CLEMSON, S.C. – The Clemson University public health sciences department has received a $1.2 million Department of Defense contract to study the use of mHealth technology on self-management of Type 2 diabetes.
Clemson researchers are teaming up with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command Telemedicine and Advanced Technical Research Center on the project.
“This project will allow us to learn more about the potential impact of connected health technologies with respect to patient activation,” said Jeanette Little, Mobile Health Innovation Center Laboratory leader at the U.S. Army’s research center, in a statement.
The study will link smart phones and tablets with Bluetooth-enabled devices like glucometers and fitness tracking devices, and the clinical team will monitor patients’ progress through a secure mobile communication system, with key encryption components for patient privacy.
Little said the project should reveal impacts in “patient activation”— the patient’s knowledge, skills, ability and willingness to manage their own health and care.
The Clemson public health sciences department will work on developing technology that will send tailored health messages to study participants that will include information, motivation and guidance on a wide range of topics like nutrition, exercise, blood pressure maintenance, blood sugar testing, medication management and more.
“Too often in health care settings patients get too much information at once and they are not able to process and use it effectively,” said Cheryl Dye, Clemson public health sciences professor, in a statement. “Our study will provide messages tailored to the patient’s level of activation and the behaviors that are particularly challenging to them.”
Researchers said they expect their work will improve the understanding of methods to advance coordination of care and access to care, while improving quality and safety through the use of mobile technology.
The first phase of research began last fall. Phase two begins this month and in April, when 120 patients will begin the 12-month study. Researchers expect the study to end in the summer of 2018.