One Drop | Mobile: An evaluation of hemoglobin A1c improvement linked to app engagement

Chandra Y. Osborn, Joost R. van Ginkel, David Rodbard, Mark Heyman, David G. Marrero, Brian Huddleston, Jeff Dachis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background: Three recent reviews evaluated 19 studies testing the hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) benefit of 16 diabetes apps, including 5 publicly available apps. Most studies relied on small samples and did not link app engagement with outcomes. Objective: This study assessed both HbA1c change in a large sample of people using the One Drop | Mobile app and associations between app engagement and changes in HbA1c. Methods: The One Drop | Mobile app for iOS and Android is designed to manually and passively (via Apple HealthKit, Google Fit, and the One Drop | Chrome blood glucose meter) store, track, and share data. Users can schedule medication reminders, view statistics, set goals, track health outcomes, and get data-driven insights. In June 2017, we queried data on people with diabetes using the app who had entered at least 2 HbA1c values in the app >60 and ≤365 days apart. Multiple imputation corrected for missing data. Unadjusted and adjusted mixed effects repeated measures models tested mean HbA1c change by time, diabetes type, and their interaction. Multiple regression models assessed relationships between using the app to track food, activity, blood glucose, and medications and HbA1c change. Results: The sample (N=1288) included people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) (n=367) or type 2 diabetes (T2D) (n=921) who were 35% female, diagnosed with diabetes for a mean 9.4 (SD 9.9) years, and tracked an average 1646.1 (SD 3621.9) self-care activities in One Drop | Mobile between their first (mean 8.14% [SD 2.06%]) and second HbA1c entry (mean 6.98% [SD 1.1%]). HbA1c values were significantly associated with user-entered average blood glucose 90 days before the second HbA1c entry (rho=.73 to.75, P<.001). HbA1c decreased by an absolute 1.07% (unadjusted and adjusted F=292.03, P<.001) from first to second HbA1c entry. There was a significant interaction between diabetes type and HbA1c. Both groups significantly improved, but users with T2D had a greater HbA1c decrease over time than users with T1D (F=10.54, P<.001). For users with T2D (n=921), HbA1c decreased by an absolute 1.27% (F=364.50, P<.001) from first to second HbA1c entry. Finally, using One Drop | Mobile to record food was associated with greater HbA1c reductions even after adjusting for covariates and after also adjusting for insulin use for users with T2D (all P<.05). Conclusions: People with T1D and T2D reported a 1.07% to 1.27% absolute reduction in HbA1c during a median 4 months of using the One Drop | Mobile app. Using the app to track self-care was associated with improved HbA1c. More research is needed on the health benefits of publicly available diabetes apps, particularly studies associating app engagement with short- and long-term effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere21
JournalJMIR Diabetes
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Glycemic control
  • Mobile app
  • Self-care
  • Tracking
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Health Informatics
  • Health Information Management


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