A new collaborative research project has been launched in Germany to examine how computer technology can be used to help predict risk factors associated with diabetes.

Called ‘computer assisted diabetes risk management (CDRM)’ will examine how different e-health solutions can improve diabetes care. The study, which will be at medium scale, will focus on people with type 2 diabetes in the Rhine-Neckar region of Germany.

In total 1,200 patients with type 2 diabetes will be recruited during the two year trial. The study will involve twenty-four primary care physicians and one diabetes specialist. During the study patients will have at least four health check visits at six months intervals.

The concept for the CDRM research project was designed by the Department of Epidemiology at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands in cooperation with the Institute of Medical Sociology and Social Medicine at the Philipps University Marburg, Germany.

Academic and industry participants include: e-health vendor InterComponentWare (ICW), Roche Diagnostics, telematics company GeTeG, the Philipps University Marburg, and the University Medical Center Groningen.

The e-health services to be tested will combine software solutions and digital monitoring devices. Using e-health technology the authors of the project hope to reduce long-term complications of diabetes and strengthen quality of life for people who suffer from the disease.

The CDRM will combine ICW personal health record (PHR) software with digital glucose measurement devices provided by Roche Diagnostics.

ICW will provide patients with its LifeSensor PHR, which will be used in conjunction with Roche Diagnostics’ Accu-Check blood glucose meters and the information management system Accu-Chek SmartPix.

Patients in the trial will regularly measure their blood glucose values at home. Then using Accu-Chek SmartPix they will be able to analyze easy-to-understand blood glucose graphs and statistics on their personal computers.

The Roche Diagnostics glucose meters can save up to 400 values. At the patient’s next consultation, these data will be transferred to a physician’s computer and uploaded to the CDM Diabetes Monitor, a software solution based on ICW’s Care and Disease Manager. The software is designed to improve management of diabetes patients in the primary care study setting.

In addition to blood glucose data, the CDM Diabetes Monitor collects further information relevant for diabetes patients including basic parameters such as blood pressure, weight, waist and hip size. Moreover, laboratory blood test results are also collected.

These data are then transferred via an integrated interface to Roche Diagnostics where it is processed into an Accu-Chek Mellibase risk report. Based on the patient’s individual health status, the risk report provides him or her with a 10-year risk prognosis of developing complications related to diabetes. The report also explains how this risk can be reduced by optimizing the patient’s diabetes care. This information constitutes the basis for a decision-making process that focuses on the patient’s unique health profile.

The Accu-Chek Mellibase report is made available to physicians via the CDM Diabetes Monitor. Likewise, the report will also be stored in patient’s personal LifeSensor record.

Further information on the scientific evaluation can be found at the study’s homepage: www.study-on-diabetes-management-systems.de