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This article is the authors’ final published version in npj Digital Medicine, Volume 4, Issue 1, December 2021, Article number 138.

The published version is available at Copyright © Lee et al.


People with diabetes (PWD) have an increased risk of developing influenza-related complications, including pneumonia, abnormal glycemic events, and hospitalization. Annual influenza vaccination is recommended for PWD, but vaccination rates are suboptimal. The study aimed to increase influenza vaccination rate in people with self-reported diabetes. This study was a prospective, 1:1 randomized controlled trial of a 6-month Digital Diabetes Intervention in U.S. adults with diabetes. The intervention group received monthly messages through an online health platform. The control group received no intervention. Difference in self-reported vaccination rates was tested using multivariable logistic regression controlling for demographics and comorbidities. The study was registered at NCT03870997. A total of 10,429 participants reported influenza vaccination status (5158 intervention, mean age (±SD) = 46.8 (11.1), 78.5% female; 5271 control, Mean age (±SD) = 46.7 (11.2), 79.4% female). After a 6-month intervention, 64.2% of the intervention arm reported influenza vaccination, vers us 61.1% in the control arm (diff = 3.1, RR = 1.05, 95% CI [1.02, 1.08], p = 0.0013, number needed to treat = 33 to obtain 1 additional vaccination). Completion of one or more intervention messages was associated with up to an 8% increase in vaccination rate (OR 1.27, 95% CI [1.17, 1.38], p < 0.0001). The intervention improved influenza vaccination rates in PWD, suggesting that leveraging new technology to deliver knowledge and information can improve influenza vaccination rates in high-risk populations to reduce public health burden of influenza. Rapid cycle innovation could maximize the effects of these digital interventions in the future with other populations and vaccines.

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