Howard University Hospital has kicked off a research study, using wireless technology, to help at-risk young adults in the District of Columbia change their behavior to prevent their developing diabetes.
The program involves giving African-American adults aged 18 to 24 who are diagnosed with pre-diabetes access to a mobile PHR and activity tracker which are synchronized wirelessly with the Web-based PHR.
Howard is giving young adults in the program free access to the NoMoreClipboard PHR for their smartphones, along with a FitBit Zip wireless activity tracker which counts the number of steps taken, distance covered and calories burned per user. The study also includes a separate “lifestyle group” which will not receive the technology, but will attend group meetings addressing their condition.
Once synched up with the Web-based PHR, the technology group’s data will be available to clinicians with Howard’s Diabetes Treatment Center, who will use the data to provide coaching to program participants. Data from the Center’s EMR will also populate the PHR, creating a patient health record participants can bring with them to other providers.
The program will also include sending a variety of text messages to the young adults in the technology group, including reminders to interact with the PHR and 75 health and behavioral tips which will be dispatched over the course of a year.
To examine results of this intervention, the program will study changes in Patient Activation Measure scores — a validated 13-item measure used to assess patients’ ability to self-manage their chronic disease — at three months and one year. Researchers also plan to look at changes in BMI and hemoglobin A1c levels at the same intervals.