Nearly half of them want it, in any case. The recent Diabetes Care Study shows that 47% of respondents — who have type 2 diabetes — say that they would be more consistent with their glucose testing if they knew the results were going directly to their healthcare providers. And the survey shows that the desire for remote patient monitoring (RPM) is rising; the 47% response in favor of RPM is up 12% from last year’s survey, which is conducted by Smart Meter, a Tampa-based supplier of RPM technology.

So how many people might benefit from some RPM help in managing their diabetes? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 10 Americans (over 37 million people) have diabetes. Around 90% to 95% of these people have type 2 diabetes, and most of them are over the age of 45. Different from many other medical issues, diabetes is managed largely by the patient with only ancillary support from healthcare professionals. And Smart Meter’s survey shows that this management could benefit from some digital help.

When asked if they’d ever heard of RPM — and the practice of diabetes patients sending their blood glucose readings to healthcare providers — about 46% of the survey’s respondents said they were unaware of RPM. Around 50% said that they had heard of RPM, but weren’t in any kind of monitoring program. Just about 3% of diabetes patients surveyed said they are enrolled in an RPM program. But most lack the technology to do so; about 51% of respondents said that their blood glucose meters can’t remotely send their readings to healthcare providers via cellular connections or Bluetooth. Just about 1 in 5 people surveyed say their meters connect to a smartphone app via Bluetooth.

Maintaining a digital record of one’s glucose readings is a much bigger issue than some may think. Dr. Ronald Tamler, clinical director of the Mount Sinai Diabetes Center, explains, “Written glucose logs, some research postulates, are inaccurate or falsified up to 50% of the time. Having this specific information allows your care provider to treat your diabetes better. But with so little patients bringing what is probably the most important tool in their management of diabetes, what is a physician to do?” As the majority of the survey’s respondents, about 57%, say they bring their blood glucose monitoring results when they meet with their healthcare providers, there’s a good chance that the info they’re handing over is just plain wrong. This only increases the potential benefits for RPM for diabetes patients and their healthcare providers.