevalence of diabetes is rising worldwide. We’ve frequently talked about the efforts of the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to leverage mobile health for chronic disease management. Health management is also critical for active duty servicemen and women, both individually and collectively.

A team from Clemson’s public health sciences department has already begun doing assessments on military bases to better assess the needs of servicemembers with diabetes. The efforts will center on patient activation, empowering patients with the knowledge and tools to manage their diabetes.

According to Clemson University,

The technology links smart phones and tablets with Bluetooth-enabled devices like glucometers and commercially available fitness tracking devices like the Fitbit. The clinical team will monitor patients’ progress through a secure mobile communication system, with key encryption components for patient privacy.

One focus will be developing tailored messaging to deliver “just in time” information to support patient self-management. We’ve seen some interesting applications of that kind of messaging, such as in the mActive study to increase physical activity. One interesting aspect here is tailoring to patient disease stage. In other words, a patient recently diagnosed who may be overwhelmed would get different messages than an experienced patient who has had diabetes for years.

The team from Clemson is slated to begin enrolling patients in a one-year study testing this mobile health system this spring, with a goal of 120 patients.

Source: Clemson University