Telehealth diabetes

The treatment for diabetes is pretty well understood at this point. The big problem is patient compliance with the complex treatment regiments that include diet, blood tests, and insulin dosages. This can be especially difficult for young adults with Type 1 diabetes; they are old enough to be independent yet they can lose track of their treatment, or just not manage their impulses to stray from the instructions.

An experimental program by professionals at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes (BDC) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus seeks to address this problem. With help in the form of video conferencing technology from Vidyo, doctors are conducting face-to-face sessions with their young patients between the ages of 18 and 25. The average time for these patients to travel to the Center for an appointment is nearly three hours. With videoconferencing, the entire time commitment is just one hour, and that includes a moderated discussion with their peers.

Before the program started, patients averaged only two doctor visits per year, which is only half of what the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends. So far, all participants in the program have seen a doctor within the ADA’s time frame. This is a promising program, to say the least, and it’s easy to envision how data from wearable Health Tech devices and other telemedicine equipment could help programs such as this make even more efficient use of time for both physicians and patients.