SAGE Journals

Effectiveness of Telemedicine in Managing Diabetes in Pregnancy: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Posted on 2022-05-10 - 12:08

Strict monitoring of blood glucose during pregnancy is essential for ensuring optimal maternal and neonatal outcomes. Telemedicine could be a promising solution for supporting diabetes management; however, an updated meta-analysis is warranted. This study assesses the effects of telemedicine solutions for managing gestational and pregestational diabetes.


PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library Central Register of Controlled Trials, and CINAHL were searched up to October 14, 2020. All randomized trials assessing the effects of telemedicine in managing diabetes in pregnancy relative to any comparator without the use of telemedicine were included. The primary outcome was infant birth weight. A meta-analysis comparing the mean difference (MD) in birth weight across studies was applied, and subgroup and sensitivity analyses were performed. The revised Cochrane tool was applied to assess the risk of bias, and the certainty of evidence was evaluated using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development, and Evaluation (GRADE) approach.


From a total of 18 studies, ten (totaling 899 participants) were used to calculate the effect on infant birth weight. The results nonsignificantly favored the control (MD of 19.34 g; [95% confidence interval, CI −47.8; 86.47]), with moderate effect certainty. Heterogeneity was moderate (I2 = 37.39%). Statistically significant secondary outcomes included differences in two-hour glucose tolerance postpartum (gestational diabetes; two studies: standardized mean difference 9.62 mg/dL [95% CI: 1.95; 17.28]) that favored the control (GRADE level, very low) and risk of shoulder dystocia (four studies: log odds −1.34 [95% CI: −2.61; −0.08]) that favored telemedicine (GRADE, low).


No evidence was found to support telemedicine as an alternative to usual care when considering maternal and fetal outcomes. However, further research is needed, including economic evaluations.


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