Managing Diabetes with Remote Patient Monitoring


David Hernandez, RN

David Hernandez, RN

Published on 10/06/2021

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Remote Patient Monitoring presents new opportunities for the easy, successful management of diabetes.

The diabetes epidemic currently affects tens of millions of Americans and is one of the most prolific diseases of the 21st century. Modern advancements have had incredible effects on the quality of life of people living with diabetes. There is still much we need to educate ourselves on about the onset and management of diabetes.

Early Onset Warning Signs

Before we go further, it’s important that we know and recognize the early onset signs of diabetes. These can include but are not limited to the following [1]:

  • Increased thirst
  • Blurred vision
  • Frequent urination
  • Increases appetite
  • Numbness or tingling sensation in the feet
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss

 

The Problem With Diabetes Management

Much of the costs associated with the management and treatment of diabetes are both recurring and unfortunately many of them are not covered by insurance. This can be burdensome for patients and can result in patient not having access to the data they need to effectively manage their illness. What’s more, many remote patient monitoring devices and services do not help in reducing this burden.

This means that while we already have technology that solves many of the severe problems related to diabetes, Americans are still not able to access these solutions.

 

No-Cost Service Solutions At Accuhealth

In contrast, Accuhealth’s services provide unlimited, no-cost diabetic consumables to patients who are using the platform. Not only is Accuhealth’s system designed from the perspective of social responsibility, but it is also designed to positively impact the healthcare industry as a whole. 

By providing unlimited, no-cost consumables and devices to diabetic patients, Accuhealth’s services result in patients taking more readings, and doctors having more awareness and control of their patient’s ongoing medical care. All of this allows for comprehensive preventative approaches in treating diabetic patients, resulting in a lowered risk of emergency, and lower premiums for everyone.

At Accuhealth, patients are less likely to be affected by unforeseen complications, as they are provided solutions that are both affordable and easy to implement from the comfort of their own homes. By removing the usual barriers related to daily readings, Accuhealth helps doctors and patients remain in constant awareness of a patient’s health status and alerts them to issues that could suggest a future emergency.

This creates better results for doctors and empowers patients to have a sense of comfort and control in managing their health. The potential to successfully manage diabetes with remote patient monitoring is about designing existing advancements in ways that fill in the gaps in service provision.

Connected remote patient monitoring devices for diabetes, like insulin pumps, glucose monitors, blood pressure monitors, scales, activity trackers, and others can provide regular data to physicians to help them more effectively evaluate patient conditions and react quickly to any abnormalities,” according to this source [2]

Remote patient monitoring has transformed the way we treat and manage diabetes. With improved data collection, instant health alerts, and at-a-distance monitoring, it is now easier than ever for diabetic patients to effectively manage their day to day lives.

Remote patient monitoring allows for real-time readings of glucose levels in people with diabetes. This directly helps to prevent complications that typically occur from irregularities within these levels. In addition, it alerts patients of issues before they become emergencies which can save your wallet and your life.

A recent study called “Supported Telemonitoring and Glycemic Control in People with Type 2 Diabetes” was conducted on 321 patients with diabetes. These patients were divided into two groups, with one using a telemonitoring/remote patient monitoring program and the other using traditional at-home diabetes reading procedures.

The telemonitoring/RPM group was able to remotely take their blood pressure and glucose readings, which were then sent directly to a group of clinicians via Bluetooth and SMS. The patients also had an accompanying application that showed educational information and feedback based on these readings.

Throughout the study, telemonitoring/RPM patients saw a significant reduction in their blood pressure, and all kept optimal blood glucose levels. An alternate group of patients who did not receive telemonitoring/RPM monitoring interventions saw no reduction in blood pressure or consistency in stability in glucose readings. 

This and many other studies illustrate the clear benefits telemonitoring/RPM has specifically for diseases such as diabetes. While recurrent analysis of blood glucose levels is critical in managing diabetes, there are still numerous methods of telemonitoring and remote patient monitoring that can be used for diabetic patients.

 

Continuous Glucose Monitoring vs Traditional Finger Stick Devices

While each of these devices is compatible with diabetic patient telemonitoring/RPM, the effectiveness of each varies based on patient profiles. This is largely based on the actual type of diabetes being treated. For patients with Type 1 diabetes, Continuous Glucose Monitoring is clearly superior. CGMs have been shown to drastically increase the quality of life for Type 1 diabetic patients, due to the ease and comfort CGMs create for monitoring their less frequent readings.

CGMs also create much-needed capacity for monitoring pediatric patients, who typically rely on a parent or guardian to help manage their illness. This form of telemonitoring/RPM allows caregivers to constantly access glucose readings, be alerted of issues, and make quick decisions based off of these health statuses.

While CGMs work well for Type 1 Diabetes and are often seen as “more advanced” devices, the results from Type 2 patients tell a different story. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes, with 90-95% of all diabetic patients having Type 2. The biggest difference for these patients is the higher frequency of readings that are required in order to monitor their diabetes.

Type 2 diabetes patients are asked to take one to three readings per day. This becomes an issue with CGMs, as Continuous Glucose Monitoring devices require regular calibration, which is done by uploading a finger stick device reading.

Due to the frequency of readings required for Type 2 diabetes, CGMs simply don’t make sense for these patients, and would create a redundancy in having to use a finger stick device regardless. For these patients, the best results have been found not in CGMs, but in improved finger stick monitoring devices.

Accuhealth’s products include a 4G LTE connected glucometer that sends data directly from patients to doctors in real-time. This removes the need to write down readings and eliminates the requirement to track progress manually. Our services also provide unlimited, no-cost consumable refills for as long as a patient is active on the platform.

This means that while patients might still have to stick to their fingers to get their readings, all the other pains from monitoring are removed.

 

Find out more about Accuhealth’s diabetic RPM products and services, and how they’re creating effective, painless solutions for patients with diabetes at www.accuhealth.tech

About the Author:

David Hernandez, RN
David Hernandez, RN

David Hernandez is a Registered Nurse with over 15 years of clinical, telehealth and home care experience, specifically in Remote Patient Monitoring. With his team, David has been able to develop RPM/Telehealth from the early pilot years, to the industry leading juggernaut that Accuhealth is today.

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