Effectiveness of mobile health solutions in lowering glycated hemoglobin and resulting economic effects-a review of the current literature

Jonathan C. Javitt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: In recent years, a variety of innovative solutions have been introduced that are designed to improve adherence to blood sugar testing among patients with diabetes, lower glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), and decrease complications associated with diabetes mellitus. The value of lowering HbA1c in preventing long-term complications of diabetes is broadly recognized. The purpose of this review is to provide an overview of the peer-reviewed literature documenting both the efficacy of mobile health (mHealth) solutions in improving adherence and lowering HbA1c, along with the impact of lowering HbA1c on near-term cost and complications of diabetes. Methodology: An extensive search of Index Medicus was performed in order to identify studies documenting the effectiveness of mHealth solutions in reducing HbA1c and documenting the effectiveness of reducing HbA1c in lowering near-term medical costs. Results: Six randomized controlled trials were identified in which the use of mobile monitoring solutions for blood glucose was tested against standard care. All demonstrated a reduction in HbA1c, ranging from 0.35-1.9 percentage points. Ten studies, primarily longitudinal and retrospective in nature, were identified, which evaluated the effectiveness of HbA1c reduction on reducing near-term medical costs. Overall, moderate reduction in HbA1c appears to reduce medical costs by 10 % on average in commercially insured populations and 7 % on average in Medicare-age populations. Conclusions: mHealth interventions for diabetes show promise in reducing HbA1c across multiple settings and achieving this clinical result is likely to result in reduction of near-term medical costs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
JournalUS Endocrinology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2014


  • Cellular communication
  • Cost-effectiveness
  • Diabetes
  • Economic analysis
  • EHealth
  • Glucose monitoring
  • MHealth
  • Mobile health
  • Remote monitoring
  • Wireless communication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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