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Smartphone Apps for Surveillance of Gestational Diabetes: Scoping Review

HumanInsight Smartphone Apps for Surveillance of Gestational Diabetes: Scoping Review

JMIR Diabetes. 2022 Nov 21;7(4):e38910. doi: 10.2196/38910.


BACKGROUND: Developments and evolutions in the information and communication technology sector have provided a solid foundation for the emergence of mobile health (mHealth) in recent years. The cornerstone to management of gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is the self-management of glycemic indices, dietary intake, and lifestyle adaptations. Given this, it is readily adaptable to incorporation of remote monitoring strategies involving mHealth solutions.

OBJECTIVE: We sought to examine and assess the available smartphone apps which enable self-monitoring and remote surveillance of GDM with a particular emphasis on the generation of individualized patient feedback.

METHODS: Five databases were searched systematically for any studies evaluating mHealth-supported smartphone solutions for GDM management from study inception until January 2022. The studies were screened and assessed for eligibility of inclusion by 2 independent reviewers. Ultimately, 17 studies were included involving 1871 patients across 11 different countries. The PRISMA-ScR (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews) conceptual framework was adhered to for data extraction and categorization purposes.

RESULTS: All studies analyzed as part of this review facilitated direct uploading of data from the handheld glucometer to the downloaded patient-facing smartphone app. Glycemic data were captured by all studies and were reassuringly found to be either improved or noninferior to extant models of hospital-based care. Feedback was delivered in either an automated fashion through in-app communication from the health care team or facilitated through bidirectional communication with the app and hospital portal. Although resource utilization and cost-effective analyses were reported in some studies, the results were disparate and require more robust analysis. Where patient and staff satisfaction levels were evaluated, the response was overwhelmingly positive for mHealth smartphone-delivered care strategies. Emergency cesarean section rates were reduced; however, elective cesarean sections were comparatively increased among studies where the mode of delivery was assessed. Most reviewed studies did not identify any differences in maternal, perinatal, or neonatal health when app-based care was compared with usual in-person review.

CONCLUSIONS: This comprehensive scoping review highlights the feasibility, reliability, and acceptability of app-assisted health care for the management of GDM. Although further exploration of the economic benefit is required prior to implementation in a real-world clinical setting, the prospect of smartphone-assisted health care for GDM is hugely promising.

PMID:36409549 | DOI:10.2196/38910

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