As diabetes threats increase globally, better ways of helping patients reduce their weight can help. mHealth has a role to play. A study of the US National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP) in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found that mHealth helped to achieve significant weight loss at 16 and 24 weeks with 56% of starters and 64% of completers losing over 5%. Mean weight loss at 24 weeks was 6.6% in starters and 7.5% in completers. Participants were highly engaged, with 84% of the sample completing nine lessons or more.
mHealth offers a promising means of delivering pre-chronic and chronic care. It’s a scalable, convenient, and accessible way to deliver the NDPP. The findings also support the effectiveness of using mHealth pre-diabetes interventions. It’s producing weight loss comparable to studies with high engagement, with potential for scalable population health management.
The research evaluated Noom's smartphone and NDPP-based curricula with coaching of a user group of overweight and obese hyperglycemic adults. Weight loss efficacy of an mHealth service to deliver a total, structured NDPP wasn’t tested.
The results support Africa’s health systems, that prioritise mHealth for diabetic patients. It’s also a priority for many of Africa’s mHealth start-ups.