The National Institute for Health Research have published an NIHR Signal on a study looking at the impact of information delivered by telemedicine on diabetes control.
The article summarises that telemedicine, such as text messaging or internet support systems used to communicate with patients, improves long-term blood sugar control in adults with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
Telemedicine gave small reductions in HbA1c (a measure of overall diabetes control over 12 weeks) compared with usual care at all follow-up times. It was most effective in the short-term, reducing HbA1c by about 0.6% (6mmol/mol) by three months.
There was less difference in the medium and long-term, around 0.3% (3mmol/mol) reduction up to one year or more.
There was no effect on quality of life, mortality or risk of episodes of low blood sugar.
Earlier studies also support the idea that telemedicine could improve diabetes care. The UK government has plans to train NHS professionals to deliver healthcare using digital technology and to encourage the use of digital services.
The full NIHR Signal article can be read here: https://discover.dc.nihr.ac.uk/portal/article?id=SIG-5000383
The citation for the study is: Faruque LI, Wiebe N, Ehteshami-Afshar A, et al. Effect of telemedicine on glycated hemoglobin in diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized trials. Canadian Medical Association Journal. 2016.