OBJECTIVE—To determine the efficacy of telecare (modem transmission of glucometer data and clinician feedback) to support intensive insulin therapy in patients with type 1 diabetes and inadequate glycemic control.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—Thirty-one patients with type 1 diabetes on intensive insulin therapy and with HbA1c >7.8% were randomized to telecare (glucometer transmission with feedback) or control (glucometer transmission without feedback) for 6 months. The primary end point was 6-month HbA1c. To place our findings in context, we pooled HbA1c change from baseline reported in randomized trials of telecare identified in a systematic review of the literature.
RESULTS—Compared with the control group, telecare patients had a significantly lower 6-month HbA1c (8.2 vs. 7.8%, P = 0.03, after accounting for HbA1c at baseline) and a nonsignificant fourfold greater chance of achieving 6-month HbA1c ≤7% (29 vs. 7%; risk difference 21.9%, 95% CI −4.7 to 50.5). Nurses spent 50 more min/patient giving feedback on the phone with telecare patients than with control patients. Meta-analysis of seven randomized trials of adult patients with type 1 diabetes found a 0.4% difference (95% CI 0–0.8) in HbA1c mean change from baseline between the telecare and control groups.
CONCLUSIONS—Telecare is associated with small effects on glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes on intensive insulin therapy but with inadequate glycemic control.