SAGE Journals

The Effectiveness of Telemedicine Solutions in Type 1 Diabetes Management: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Posted on 2022-02-10 - 13:06

Telemedicine holds a potential to strengthen self-management support outside health care settings in the everyday management of type 1 diabetes (T1D). However, existing effectiveness reviews are older or include a relatively narrow focus on specific definitions of telemedicine or included databases.


To conduct a systematic review of the effectiveness of telemedicine solutions versus any comparator on diabetes-related outcomes among people with T1D.


Studies including adults (≥18 years) with T1D published before October 14, 2020, were eligible. Primary outcome was glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c, %). The Cochrane Library, PubMed, EMBASE, and CINAHL were searched. Meta-analysis based on the mean difference in HbA1c% was used to pool effects. The Cochrane tool was applied to assess risk-of-bias, and the certainty of evidence was graded using the GRADE approach.


A total of 22 studies were included (with 1615 participants). Treatment effect for HbA1c% favored telemedicine (mean difference of −0.26% [95% confidence interval:−0.37% to −0.15%]) with moderate effect certainty. Heterogeneity was moderate (I2 = 33.30%). Although not significant, secondary outcomes were all in favor of telemedicine except number of severe hypoglycemic events and diabetes knowledge, but the certainty of the evidence for those outcomes was all low or very low.


Reducing average HbA1c% levels are important to combat the risk of diabetic complications and premature death. However, the evidence mostly consist of small studies with a relative short duration and the estimated pooled effect is smaller than could be expected from quality improvement strategies in general for diabetes management.

PROSPERO number:



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