Geisel To Receive $3 Million Award to Study New Digital Tools for Managing Type 1 Diabetes

The Center for Technology and Behavioral Health at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine will be awarded a 5-year, $3 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for a study led by Catherine Stanger, PhD, to test the effectiveness of innovative behavioral intervention tools in helping to improve the health of high-risk patients who suffer from Type 1 diabetes—a condition which is difficult and expensive to manage.

Catherine Stanger, PhD

The study, which will involve 300 young adults (ages 18 to 25) from across the country, will use novel digital direct-to-patient recruitment methods (including social media), and a smartphone app designed to support self-management of the disease. This will include testing the role of coaching support focused on problem-solving, as well as incentives to help young adults with Type 1 diabetes achieve better health outcomes.

“Type 1 diabetes is a unique health condition that requires the use of technology to manage the disease, so most patients already use electronic tools such as blood glucose testing meters and insulin pumps,” explains Stanger, an associate professor of psychiatry at Geisel and principal investigator of the study.

“But many patients don’t make efficient or effective use of the data that these tools generate,” she says. “So, our approach is really designed to capitalize on those existing digital data and then help patients use those data to improve their self-management.”

The award, which takes effect on April 1, builds on the success of an earlier grant and pilot study, begun in 2013, to develop the behavioral intervention strategies. “I’m grateful to the NIH for their support over the past seven years, as we continue to work on developing better treatment interventions for this very high-risk population,” says Stanger. “And we hope that the things we learn about helping young adults with type 1 diabetes may apply to many other health problems, as well.”

Founded in 1797, the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth strives to improve the lives of the communities it serves through excellence in learning, discovery, and healing. The Geisel School of Medicine is renowned for its leadership in medical education, healthcare policy and delivery science, biomedical research, global health, and in creating innovations that improve lives worldwide. As one of America’s leading medical schools, Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine is committed to training new generations of diverse leaders who will help solve our most vexing challenges in healthcare.