About 1 in every 10 Americans has diabetes, which totals almost 37.3 million people. Of those 37.3 million people, only 28.7 million are diagnosed with diabetes — leaving almost 25% of the total population undiagnosed. “Today, the number of people with diabetes is higher than it’s ever been,” according to the CDC.
Diabetes and diabetes-related conditions can be very serious and costly. Those with diabetes have more than twice the average medical costs than people without diabetes. Emerging diabetes telehealth services and technologies, such as remote patient monitoring and remote medical devices, are reducing the cost of care and helping patients effectively manage diabetes from home. Learn more about how telehealth makes diabetes treatment accessible for all.
How Telehealth Is Improving Diabetes Management
While diabetes can seriously affect a patient’s quality of life, proper management is essential in reducing health complications. About 277,000 premature deaths were attributed to diabetes in 2015, many of which could have been prevented with early diabetes detection. Telehealth plays a major role in diabetes management from making specialized treatment available everywhere to detecting early warning signs — here is how telehealth is helping patients effectively manage their diabetes.
Telehealth Provides Virtual Diabetes Care to All Patients
People who live in rural communities may not have access to diabetes education, management, or monitoring services. Telehealth allows for diabetes and prediabetes patients to receive ongoing care via virtual visits and remote patient monitoring (RPM). Virtual diabetes care eliminates physical barriers and prevents patients from traveling long distances. Sometimes, patients may not receive or seek the care they need because they can’t travel. Through video conferencing, patients can connect with physicians or specialists, like an endocrinologist, for specialty care consultations.
According to one study, “Telehealth prove[s] to be an effective mode for the provision of diabetes care to rural patients.” Results from this study showed very few differences in the delivery of diabetes care when patients used virtual care services versus in-person care.
Diabetes Remote Patient Monitoring Devices Help Track Changes in Health
Many diabetes telehealth programs utilize remote patient monitoring devices to record patients’ health data and daily activities. For practices with diabetic patients, ongoing data measurement provides a clear picture of changes in health between physician visits. These connected medical devices are commonly used in a diabetes RPM program:
- Glucose and blood pressure monitoring systems: These connected smart medical devices may include blood glucose meters, continuous glucose monitoring devices, and flash glucose monitoring.
- Insulin delivery systems: These medical devices for diabetes inject insulin. They may include Bluetooth-connected insulin pens, insulin pump technology, and automated insulin delivery.
- Activity and fitness trackers: These devices track patients’ heart rate, steps, oxygen levels, sleep patterns, and more. They can monitor and help detect diabetes-related conditions such as strokes or heart disease.
Diabetes RPM programs may use a variety of devices to help manage a patient’s health. Devices like activity and fitness trackers are essential for monitoring diabetic patients and alerting physicians when they have changes in their health.
Telehealth Improves Diabetic Patients’ Medical Adherence
For patients to successfully manage their diabetes, taking prescribed daily prescriptions is critical. Telehealth programs can help diabetic patients take their medications correctly. From sending text message reminders to recording changes in prescribed medications, telehealth platforms are helpful patient resources. They prompt patients to fill prescriptions on time and take medications at the correct dose and frequency.
Diabetes Telehealth Programs May Help Lower Medical Costs
On average, individuals with diabetes incur about $16,750 a year in medical costs. A newly published study from researchers at the University at Berkeley has found that a person living with diabetes who uses an online health platform for care management can save upwards of $80 a month in medical costs. Real-time management helps physicians monitor and adjust treatment without the need for in-person visits. The study found that better diabetes management helps leads to lower costs and better long-term health outcomes for patients.
Help Your Patients Better Manage Their Diabetes with a Customized Telehealth Program
Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the U.S., and can severely lower a person’s quality of life. But, new technology can help those with diabetes better manage their condition. “Telehealth…has the potential to improve health outcomes and the quality of life for people with diabetes,” according to a study published by the Lancet Journals.
Trapollo has more than 10 years of expertise in providing telehealth solutions that meet your patient’s needs. From remote monitoring solutions to operational support, we can help your health care practice deliver a customized diabetes telehealth program that’s effective for your physicians and patients. Contact our team today to learn about the specific ways we can help simplify diabetes management and prevention.