Cell phones help poor diabetics with glucose control

The health of diabetic patients improved with the use of mobile phones, a new study conducted by the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System and University of Michigan determined. The study will be published in the June edition of American Journal of Preventive Medicine, according to Honduras News.

Patients from rural Honduras were used for the six-week study because of that area's "lack of a strong technological infrastructure." Under the program, researchers contacted the patients once a week through low-cost Internet-based phone calls that utilized cloud computing. Patients interacted with an automated system, answering questions about their status and glucose levels. According to lead study author Dr. John Piette, the goal was to deliver a "high-tech" program to people that had only local cell phone service. 

Researchers haven't released their final data yet, but told HondurasNews that the results indicate a drop in A1C levels for most patients. All patients self-reported that the program had helped them improve their management of the disease.

The program's stateside potential may be even greater, given the comparatively higher education and income levels among even low-income patients in the U.S. The program had solid success among Honduran patients with only five years of education and an annual income of $2,500, according to HondurasNews.

To learn more:
- here's the study's abstract
- read the story in Honduras News

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