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Journal Description

JMIR Diabetes (JD, Editor-in-Chief: Caroline Richardson) is a Pubmed-indexed sister journal of JMIR (the leading open-access journal in health informatics (Impact Factor 2017: 4.671). JMIR Diabetes focuses on technologies, medical devices, apps, engineering, informatics and patient education for diabetes prevention, self-management, care, and cure, to help people with diabetes.

As open access journal JD is read by clinicians and patients alike and have (as all JMIR journals) a focus on readable and applied science reporting the design and evaluation of health innovations and emerging technologies, as well as on diabetes prevention and epidemiology.

We publish original research, viewpoints, and reviews (both literature reviews and medical device/technology/app reviews) covering for example wearable devices and trackers, mobile apps, glucose monitoring (including emerging technologies such as Google contact lens), medical devices for insulin and metabolic peptide delivery, closed loop systems and artificial pancreas, telemedicine, web-based diabetes education and elearning, innovations for patient self-management and "quantified self", diabetes-specific EHR improvements, clinical or consumer-focused software, diabetes epidemiology and surveillance, crowdsourcing and quantified self-based research data, new sensors and actuators to be applied to diabetes.


Recent Articles:

  • Source: Unsplash; Copyright:; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Content Analysis of Metaphors About Hypertension and Diabetes on Twitter: Exploratory Mixed-Methods Study


    Background: Widespread metaphors contribute to the public’s understanding of health. Prior work has characterized the metaphors used to describe cancer and AIDS. Less is known about the metaphors characterizing cardiovascular disease. Objective: The objective of our study was to characterize the metaphors that Twitter users employ in discussing hypertension and diabetes. Methods: We filtered approximately 10 billion tweets for keywords related to diabetes and hypertension. We coded a random subset of 5000 tweets for the presence of metaphor and the type of metaphor employed. Results: Among the 5000 tweets, we identified 797 (15.9%) about hypertension or diabetes that employed metaphors. When discussing the development of heart disease, Twitter users described the disease as a journey (n=202), as transmittable (n=116), as an object (n=49), or as being person-like (n=15). In discussing the experience of these diseases, some Twitter users employed war metaphors (n=101). Other users described the challenge to control their disease (n=34), the disease as an agent (n=58), or their bodies as machines (n=205). Conclusions: Metaphors are used frequently by Twitter users in their discussion of hypertension and diabetes. These metaphors can help to guide communication between patients and providers to improve public health.

  • Young boy flexing his biceps. Source: Unsplash; Copyright: Ben White @benwhitephotography; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    A Web-Based Coping Intervention by and for Parents of Very Young Children With Type 1 Diabetes: User-Centered Design


    Background: Management of type 1 diabetes (T1D) among children aged <6 years is exceptionally challenging for parents and caregivers. Metabolic and psychosocial outcomes among very young children with T1D (YC-T1D) are tightly associated with their parents’ ability to meet these challenges. There is scant research testing interventions targeting these issues and few resources to equip health care providers with feasible and effective coping strategies for these parents. User-centered design (UCD) of a continuously accessible Web-based resource could be a mechanism for helping parents of YC-T1D cope more effectively with the complex challenges they face by providing them with information, solutions, and emotional support. Objective: The objectives of this paper are to (1) describe the application of UCD principles to the development of a Web-based coping intervention designed by and for parents of very young children (<6 years old) with T1D; (2) illustrate the use of crowdsourcing methods in obtaining the perspectives of parents, health care providers, and Web development professionals in designing and creating this resource; and (3) summarize the design of an ongoing randomized controlled trial (RCT) that is evaluating the effects of parental access to this resource on pertinent child and parent outcomes. Methods: This paper illustrates the application of UCD principles to create a Web-based coping resource designed by and for parents of YC-T1D. A Web-based Parent Crowd, a Health Care Provider Crowd, and a Focus Group of minority parents provided input throughout the design process. A formal usability testing session and design webinars yielded additional stakeholder input to further refine the end product. Results: This paper describes the completed website and the ongoing RCT to evaluate the effects of using this Web-based resource on pertinent parent and child outcomes. Conclusions: UCD principles and the targeted application of crowdsourcing methods provided the foundation for the development, construction, and evaluation of a continuously accessible, archived, user-responsive coping resource designed by and for parents of YC-T1D. The process described here could be a template for the development of similar resources for other special populations that are enduring specific medical or psychosocial distress. The ongoing RCT is the final step in the UCD process and is designed to validate its merits.

  • HeLP-Diabetes website. Source: The Authors; Copyright: eHealth Unit, UCL; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Crossing the Digital Divide in Online Self-Management Support: Analysis of Usage Data From HeLP-Diabetes


    Background: Digital health is increasingly recognized as a cost-effective means to support patient self-care. However, there are concerns about whether the “digital divide,” defined as the gap between those who do and do not make regular use of digital technologies, will lead to increased health inequalities. Access to the internet, computer literacy, motivation to use digital health interventions, and fears about internet security are barriers to use of digital health interventions. Some of these barriers disproportionately affect people of older age, black or minority ethnic background, and low socioeconomic status. HeLP-Diabetes (Healthy Living for People with type 2 Diabetes), a theoretically informed online self-management program for adults with type 2 diabetes, was developed to meet the needs of people from a broad demographic background. Objective: This study aimed to determine whether there was evidence of a digital divide when HeLP-Diabetes was integrated into routine care. This was achieved by (1) comparing the characteristics of people who registered for the program against the target population (people with type 2 diabetes in inner London), (2) comparing the characteristics of people who registered for the program and used it with those who did not use it, and (3) comparing sections of the website visited by different demographic groups. Methods: A retrospective analysis of data on the use of HeLP-Diabetes in routine clinical practice in 4 inner London clinical commissioning groups was undertaken. Data were collected from patients who registered for the program as part of routine health services.. Data on gender, age, ethnicity, and educational attainment were collected at registration, and data on webpage visits (user identification number, date, time, and page visited) were collected automatically by software on the server side of the website. Results: The characteristics of people who registered for the program were found to reflect those of the target population. The mean age was 58.4 years (SD=28.0), over 50.0% were from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, and nearly a third (29.8%) had no qualifications beyond school leaving age. There was no association between demographic characteristics and use of the program, apart from weak evidence of less use by the mixed ethnicity group. There was no evidence of the differential use of the program by any demographic group, apart from weak evidence for people with degrees and school leavers being more likely to use the “Living and working with diabetes” (P=.03) and “Treating diabetes” (P=.04) sections of the website. Conclusions: This study is one of the first to provide evidence that a digital health intervention can be integrated into routine health services without widening health inequalities. The relative success of the intervention may be attributed to integration into routine health care, and careful design with extensive user input and consideration of literacy levels. Developers of digital health interventions need to acknowledge barriers to access and use, and collect data on the demographic profile of users, to address inequalities.

  • Soft drinks. Source: Pexels; Copyright:; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Prediction of Glucose Metabolism Disorder Risk Using a Machine Learning Algorithm: Pilot Study


    Background: A 75-g oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) provides important information about glucose metabolism, although the test is expensive and invasive. Complete OGTT information, such as 1-hour and 2-hour postloading plasma glucose and immunoreactive insulin levels, may be useful for predicting the future risk of diabetes or glucose metabolism disorders (GMD), which includes both diabetes and prediabetes. Objective: We trained several classification models for predicting the risk of developing diabetes or GMD using data from thousands of OGTTs and a machine learning technique (XGBoost). The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves and their area under the curve (AUC) values for the trained classification models are reported, along with the sensitivity and specificity determined by the cutoff values of the Youden index. We compared the performance of the machine learning techniques with logistic regressions (LR), which are traditionally used in medical research studies. Methods: Data were collected from subjects who underwent multiple OGTTs during comprehensive check-up medical examinations conducted at a single facility in Tokyo, Japan, from May 2006 to April 2017. For each examination, a subject was diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes according to the American Diabetes Association guidelines. Given the data, 2 studies were conducted: predicting the risk of developing diabetes (study 1) or GMD (study 2). For each study, to apply supervised machine learning methods, the required label data was prepared. If a subject was diagnosed with diabetes or GMD at least once during the period, then that subject’s data obtained in previous trials were classified into the risk group (y=1). After data processing, 13,581 and 6760 OGTTs were analyzed for study 1 and study 2, respectively. For each study, a randomly chosen subset representing 80% of the data was used for training 9 classification models and the remaining 20% was used for evaluating the models. Three classification models, A to C, used XGBoost with various input variables, some including OGTT data. The other 6 classification models, D to I, used LR for comparison. Results: For study 1, the AUC values ranged from 0.78 to 0.93. For study 2, the AUC values ranged from 0.63 to 0.78. The machine learning approach using XGBoost showed better performance compared with traditional LR methods. The AUC values increased when the full OGTT variables were included. In our analysis using a particular setting of input variables, XGBoost showed that the OGTT variables were more important than fasting plasma glucose or glycated hemoglobin. Conclusions: A machine learning approach, XGBoost, showed better prediction accuracy compared with LR, suggesting that advanced machine learning methods are useful for detecting the early signs of diabetes or GMD. The prediction accuracy increased when all OGTT variables were added. This indicates that complete OGTT information is important for predicting the future risk of diabetes and GMD accurately.

  • Integrated mobile diabetes app. Source: The Authors / Wikimedia Commons (Zach Vega); Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + ShareAlike (CC-BY-SA).

    Glucose Control, Disease Burden, and Educational Gaps in People With Type 1 Diabetes: Exploratory Study of an Integrated Mobile Diabetes App


    Background: Self-monitoring and self-management, crucial for optimal glucose control in type 1 diabetes, requires many disease-related decisions per day and imposes a substantial disease burden on people with diabetes. Innovative technologies that integrate relevant measurements may offer solutions that support self-management, decrease disease burden, and benefit diabetes control. Objective: The objective of our study was to evaluate a prototype integrated mobile phone diabetes app in people with type 1 diabetes. Methods: In this exploratory study, we developed an app that contained cloud-stored log functions for glucose, carbohydrates (including a library), insulin, planned exercise, and mood, combined with a bolus calculator and communication functions. Adults with diabetes tested the app for 6 weeks. We assessed the feasibility of app use, user experiences, perceived disease burden (through questionnaires), insulin dose and basal to bolus ratio, mean glucose level, hemoglobin A1c, and number of hypoglycemic events. Results: A total of 19 participants completed the study, resulting in 5782 data entries. The most frequently used feature was logging blood glucose, insulin, and carbohydrates. Mean diabetes-related emotional problems (measured with the Problem Areas in Diabetes scale) scores decreased from 14.4 (SD 10.0) to 12.2 (SD 10.3; P=.04), and glucose control improved, with hemoglobin A1c decreasing from 7.9% (mean 62.3, SD 8 mmol/mol) to 7.6% (mean 59.8, SD 7 mmol/mol; P=.047). The incidence of hypoglycemic events did not change. Participants were generally positive about the app, rating it as “refreshing,” and as providing structure by reinforcing insulin-dosing principles. The app revealed substantial knowledge gaps. Logged data enabled additional detailed analyses. Conclusions: An integrated mobile diabetes app has the potential to improve diabetes self-management and provide tailored educational support, which may decrease disease burden and benefit diabetes control.

  • Source: (Robert Shields); Copyright: US Army; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    Patient Portal Use in Diabetes Management: Literature Review


    Background: Health information technology tools (eg, patient portals) have the potential to promote engagement, improve patient-provider communication, and enhance clinical outcomes in the management of chronic disorders such as diabetes mellitus (DM). Objectives: The aim of this study was to report the findings of a literature review of studies reporting patient portal use by individuals with type 1 or type 2 DM. We examined the association of the patient portal use with DM-related outcomes and identified opportunities for further improvement in DM management. Methods: Electronic literature search was conducted through PubMed and PsycINFO databases. The keywords used were “patient portal*,” “web portal,” “personal health record,” and “diabetes.” Inclusion criteria included (1) published in the past 10 years, (2) used English language, (3) restricted to age ≥18 years, and (4) available in full text. Results: This review included 6 randomized controlled trials, 16 observational, 4 qualitative, and 4 mixed-methods studies. The results of these studies revealed that 29% to 46% of patients with DM have registered for a portal account, with 27% to 76% of these patients actually using the portal at least once during the study period. Portal use was associated with the following factors: personal traits (eg, sociodemographics, clinical characteristics, health literacy), technology (eg, functionality, usability), and provider engagement. Inconsistent findings were observed regarding the association of patient portal use with DM-related clinical and psychological outcomes. Conclusions: Barriers to use of the patient portal were identified among patients and providers. Future investigations into strategies that engage both physicians and patients in use of a patient portal to improve patient outcomes are needed.

  • Young adults section of T1D Toolkit, the study website (montage). Source: The Authors / Placeit; Copyright: JMIR Publications; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Transition Education for Young Adults With Type 1 Diabetes: Pilot Feasibility Study for a Group Telehealth Intervention


    Background: Young adults with type 1 diabetes (T1D) experience a decline in glycemic outcomes and gaps in clinical care. A diabetes education and support program designed for young adults was delivered through group videoconference and mobile Web. Objective: The objective of our study was to assess the feasibility, acceptability, and preliminary efficacy of the program as measured by attendance and webpage views, satisfaction, and pre- and postintervention psychosocial outcomes, respectively. Methods: Young adults aged 18-25 years were recruited to attend five 30-minute group diabetes education videoconferences during an 8-week period. Videoconferences included an expert presentation followed by a moderated group discussion. Within 48 hours of each videoconference, participants were sent a link to more information on the study website. Feasibility was assessed using data on videoconference attendance and webpage views. Acceptability was assessed via a Satisfaction Survey completed at the conclusion of the study. Descriptive statistics were generated. Preliminary efficacy was assessed via a survey to measure changes in diabetes-specific self-efficacy and diabetes distress. Pre- and postintervention data were compared using paired samples t tests. Results: In this study, 20 young adults (mean age 19.2 [SD 1.1] years) attended an average of 5.1 (SD 1.0) videoconferences equivalent to 153 (SD 30.6) minutes of diabetes education per participant during an 8-week period. Average participant satisfaction scores were 62.2 (SD 2.6) out of a possible 65 points. A total of 102 links sent via text message (short message service) or email resulted in 504 webpage views. There was no statistically significant difference between pre- and postintervention diabetes-specific self-efficacy or diabetes-related distress. Conclusions: Delivery of diabetes education via group videoconference using mobile Web follow-up is feasible and acceptable to young adults with T1D. This model of care delivery has the potential to improve attendance, social support, and patient-reported satisfaction. Nevertheless, further research is required to establish the effect on long-term psychosocial and glycemic outcomes.

  • User trying the CareMessage diabetes text-messaging program. Source: The Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Licensed by JMIR.

    Improved Diabetes Care Management Through a Text-Message Intervention for Low-Income Patients: Mixed-Methods Pilot Study


    Background: Diabetes is a major contributor to global death and disability. Text-messaging interventions hold promise for improving diabetes outcomes through better knowledge and self-management. Objective: The aim of this study was to examine the implementation and impact of a diabetes text-messaging program targeted primarily for low-income Latino patients receiving care at 2 federally qualified health centers (FQHCs). Methods: A mixed-methods, quasi-experimental research design was employed for this pilot study. A total of 50 Spanish or English-speaking adult patients with diabetes attending 2 FQHC sites in Los Angeles from September 2015 to February 2016 were enrolled in a 12-week, bidirectional text-messaging program. A comparison group (n=160) was constructed from unexposed, eligible patients. Demographic data and pre/post clinical indicators were compared for both the groups. Propensity score weighting was used to reduce selection bias, and over-time differences in clinical outcomes between groups were estimated using individual fixed-effects regression models. Population-averaged linear models were estimated to assess differential effects of patient engagement on each clinical indicator among the intervention participants. A sample of intervention patients (n=11) and all implementing staff (n=8) were interviewed about their experiences with the program. Qualitative data were transcribed, translated, and analyzed to identify common themes. Results: The intervention group had a mean glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) reduction of 0.4 points at follow-up, relative to the comparison group (P=.06). Patients who were more highly engaged with the program (response rate ≥median of 64.5%) experienced a 2.2 point reduction in HbA1c, relative to patients who were less engaged, controlling for demographic characteristics (P<.001). Qualitative analyses revealed that many participants felt supported, as though “someone was worrying about [their] health.” Participants also cited learning new information, setting new goals, and receiving helpful reminders. Staff and patients highlighted strategies to improve the program, including incorporating patient responses into in-person clinical care and tailoring the messages to patient knowledge. Conclusions: A diabetes text-messaging program provided instrumental and emotional support for participants and may have contributed to clinically meaningful improvements in HbA1c. Patients who were more engaged demonstrated greater improvement. Program improvements, such as linkages to clinical care, hold potential for improving patient engagement and ultimately, improving clinical outcomes.

  • MyFootCare aims to engage patients with diabetic foot ulcers through goal setting, progress monitoring, and reminders in self-care. Source: Image created by the Authors; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution + NoDerivatives (CC-BY-ND).

    Promoting Self-Care of Diabetic Foot Ulcers Through a Mobile Phone App: User-Centered Design and Evaluation


    Background: Without effective self-care, people with diabetic foot ulcers (DFUs) are at risk of prolonged healing times, hospitalization, amputation, and reduced quality of life. Despite these consequences, adherence to DFU self-care remains low. New strategies are needed to engage people in the self-care of their DFUs. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate the usability and potential usefulness of a new mobile phone app to engage people with DFUs in self-care. Methods: We developed a new mobile phone app, MyFootCare, to engage people with DFUs through goals, progress monitoring, and reminders in self-care. Key features included novel visual analytics that automatically extract and monitor DFU size information from mobile phone photos of the foot. A functional prototype of MyFootCare was created and evaluated through a user-centered design process with 11 participants with DFUs. Data were collected through semistructured interviews discussing existing self-care practices and observations of MyFootCare with participants. Data were analyzed qualitatively through thematic analysis. Results: Key themes were as follows: (1) participants already used mobile phone photos to monitor their DFU progress; (2) participants had limited experience with using mobile phone apps; (3) participants desired the objective DFU size data provided by the tracking feature of MyFootCare to monitor their DFU progress; (4) participants were ambivalent about the MyFootCare goal image and diary features, commenting that these features were useful but also that it was unlikely that they would use them; and (5) participants desired to share their MyFootCare data with their clinicians to demonstrate engagement in self-care and to reflect on their progress. Conclusions: MyFootCare shows promising features to engage people in DFU self-care. Most notably, ulcer size data are useful to monitor progress and engage people. However, more work is needed to improve the usability and accuracy of MyFootCare, that is, by refining the process of taking and analyzing photos of DFUs and removing unnecessary features. These findings open the door for further work to develop a system that is easy to use and functions in everyday life conditions and to test it with people with DFUs and their carers.

  • Source: Robins Air Force Base (Misuzu Allen); Copyright: US Air Force; URL:; License: Public Domain (CC0).

    The Phased Implementation of a National Telehealth Weight Management Program for Veterans: Mixed-Methods Program Evaluation


    Background: The burden of obesity is high among US veterans, yet many face barriers to engaging in in-person, facility-based treatment programs. To improve access to weight-management services, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) developed TeleMOVE, a home-based, 82-day curriculum that utilizes in-home messaging devices to promote weight loss in VHA patients facing barriers to accessing facility-based services. Objective: The primary aim was to establish preliminary evidence for the program by comparing outcomes for TeleMOVE with standard, facility-based MOVE weight-management services (group, individual modalities) over the evaluation period based on the number of patients enrolled per site and the program’s clinical effectiveness, as demonstrated by average weight lost per patient. The secondary aim was to understand factors influencing TeleMOVE implementation variability across demonstration sites to develop recommendations to improve national program dissemination. Methods: We employed a formative mixed-methods design to evaluate the phased implementation of TeleMOVE at 9 demonstration sites and compare patient- and site-level measures of program uptake. Data were collected between October 1, 2009 and September 30, 2011. Patient-level program outcomes were extracted from VHA patient care databases to evaluate program enrollment rates and clinical outcomes. To assess preliminary clinical effectiveness, weight loss outcomes for veterans who enrolled in TeleMOVE were compared with outcomes for veterans enrolled in standard MOVE! at each demonstration site, as well as with national averages during the first 2 years of program implementation. For the secondary aim, we invited program stakeholders to participate in 2 rounds of semistructured interviews about aspects of TeleMOVE implementation processes, site-level contextual factors, and program delivery. Twenty-eight stakeholders participated in audio-recorded interviews. Results: Although stakeholders at 3 sites declined to be interviewed, objective program uptake was high at 2 sites, delayed-high at 2 sites, and low at 5 sites. At 6 months post enrollment, the mean weight loss was comparable for TeleMOVE (n=417) and MOVE! (n=1543) participants at −5.2 lb (SD 14.4) and −5.1 lb (SD 12.2), respectively (P=.91). All sites reported high program complexity because TeleMOVE required more staff time per participant than MOVE! due to logistical and technical assistance issues related to the devices. High-uptake sites overcame implementation challenges by leveraging communication networks with stakeholders, adapting the program to patient needs whenever possible, setting programmatic goals and monitoring feedback of results, and taking time to reflect and evaluate on delivery to foster incremental delivery improvements, whereas low-uptake sites reported less leadership support and effective communication among stakeholders. Conclusions: This implementation evaluation of a clinical telehealth program demonstrated the value of partnership-based research in which researchers not only provided operational leaders with feedback regarding the effectiveness of a new program but also relevant feedback into contextual factors related to program implementation to enable adaptations for national deployment efforts.

  • Source: Accuhealth Chile; Copyright: Accuhealth Chile; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Web-Based Interventions for Depression in Individuals with Diabetes: Review and Discussion


    Background: Depression is twice as common in people with diabetes, and this comorbidity worsens the course of both pathologies. In clinical practice guidelines, screening and treatment of depression in patients with diabetes are highly recommended. However, depression is still both underrecognized and undertreated. To find ways to enhance their reach, psychological treatments have taken advantage of benefits of internet and technological devices as delivery formats, providing interventions that require considerably less (or even no) interaction time with therapists. Web-based treatments hold promise for effective interventions at low cost with positive results. Objective: The objectives of this review were to describe Web-based interventions for depression in individuals with diabetes and to discuss these studies’ procedures and findings in light of evidence from a wider range of interventions for depression and diabetes. Methods: A comprehensive literature search was conducted in PsycINFO and MEDLINE electronic databases. Studies were included when they met the following selection criteria: the study was available in a peer-reviewed journal mainly publishing studies written in either English or Spanish; the studied sample comprised individuals with diabetes; the intervention targeted depression symptomatology; the intervention was accessible via the internet; and the intervention was accessible via the internet with little or no clinician support. Results: Overall, 5 research studies were identified in the review. All studies were randomized controlled trials, and most used a wait list as a control; 4 studies reported treatment dropout, rates of which varied from 13% to 42%. Studies supported the notion that the Web-based format is a suitable psychology service delivery option for diabetic individuals with depression (effect size range for completers 0.7-0.89). Interventions varied in their characteristics but most were clinical-assisted, had a cognitive behavioral therapy approach, used diabetes-specific topics, had a weekly modular display, used homework assignments, and had some adherence management strategy. These characteristics are consistent with the intervention features associated with positive results in the literature. Conclusions: The analyzed studies’ findings and procedures are discussed in light of evidence drawn from a wider range of reviews on Web-based interventions for depression and diabetes. Consistent with previous research on depression treatment, Web-based interventions for depression among individuals with diabetes have shown positive results. Future research should contribute new evidence as to why these interventions are effective, for whom, and which particular aspects can increase patients’ adherence.

  • Low-Carb Program (montage). Source: The Authors /; Copyright: The Authors; URL:; License: Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY).

    Outcomes of a Digitally Delivered Low-Carbohydrate Type 2 Diabetes Self-Management Program: 1-Year Results of a Single-Arm Longitudinal Study


    Background: Type 2 diabetes mellitus has serious health consequences, including blindness, amputation, stroke, and dementia, and its annual global costs are more than US $800 billion. Although typically considered a progressive, nonreversible disease, some researchers and clinicians now argue that type 2 diabetes may be effectively treated with a carbohydrate-reduced diet. Objective: Our objective was to evaluate the 1-year outcomes of the digitally delivered Low-Carb Program, a nutritionally focused, 10-session educational intervention for glycemic control and weight loss for adults with type 2 diabetes. The program reinforces carbohydrate restriction using behavioral techniques including goal setting, peer support, and behavioral self-monitoring. Methods: The study used a quasi-experimental research design comprised of an open-label, single-arm, pre-post intervention using a sample of convenience. From adults with type 2 diabetes who had joined the program and had a complete baseline dataset, we randomly selected participants to be followed for 1 year (N=1000; mean age 56.1, SD 15.7 years; 59.30% (593/1000) women; mean glycated hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) 7.8%, SD 2.1%; mean body weight 89.6 kg, SD 23.1 kg; taking mean 1.2, SD 1.01 diabetes medications). Results: Of the 1000 study participants, 708 (70.80%) individuals reported outcomes at 12 months, 672 (67.20%) completed at least 40% of the lessons, and 528 (52.80%) completed all lessons of the program. Of the 743 participants with a starting HbA1c at or above the type 2 diabetes threshold of 6.5%, 195 (26.2%) reduced their HbA1c to below the threshold while taking no glucose-lowering medications or just metformin. Of the participants who were taking at least one hypoglycemic medication at baseline, 40.4% (289/714) reduced one or more of these medications. Almost half (46.40%, 464/1000) of all participants lost at least 5% of their body weight. Overall, glycemic control and weight loss improved, especially for participants who completed all 10 modules of the program. For example, participants with elevated baseline HbA1c (≥7.5%) who engaged with all 10 weekly modules reduced their HbA1c from 9.2% to 7.1% (P<.001) and lost an average of 6.9% of their body weight (P<.001). Conclusions: Especially for participants who fully engage, an online program that teaches a carbohydrate-reduced diet to adults with type 2 diabetes can be effective for glycemic control, weight loss, and reducing hypoglycemic medications.

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  • Optimizing Digital Health Tools for Diabetes Self-Management in a Hispanic Community: A Qualitative Study

    Date Submitted: Nov 26, 2018

    Open Peer Review Period: Dec 4, 2018 - Jan 29, 2019

    Background: Though multiple self-monitoring technologies for Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) show promise for improving T2DM self-care behaviors and clinical outcomes, they have been understudied in H...

    Background: Though multiple self-monitoring technologies for Type-2 Diabetes Mellitus (T2DM) show promise for improving T2DM self-care behaviors and clinical outcomes, they have been understudied in Hispanic adult populations who suffer disproportionately from T2DM. Objective: The objective of this study was to evaluate the acceptability, feasibility, and potential integration of wearable sensors for diabetes self-monitoring among Hispanic adults with T2DM. Methods: We conducted a pilot study of T2DM self-monitoring technologies with Hispanic adults with T2DM. Participants (n=21) received a real-time continuous glucose monitor (RT-CGM), a wrist-worn physical activity (PA) tracker, and a tablet-based digital food diary to self-monitor blood glucose, PA, and dietary intake, respectively, for one week. The RT-CGM captured viewable blood glucose concentration (mg/dL) in five minute intervals, and the PA trackers collected accelerometer-based data, viewable on the device or on an associated tablet application. After one week of use, we conducted a semi-structured interview with each participant to understand experiences and thoughts on integration of the devices and their data into a technology-facilitated T2DM self-management intervention. Feasibility was measured by device utilization and objective RT-CGM, PA tracker, and diet logging data. Acceptability and potential integration were evaluated through thematic analysis of verbatim interview transcripts. Results: Participants (n=21, 76% female, 50.4±11 years) had a mean self-reported Hemoglobin A1c of 7.4 ± 1.8 mg/dL and had been diagnosed with T2DM for 7.4±5.2 years (range:1-16 years). Most (89%) were treated with oral medications (i.e., Metformin), while the others self-managed through diet and exercise. Nearly all (n=20) used both the RT-CGM and the PA tracker, and 52% (n=11) logged at least one meal, with 33% (n=7) logging meals for four or more days. Of the 8 possible days, PA data was recorded for 7.1±1.8 days (range: 2-8), and participants averaged 7822±3984 steps per day. Interview transcripts revealed that participants felt most positive about the RT-CGM, as it unveiled previously unknown relationships between lifestyle and health and contributed to changes in T2DM-related thoughts and behaviors. Participants felt generally positive about incorporating the wearable sensors and mobile applications into a future intervention given support were provided by a health coach and/or health care provider, device training were provided, applications were tailored to their language and culture, and content were both actionable and accessible and delivered on a single platform. Conclusions: Sensor-based tools for facilitating T2DM self-monitoring appear to be a feasible and acceptable technology among low-income, Hispanic adults. We identified barriers to acceptability and highlighted preferences for wearable sensor integration in a community-based intervention. These findings have implications for the design of T2DM interventions targeting racial and ethnic minorities.