AT&T is donating funds and smartphones for a project with HHS and AADE to help an underserved community in Dallas manage and prevent diabetes.
AT&T is partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of Minority Health and the American Association of Diabetes
to develop a project for an underserved minority community
in Dallas to allow them to become more educated on diabetes self-management
using live video communication on mobile devices over AT&T's network.
The AADE is an association of health care providers that accredits programs to provide diabetes health management education.
For the Dallas community, the AADE will provide diabetes self-management training (DSMT)
through live video communication on mobile devices to 150 patients. DSMT is a
process that enables people with or at risk for diabetes to gain the knowledge
they need to maintain healthy behavior and monitor the condition.
"Our goal is to really evaluate the use of mobile devices in terms of delivering diabetes self-management training," Dr.
Garth N. Graham, deputy assistant secretary for minority health at HHS, told eWEEK.
HHS brought AT&T and AADE together for the project and works to
foster collaboration on these types of health care IT
a lot of work in this general area that HHS is doing to bring together
Dr. Garth N. Graham,
deputy assistant secretary for minority health at HHS, told eWEEK. "Our
role will be kind of accelerating and pulling together the partnership and keeping folks together."
Social and environmental factors, as well as less access to care,
could contribute to increased cases of diabetes in underserved minority
communities, Graham said. "It is very much multifactorial in terms of
many of these communities have higher instances of this disease," he
"There are a lot of social and environmental potential contributors,
such as diet and exercise."
To fund the study, AT&T will donate $100,000 to the AADE and
provide 150 smartphones with voice and data plans to patients, diabetes
educators and additional education personnel.
The AADE is recruiting participants from the Diabetes Health and
Wellness Institute, an affiliate of the Baylor Health Care System and
Medical Center, in Dallas. The study will last about eight months,
according to Xavier Williams, vice
president for public sector and health care at AT&T, told eWEEK
Through the project, announced on Sept. 12, the AADE will be able to
test whether the live video chat on smartphones can bring positive
behavior changes as far as diabetes care and prevention compared with
face-to-face interactions, according to Lana Vukovljak, the
Live video communication on mobile phones using services such as
Skype can help give patients the direction they need to bring positive
outcomes, Vukovljak told eWEEK.
Because patients don't schedule office visits, they may feel more
comfortable with the live mobile communication, she said. Specific
smartphone models and
applications to be used are to be determined, Vukovljak added.
With the support educators will provide using mobile devices,
researchers will evaluate whether patients were able to improve their
blood glucose levels, blood pressure and body mass index.
"We want to show whether these tools in these communities actually reduce the incidents and prevalence of complications," Graham
said. "We just want to raise awareness around not just the challenges that
these communities face but the potential benefit of these types of applications."
Educators also hope to reduce hospitalizations by using mobile
technology to help people learn how to manage and prevent diabetes,
Upon the study's completion, the AADE will release a report on how mobile health can help manage diabetes.
In addition to work with AADE on the project in Dallas, AT&T
is collaborating with health insurance provider HCSC
to test WellDoc's mobile DiabetesManager application to see if it can bring patients greater
control over their blood glucose levels.