How Technology is Contributing to the Fight Against Diabetes
In the United States, one in eleven Americans suffers from Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle, diet, and family health history are the most impactful determinants of an individual’s risk of developing diabetes. Technology is being used by stakeholders in the healthcare industry to help identify and treat pre-diabetes and to maintain the health of patients diagnosed with diabetes. Below you will find three ways in which health IT is contributing to the efforts to treat and prevent diabetes.
Digital Diabetes Prevention Programs.
Digital Diabetes prevention programs were initially designed for individuals diagnosed with prediabetes. The intent of the program is to educate prediabetic individuals on how to engage in healthy behaviors and make mindful lifestyle changes, in hopes of minimizing or eliminating the possibility of advancing from pre-diabetic to diabetic. An example of a popular digital diabetes prevention program is Omada Health, Digital Therapeutics for Chronic Disease.
Advanced Glucose Monitoring Devices.
Advanced glucose monitoring systems, such as Abbott Freestyle Libre, are transforming the way diabetic individuals monitor their glucose levels. These new devices deliver real time, accurate blood glucose level results, without the hassle of finger pricking. Results are viewed on a handheld device that is scanned over the implantable blood glucose reader. Results can be shared easily with a patient’s doctor or healthcare provider. The blood glucose readers can be worn during everyday life and physical activity.
Electronic Health Records (EHRs).
EHR technology has and will continue to play a vital role in diabetes management and treatment. EHR vendors, such as Practice Fusion, provide clinical decision support, quality improvement measures, and direct messaging capability between patient and provider. Many EHR platforms also offer the capability to track different clinical quality measures directly related to diabetes, such as hemoglobin levels, and eye and foot health.
Health IT is rapidly advancing and more solutions are likely on the horizon. Prevention and health management, as well as the continued integration of the three above mentioned technologies into daily healthcare, will prove vital in slowing and managing the rate of diabetes diagnosis among the American population. Fully utilizing the medical technology available, and taking active steps towards better health should prove to be a winning strategy in combating diabetes.