The DESI-GDM Digital study will develop and pilot test an integrated digital health platform (DHP) to deliver diet and exercise advice, and collect diet, exercise, and glucose data, to prevent dysglycemia in high-risk pregnant South Asian  women residing in Peel Region, Ontario, Canada.

In consultation with physicians, dietitians, participants, behavioural psychologists, nurses, and digital health experts, we will:

A. Develop a motivational and reminder text messaging sequence for pregnant South Asian women that will provide information and bi-directional feedback to support healthy lifestyle choices aimed at preventing the development of gestional diabetes (GDM).

B. Develop an integrated ‘one-stop’ digital platform (such as a smartphone or computer-accessible app) to allow pregnant women to track blood glucose, activity, and diet by:

i. tracking daily blood glucose readings (linked with Libre Freestyle).
ii. tracking daily activity, measured as number of steps taken (linked with FitBit Flex).
iii. tracking dietary intake (linked with MyFitnessPal + food photographs).

C. Evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of the individual tools and integrated platform through focus group feedback.

The DESI-GDM study will consist of four major phases:

1) developing the personalized messages

2) development of the text messaging system and integrated DHP.

3)  A two-week trial of the health messaging, tracking apps (Freestyle Libre, Fitbit Flex, MyFitnessPal), and integrated DHP.

4) focus groups with participants.

Study Type

Interventional - Device

Study Design

RCT - pilot

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NO. of Sites


NO. of Participants


Study Period




PHRI Centre for Global Digital Health (grant)

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