WALTHAM, Mass. – Digital therapy for diabetes management helps patients achieve glucose control more rapidly than traditional methods, according to a study presented recently at the annual meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes.
The study looked at patients whose insulin therapy is guided by Glytec’s Glucommander software and found that they not only achieved glucose control rapidly, but also, with ongoing personalized dose adjustments, successfully maintained A1C reductions long term.
“For the increasing number of patients whose baseline A1C is at or above 9%, getting to target is one thing, but staying there is another,” said Dr. Andrew Rhinehart, chief medical officer at Glytec.
The study sought to examine the frequency of insulin dose adjustments needed over time to ensure that patients maintain A1C reductions and do not experience loss or deterioration of glucose control. A literature review identified no specific evidence designating how often providers should review blood glucose measurements and titrate insulin after a patient reaches their target A1C; one of the study aims was to fill this research void.
Once patients are titrated to goal with Glucommander, researchers found, the cloud-hosted software remains active, synthesizing daily blood glucose measurements, performing personalized analyses to determine whether and when insulin dose adjustments are needed, and monitoring data to identify patients experiencing out-of-range highs or lows or not testing often enough.
The study analyzed outcomes of 74 patients. The median time between insulin dose adjustments—after the initial three-month treatment period—was 57 days.
“This means that once Glucommander titrated these patients to goal, continued analyses of patterns in their blood glucose indicated that additional insulin dose adjustments were needed, on average, every eight weeks,” said Rhinehart. “This confirms that the usual and customary practice of patients waiting three to six months for a follow-up visit is not sufficient to maintain glucose control and may increase risks of hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia.”
Among the patients included in the study, severe hypoglycemia measured as a percent of blood glucose values was only 0.05%. The study also found reductions in A1C from a baseline average of 10.3% to 8.0% at three months, 8.0% at six months and 7.8% at 12 months; also, a median time of seven days for patients to reach their prescribed glucose goal.
“We’ve been very purposeful in our design of Glucommander to ensure maximum efficiency, scalability and ease of use for clinicians,” said Robby Booth, senior vice president of research and development at Glytec, in a statement. “They don’t have to wade through troves of data to perform manual calculations and they don’t have to question whether or when it’s appropriate to make dose adjustments. And because this happens remotely, an intervention takes only a couple of minutes, which translates to less time and overhead in treating patients with diabetes, better margins and greater profitability.”