Mobile phone-based pattern recognition and data analysis for patients with type 1 diabetes.

Background: Persons with type 1 diabetes who use electronic self-help tools, most commonly blood glucose meters, record a large amount of data about their personal condition. Mobile phones are powerful and ubiquitous computers that have a potential for data analysis, and the purpose of this study is to explore how self-gathered data can help users improve their blood glucose management.

Subjects and Methods: Thirty patients with insulin-regulated type 1 diabetes were equipped with a mobile phone application for 3-6 months, recording blood glucose, insulin, dietary information, physical activity, and disease symptoms. The data were analyzed in terms of usage of the different modules and which data processing and visualization tools could be constructed to support the use of these data.

Results: Eighteen patients (denoted "adopters") recorded complete data for over 80 consecutive days, up to 247 days. Among those who withdrew or did not use the application extensively, the most common reasons given were outdated or difficult-to-use phone. Data analysis using period finding and scale-space trends was found to yield significant patterns for most adopters. Pattern recognition methods to predict low or high blood glucose were found to be performing poorly.

Conclusions: Minimally intrusive mobile applications enable users with type 1 diabetes to record data that can provide data-driven feedback to the user, potentially providing relevant insight into their disease.

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