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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 90-100

Impact of noncommunicable disease text messages delivered via an app in preventing and managing lifestyle diseases: Results of the “myArogya” worksite-based effectiveness study from India

1 Department of Translational Research, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, Chennai, India
2 Department of Diabetology, Madras Diabetes Research Foundation and Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, WHO Collaborating Centre for Noncommunicable Diseases Prevention and Control, IDF Centre for Education, Gopalapuram, Chennai, India
3 Arogya World India Trust, Bangalore, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Harish Ranjani
Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF), No. 4, Conran Smith Road, Gopalapuram, Chennai 600 086, Tamil Nadu.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JOD.JOD_6_19

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Background: Smartphones provide an opportunity for preventing lifestyle diseases through mobile applications. Purpose: The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a mobile phone application (app) in making lifestyle changes in the community in individuals across glycemic categories. Materials and Methods: Adult participants (n = 674) across eight worksites were randomized into an intervention group that downloaded the “myArogya” app and received noncommunicable disease prevention messages twice a week for 6 months in the form of modules and into a control group who did not receive the app. Both groups attended a talk on diabetes prevention and management at baseline. Clinical and biochemical parameters were screened at baseline and postintervention. Eating and behavior scores were computed based on a set of questions on lifestyle habits. The primary outcomes were compared across study arms and within glycemic categories. Results: Intervention group participants with prediabetes showed a greater percent change in HbA1c levels (−1.9%) and blood pressure levels (systolic −2.7% and diastolic −3.1%), and a significant increase in exercisers (8%) compared to controls. Both intervention and control group participants reported that they had quit smoking and showed similar increase in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, mean eating score, and total behavior score. A similar percentage of intervention (47%) and control group (48%) participants achieved two or more prescribed goals. Conclusion: “myArogya” app helped to reduce blood pressure and smoking behaviors, adopt healthy eating, and improve physical activity level among the study participants. Prediabetes and diabetes participants were more inclined toward making positive lifestyle changes as compared to participants in normal glucose tolerance category. However, similar number of participants met the study goals across groups.

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