Exciting Results of mDiabetes Adds to mHealth Evidence Base
Arogya World’s mDiabetes has shown exciting results: 40 percent more people improved their health behaviors as a result of receiving texts about diabetes prevention. The study was published this week in the Journal of Medical and Internet Research.
mDiabetes sent twice-weekly text messages to a million people in India advising them to exercise, eat less fat, and eat more fruits and vegetables.
The first to use the power of mobile to fight diabetes
There are many firsts in our mDiabetes story. This effort is the first to use the power and reach of mobile phones to change diabetes risk behaviors in a large number of people from different parts of a vast country like India. The 40% impact obtained from a population level mHealth program like this, has implications for diabetes prevention in low and middle-income countries. mDiabetes also establishes a practical real-world approach to testing the effectiveness of mHealth programs when randomized clinical trials are not viable or not needed.
mDiabetes is the story of close and productive multi-sectoral collaboration. A bold promise to educate 1 million Indians with diabetes prevention text messages in multiple languages was made by Arogya World as a 2011 Clinton Global Initiative Commitment. This was fulfilled with our extraordinary partnerships with Nokia and Emory University. We are also grateful for the funding support from Aetna International, J&J and MSD India.
We greatly appreciate the expertise and dedication of each author of the paper, several of whom were members of Arogya World’s Behavior Change Task Force. The Northwestern Medicine team brought top-level statistical rigor to the data analysis and scholarship to the written manuscript. We thank Natesh BV, Arun Gowda, Nikhil Narayan and Jawahar Kanjilal formerly at Nokia, Mallory Stasko and Linelle Blais from Emory University’s Rollins School of Public Health, Tripti Sharma and Abhishek from Ipsos and all authors of the JMIR paper for their extraordinary co-operation and tireless effort. Without their unstinted support this program would not have been possible.
The authors of this study include:
- Angela Pfammatter, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine – Chicago, IL)
- Bonnie Spring, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine – Chicago, IL)
- Nalini Saligram, PhD (Arogya World – Naperville, IL)
- Raj Davé, MBA (Health ARC – Pennington, NJ)
- Arun Gowda, MD (Focus Scientific Research Center – Bengaluru, India)
- Linelle Blais, PhD (Emory Centers for Training and Technical Assistance, Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Emory University – Atlanta, GA)
- Monika Arora, PhD (Public Health Foundation of India – Haryana, India)
- Harish Ranjani, PhD (Madras Diabetes Research Foundation – Chennai, India)
- Om Ganda, MD (Joslin Diabetes Center – Boston, MA)
- Donald Hedeker, PhD (University of Chicago – Chicago, IL)
- Sethu Reddy, MD (Joslin Diabetes Center – Boston, MA)
- Sandhya Ramalingam, PhD (Arogya World – Naperville, IL)