Remote patient monitoring can help improve the health of people living with diabetes

Glooko discusses how remote patient monitoring technology to manage diabetes and other chronic conditions is delivering long-term advantages and will likely be part of standard at home care management

Remote patient monitoring can help improve the health of people living with diabetes

Healthcare providers had to come up with new ways of delivering care after the COVID-19 pandemic triggered global lockdowns. The crisis quickly turned into an opportunity for healthcare providers to use remote patient monitoring (RPM), which was soon instrumental in helping patients with diabetes and other chronic conditions keep connected to their care teams from their homes.

Technologies for remote patient monitoring

RPM technologies are platforms, devices, and tools that collect data from patients about medication use or patient behaviours. RPM solutions are designed to continuously monitor, report, and analyse clinical indicators for people with diabetes. This information can be used by providers to provide personalised, on-demand interventions, such as adjustment of treatment plans, telehealth coaching, or other patient engagement activities.

RPM platforms allow for the sharing of data across multiple sources, including EHRs, insulin delivery device and patients' health/fitness gadgets, to optimize care. This is beneficial for physicians, clinicians as well as payers and patients. These platforms are particularly useful for patients who live in remote areas or cannot access clinics easily.

RPM is embraced by providers and patients. It delivers real-world, long-term benefits

Today's technology-saturated world has made it easy for patients and healthcare providers to adapt and embrace remote care delivery. Glooko, a digital health company, saw a 32% increase in remote uploads of its RPM platform after it was shut down in the U.S.

Mark Clements, MD and PhD, Chief Medical Officer at Glooko, Paediatric Endocrinologist and Clinical Investigator, said that RPM solutions have proven to be extremely useful and effective for managing diabetes and other chronic conditions. Patients were able achieve better health outcomes by combining remote monitoring of patient data throughout the day with weekly, biweekly or monthly telehealth coaching, as required.

This claim is supported by clinical evidence. Glycaemic control, which is the maintenance of glucose levels within a defined range, has been the cornerstone of diabetes management since the 1990s. A recent study found that diabetes patients who were enrolled in RPM pilot programs within U.S. healthcare system used a mobile diabetes management app to manage their blood glucose, medication, and lifestyle. RPM care teams monitored the data remotely and provided telehealth counseling as required. Researchers compared the study results to SMBG data at enrolment and observed sustained improvement across multiple glycaemic outcomes over a period of up to a full year.

remote patient monitoring diabetes, diabetes

A video conference is held by a female doctor and a male colleague to discuss the COVID-19 crisis.

Self-care is vital for maintaining good glycaemic control. However, patients must monitor blood glucose levels daily, track and record their insulin use, and keep track of their moods, food intake, and behaviours. An RPM platform that uses an app-based self titration tool was tested in a randomised clinical study. It analysed fasting glucose levels and suggested insulin dose adjustments based upon pre-configured guidelines by a physician.

Patients using the app and patients in the control group had significantly better glycaemic control 16 weeks later. However, the self-titration group showed a higher proportion of SMBG readings within the target range of 70-180 mg/dL. They also had fewer high SMBG readings (> 250m/dL), which could increase their risk of developing diabetes.

Clements stated that these and other RPM studies show what can be achieved when patients have access to better information and tools for self-care, and providers have quick access to relevant clinical information to initiate necessary interventions. It is clear that combining RPM solutions with traditional in-office care will lead to positive outcomes.

remote patient monitoring diabetes, diabetes

Comparison of results from glucose levels on the traditional glucometer with the modern technology remote sensor mounted to her forehand by a woman

Future of RPM technology

RPM and other digital health innovations at home are certain to become standard care for diabetes and other chronic conditions.

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