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Mobile phones could help improve diabetes management in under-developed countries

May 29, 2017

Patients also had the option of enrolling in the program with an informal caregiver or CarePartner, who also received calls to their cell phones informing them of how the patient was doing and providing suggestions for how they could help support the patient's self-care.

The research builds on previous work by Piette and co-author Milton Mendoza, M.D., president of Yojoa International Medical Center in Santa Cruz de Yojoa, Honduras. They found that despite poverty and high levels of unemployment, 78 percent of 624 chronically ill primary care patients surveyed had access to cell phones. More than 80 percent of patients expressed interest in receiving automated calls reminding them about appointments, making sure they were taking their medicine, providing educational information and helping them to self-monitor their health.

Those findings were echoed in their new research: 92 percent of patients who completed follow-up surveys said they would use the service again.

"We believe the work of Dr. Piette and his colleagues represents an important and sustainable milestone in innovative global health strategies for the prevention, diagnosis, and management of non-communicable diseases," says U-M Global Health Director Sofia D. Merajver, M.D., Ph.D. "This work truly stands the chance to improve the health of millions of people in a relatively short time."

Source: University of Michigan