Mobile technology will help manage diabetes

Johns Hopkins joined five other universities in sharing $1.3 million in McKesson Foundation money to study how mobile technology can help patients manage diabetes.

Dr. Lawrence Cheskin, an associate professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health and director of the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center, will use the money to study “Tailored Rapid Interactive Mobile Messaging” for weight control among the underserved.

The foundation, affiliated with the McKesson health care services company, funds research into chronic disease management in the United States, with a current focus on diabetes. These grants, of up to $250,000, will be used specifically for programs that use mobile devices to improve patient care as part of a foundation project called “Mobilizing for Healthsm.”

They will be completed in a year and will target patients serviced by community health centers.

“These studies are part of an ongoing foundation effort to tie innovative technologies to low-cost, scalable health solutions in order to better help patients manage their chronic conditions,” said Carrie Varoquiers, president of the McKesson Foundation, in a statement. “Through initiatives like Mobilizing for Healthsm, the McKesson Foundation is committed to increasing access to affordable, high-quality healthcare for all.”

The foundation notes that diabetes is a growing health problem around the country. The American Diabetes Association reports that 25.8 million American children and adults have diabetes, more than 8 percent of the population. Rates are higher among minorities. And the associated health care and indirect costs reached $174 billion in 2007. 

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