The differences between Continuous Glucose Monitoring and Traditional Finger Stick Devices for the remote monitoring of diabetic patients.
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 of people with diabetes. This directly helps to prevent complications that typically occur from irregularities within these levels, and alerts patients of issues before they become emergencies.
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, the telemonitoring/RPM patients saw a significant reduction in their blood pressure, and all kept optimal blood glucose levels. The alternate group of patients, who did not receive telemonitoring/RPM monitoring intervention, saw no reduction in blood pressure or consistency of stability in glucose readings.
This and many other studies illustrate the clear benefit telemonitoring/RPM has specifically for a disease such as diabetes. The nature of diabetes treatment, which requires constant monitoring and rapid feedback to prevent emergencies, makes remote patient monitoring technology a perfect fit for the lived realties of these patients.
While the 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 as it relates to remote monitoring is the higher frequency of readings that are required.
Typically, patients with Type 2 diabetes 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.
Because of 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 for writing down readings, and eliminates the requirement of tracking progress manually.
Accuhealth’s services also provide unlimited and no-cost consumables refills for as long as a patient is active on the platform.
This means that while patients might still have to stick their fingers to get their readings, all the other pains of 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