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Telemedicine: A New Tool in the Fight Against Diabetes

iHealth Labs smart phone compatible glucometer.

Chronic disease management presents a challenge for physicians, and diabetes is no exception. As patients strive to maintain control of their blood glucose levels, they are bombarded with new information about diet, exercise, medications, and follow up care. Patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes require frequent healthcare contact and monitoring. Telemedicine has demonstrated remarkable potential in the ability to help patients with diabetes to control their blood sugar, remain active in their medical care, and improve their quality of life. Through increased convenience of contact with healthcare providers, telemedicine encourages patients to seek care and remain adherent to medication regimens. Several studies have been conducted regarding the use of telemedicine and internet-based glucose monitoring in diabetes care, with encouraging results. In a study comparing internet-based glucose monitoring systems to conventional blood sugar monitoring in patients with type 2 diabetes, the internet-based monitoring group experienced a larger drop in HbA1c (8.8% to 7.6%, versus 8.5% to 8.4% in the control group, P<.0001) over a 6 month period (1). Another study demonstrated that telemedicine with internet glucose monitoring led to larger decreases in HbA1c and a decreased risk of hypoglycemia compared to conventional treatment in type 2 diabetics (2). Lastly, telemedicine is shown to decrease hospitalization rates and healthcare costs in management of diabetes, while increasing patient satisfaction (3).

As telemedicine becomes more prominent in chronic disease management, patients and healthcare providers should look for software platforms that emphasize security of patient information, ease of use for both patient and provider, and integration with the latest healthcare technology.

Photo of the Fruit Street visual food diary app.

Photo of the Fruit Street visual food diary app.

Fruit Street Health uses a HIPAA compliant telemedicine platform, along with integration capability for over 175 medical devices, including FitBit. Healthcare providers using Fruit Street software are able to view blood sugar levels via integrated devices such as the iHealth Labs glucometer, and set goals for patients. Additionally, patients can get dietary feedback directly from healthcare providers by uploading pictures of meals through the software. Providers are then able to comment and advise patients on their meal choices (pictured). Lastly, Fruit Street software allows healthcare providers to set goals and track body weight, blood pressure, and other health metrics.

To learn more about Fruit Street Health’s telemedicine software, or request a demo, please visit https://www.fruitstreet.com

References

  1. Tildesley HD, Mazanderani AB, Ross SA. Effect of Internet Therapeutic Intervention on A1C Levels in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes Treated With Insulin. Diabetes Care. 2010;33(8):1738-1740.
  2. Zhou P, Xu L, Liu X, Huang J, Xu W, Chen W. Web-based telemedicine for management of type 2 diabetes through glucose uploads: a randomized controlled trial. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Pathology. 2014;7(12):8848-8854.
  3. Malasanos, TH. “Telemedicine For Diabetes Care.” Disease Management & Health Outcomes 14.3 (2006): 147-150.

 

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Topics: Telehealth, Telemedicine, Health Risk

Laurence Girard

Written by Laurence Girard