Telemedicine consultation for patients with diabetes mellitus: a cluster randomised controlled trial

Ajay Sood*, Sharon A. Watts, Julie K. Johnson, Stacey Hirth, David C. Aron

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Introduction: There is a widening discrepancy between the increasing number of patients with diabetes mellitus and the health care resources available to manage these patients. Telemedicine has been used in a number of instances to improve and deliver health care where traditional care delivery methods may encounter difficulty. We conducted a cluster randomised controlled trial of telemedicine consultation to manage patients with diabetes mellitus. Methods: Eleven primary care centres attached to one Veteran Administration tertiary care centre were randomised to provide patients with diabetes consultation referral either by usual consultation in diabetes clinic or telemedicine consultations via videoconference. Results: Altogether, 199 patients were managed by telemedicine consultation and 83 by usual consultation. Patients in both groups showed a small decrease in haemoglobin A1c, with no statistical difference between the groups (telemedicine consultation −1.01% vs usual consultation −0.68%, p = 0.19). Surveys of patients and semi-structured interviews with primary care providers showed better response and satisfaction with telemedicine consultations. Discussion: This study shows similar clinical outcomes as measured by glycaemic control for patients with diabetes mellitus having a specialist consultation using real-time telemedicine consultation as compared to in-clinic consultation. Telemedicine consultation was also associated with better patient and primary care provider satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)385-391
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Telemedicine and Telecare
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 1 2018


  • Diabetes
  • qualitative analysis
  • telemedicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics


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