The lack of effective, scalable solutions for lifestyle treatment is a global clinical problem, causing severe morbidity and mortality. We developed a method for lifestyle treatment that promotes self-reflection and iterative behavioral change, provided as a digital tool, and evaluated its effect in 370 patients with type 2 diabetes (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT04691973). Users of the tool had reduced blood glucose, both compared with randomized and matched controls (involving 158 and 204 users, respectively), as well as improved systolic blood pressure, body weight and insulin resistance. The improvement was sustained during the entire follow-up (average 730 days). A pathophysiological subgroup of obese insulin-resistant individuals had a pronounced glycemic response, enabling identification of those who would benefit in particular from lifestyle treatment. Natural language processing showed that the metabolic improvement was coupled with the self-reflective element of the tool. The treatment is cost-saving because of improved risk factor control for cardiovascular complications. The findings open an avenue for self-managed lifestyle treatment with long-term metabolic efficacy that is cost-saving and can reach large numbers of people.
NPJ Digit Med. 2022 May 11;5(1):60