JMIR mHealth and uHealth (Jan 2019)

Mobile Phone–Based Telemedicine Practice in Older Chinese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: Randomized Controlled Trial

  • Sun, Chenglin,
  • Sun, Lin,
  • Xi, Shugang,
  • Zhang, Hong,
  • Wang, Huan,
  • Feng, Yakun,
  • Deng, Yufeng,
  • Wang, Haimin,
  • Xiao, Xianchao,
  • Wang, Gang,
  • Gao, Yuan,
  • Wang, Guixia

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 7, no. 1
p. e10664


Read online

BackgroundPrevious studies on telemedicine interventions have shown that older diabetic patients experience difficulty in using computers, which is a barrier to remote communication between medical teams and older diabetic patients. However, older people in China tend to find it easy to use mobile phones and personal messaging apps that have a user-friendly interface. Therefore, we designed a mobile health (mHealth) system for older people with diabetes that is based on mobile phones, has a streamlined operation interface, and incorporates maximum automation. ObjectiveThe goal of the research was to investigate the use of mobile phone–based telemedicine apps for management of older Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Variables of interest included efficacy and safety. MethodsA total of 91 older (aged over 65 years) patients with T2DM who presented to our department were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Patients in the intervention group (n=44) were provided glucometers capable of data transmission and received advice pertaining to medication, diet, and exercise via the mHealth telemedicine system. Patients assigned to the control group (n=47) received routine outpatient care with no additional intervention. Patients in both groups were followed up at regular 3-month intervals. ResultsAfter 3 months, patients in the intervention group showed significant (P<.05) improvement in postprandial plasma glucose level. After 6 months, patients in the intervention group exhibited a decreasing trend in postprandial plasma glucose and glycated hemoglobin levels compared with the baseline and those in the control group (P<.05). ConclusionsMobile phone–based telemedicine apps help improve glycemic control in older Chinese patients with T2DM. Trial RegistrationChina Clinical Trial Registration Center ChiCTR 1800015214; (Archived by WebCite at