BackgroundIn recent years, the rapid development of mobile medical technology has provided multiple ways for the long-term management of chronic diseases, especially diabetes. As a new type of management model, smartphone apps are global, convenient, cheap, and interactive. Although apps were proved to be more effective at glycemic control, compared with traditional computer- and Web-based telemedicine technologies, how to gain a further and sustained improvement is still being explored. ObjectiveThe objective of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of an app-based interactive management model by a professional health care team on glycemic control in Chinese patients with poorly controlled diabetes. MethodsThis study was a 6-month long, single-center, prospective randomized controlled trial. A total of 276 type 1 or type 2 diabetes patients were enrolled and randomized to the control group (group A), app self-management group (group B), and app interactive management group (group C) in a 1:1:1 ratio. The primary outcome was the change in glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) level. Missing data were handled by multiple imputation. ResultsAt months 3 and 6, all 3 groups showed significant decreases in HbA1c levels (all P.05). Multivariate line regression analyses also showed that the app interactive management group was associated with the larger reduction of HbA1c compared with groups A and B at both months 3 and 6 (all P>.05). In addition, the app interactive management group had better control of triglyceride and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels at both months 3 and 6 compared with baseline (both P<.05). ConclusionsIn Chinese patients with poorly controlled diabetes, it was difficult to achieve long-term effective glucose improvement by using app self-management alone, but combining it with interactive management can help achieve rapid and sustained glycemic control. Trial RegistrationClinicalTrials.gov NCT02589730; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02589730.