Nearly every day brings new announcements or reports of studies about remote patient management (RPM). The COVID-19 pandemic boosted the pace of RPM adoption, but the requisite technologies were already in place. According to a recent survey by VivaLNK, RPM will be mainstream in 5 years. Virta Health recently published the results of a study in Nutrition that demonstrated the potential of remote care and restricted nutrition therapy in preventing diabetes.

Virta Health is San Francisco-based company that combines continuous remote medical care with individualized nutrition therapy to help patients with prediabetes fight back. The two-year study focused on reducing hyperglycemia in 96 patients with prediabetes. During the project, 72 of these subjects stuck with a program of carbohydrate-restricted nutrition. Patients connected with their remote care team with a mobile app. Interventions included a medical provider and a health coach. The medical provider monitored biomarkers and medication for diabetes and hypertension. The health coach supported patient nutrition and behavior change. Patients also participated in on-site or web-based classes and group discussions.

During the course of the study, 51% of the patients in the study met carbohydrate restriction goals in more than one-third of reported measurements. At the end of the study the prevalence of metabolic syndrome, class II or higher obesity, and suspected hepatic steatosis decreased significantly. Patients also reduced the need for medications to bring their glucose levels to normal ranges. The majority patients achieved clinically significant weight loss during the study as well.

Successfully fighting diabetes by guiding prediabetic patients with remote care and dietary restrictions is one of the most exciting remote patient monitoring applications we’ve seen. We hope to see more studies of RPM in action battling this crippling and expensive chronic condition.