Trial Shows NexJ Health Coach Software Significantly Lowers HbA1c in Half the Time
The 6-month randomized controlled trial (RCT) compared health coaching delivered to patients using NexJ Connected Wellness to a control group receiving health coaching without the software. The population consisted of adults from a lower socioeconomic strata with Type 2 diabetes and HbA1c (average blood glucose) levels of 7.3% (56.3 mmol/mol) or higher. According to Dr. Paul Ritvo, Professor at York University and the RCT’s principal investigator, “This study represents one of the largest and best effect sizes seen in current behavior intervention research.”
At 3 months the intervention group (health coaching with NexJ Connected Wellness) achieved clinically significant reductions in HbA1c, when compared to the control group (health coaching alone). Specifically, the intervention group achieved a blood glucose reduction of 0.84% (9.2 mmol/mol) within 3 months while the control group took 6 months to achieve a 0.81% (8.9 mmol/mol) reduction. Not only did the intervention group cut the amount of time required for the intervention in half, they also showed significant decreases in weight and waist circumference, while the control group did not. Both groups reported improvements in mood, satisfaction with life, and quality of life. (Read the entire study in the Journal of Medical Internet Research).
“Health coaching with and without access to mobile technology appeared to improve glucoregulation and mental health in a lower-socio-economic, Type 2 diabetic population,” concluded Dr. Paul Ritvo. “It is evident that using NexJ Connected Wellness to further connect patients to health coaches and monitor health behaviors can lead to faster reductions in HbA1c, which may have specific benefits for cost savings and quality of life.”
“We are thrilled with the positive impact our patient engagement software continues to have on improving the quality of life for chronic disease sufferers,” says William M. Tatham, Executive Chairman, NexJ Health Inc. “These studies are proving unequivocally that using NexJ Connected Wellness to engage patients in self-managing their chronic conditions will contribute to controlling the rise in chronic disease. This translates to profound cost savings to the healthcare system.”
For more than 7 years, NexJ Health has partnered with researchers in academic institutions to undertake evidence-based research using the NexJ Connected Wellness platform and its mobile apps and publish the findings in peer-reviewed, scientific journals. Currently, NexJ has 25 research trials and deployment evaluations completed or in progress.
The success of the published RCT builds on the results of a previously published study (Pludwinski, Ahmad, Wayne and Ritvo, 2015, Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare) that also produced supportive evidence for NexJ Connected Wellness. In the study, participants from a lower socioeconomic strata were recruited from a community health centre in Toronto, and most had not used smartphones before, nor had the assistance of a health coach. All had poorly controlled diabetes at the start of the study.
Both studies are notable for the clinically significant reductions in HbA1c achieved, and the observation that most of these reductions occurred without changes in medication.
In a third study, the researchers evaluated the experience of patients with poorly controlled Type 2 diabetes using smartphones, and the effects on motivation for health behavior change. Participants found that using the NexJ Health Coach app on a smartphone increased self-awareness of habitual behaviors, especially dietary choices. According to the interviews, the integration of the software + smartphone + health coach proved to be factors that positively encouraged the participants. Each piece fit together in bringing their blood glucose under better control. Participants identified the real-time feedback as motivating, and ‘being heard’ by the health coach was perceived as a key factor in achieving personal goals. Comments from the participants included statements such as, “I think this study helped me emotionally a lot, more than physical…” and “It was a helpful reminder of keeping a check on my blood…what I eat…what I shouldn’t”. (Read the qualitative study published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare).
If your organization is interested in using NexJ Connected Wellness to deliver personal health coaching for your population of patients, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416-227-3700.