Digital Health Monitoring for BETTER HEALTH in Diabetes Management
By Webmaster | Tue Feb 12, 2019 1:08pm
It is commonly recommended that all diabetic patients monitor their blood glucose regularly so they can modify their daily food intake, physical activity or medication. Through an individualized management plan, patients can control their diabetes more effectively and safely.Routine monitoring of blood glucose is an important aspect of effective diabetes management yet the result is lacklustre in Malaysia, with almost 80% of diabetic patients in our country not under control (with average HbA1c 9% or above) and all of them are expected to have severe diabetes-related complications in the future.
Importance of Self-monitoring of Blood Glucose
Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is a critical tool to help patients and healthcare professionals to evaluate individual response to therapy and make appropriate therapy adjustments. Patients can immediately assess the impact of patient behaviour on blood glucose levels and initiate interventions to counter the high or low blood glucose level. It is also important to identify the pattern of blood glucose levels so patients and healthcare professionals can adjust oral agent or insulin doses based on different timing. This treat-to-target approach can improve patient’s adherence to treatment by showing accurate responses to their current treatment plan.
SMBG is crucial in preventing hypoglycemia. Identification of potential hypoglycemic episodes will overcome patients’ fear and allows immediate treatment and/or modification of therapeutic regimens and prevent less intensive treatment approach and resulting in optimal glycemic control.
The benefits of SMBG tend to be more pronounced when the patient displays willingness and commitment to monitor regularly and has been given enough education on when to test blood glucose levels and how to accurately interpret the results.
Importance of diet control
Improvement of blood glucose level can also be achieved by diet management. It is not rare for patient with non-insulin-dependent patient to improve solely as a result of diet control, without recourse to any medication. Even in cases of insulin-dependent diabetes, insulin therapy cannot exert its effects fully unless appropriate diet control is practiced concomitantly.
Conventional of SMBG practice
Using home blood glucose meters allow patients to check their blood glucose levels quickly but often patients are not well educated on the significance of their readings to make informed decisions for a better clinical outcome.
Evolution of SMBG practice: Role of Digital Health?
“Digital health is the convergence of digital technologies with healthcare & lifestyle to enhance the efficiency of healthcare delivery and make medicines more personalized and precise”. Achieving optimal diabetes management requires active participation from both people with diabetes and healthcare professionals. Healthcare professionals’ intervention, on a timely manner has always been the missing link for effective, aggressive diabetes management. The advent of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enables smart medical devices to conveniently connect professional caregivers (doctors, pharmacists, dietitians and diabetes nurse educators) and patients without having the patient to be present at clinic or pharmacy for consultation.
Patients can say goodbye to handwritten logbook as Rightest Care App provides a brilliant solution for personal diabetes management. It helps patients to easily keep track on their blood glucose at their fingertips. At the same time, with the feature of enabling designated healthcare professionals to view patient’s real-time blood glucose readings anytime and anywhere, patients can benefit from their timely feedbacks. The data can be used to inform therapeutic decision making and raise awareness of physiologic responses to eating, medication administration, and physical activity. This feedback system, in turn, can minimize the risk for both hyper- and hypoglycemic episodes, while promoting more educated, empowered, and actively involved patients.
The process of syncing blood glucose readings from glucose meter to mobile app and even to the eyes of healthcare professionals is simple and fully automated. Patient can even have real-time communication with healthcare professionals through the Rightest Care App which has similar features of a messaging app. The Rightest Care App also allow family members to keep track on their elderlies’ glycemic status. By uploading photos of daily food intake to the Rightest Care App, patients and their caregivers can understand the effect of their diet pattern (including calorie intake) on their glycemic control. Later, healthcare professionals can come out with an ideal diet plan.
The latest SMART devices in diabetes management will empower not just the diabetes patients about their personal readings (blood glucose, blood pressure and other relevant medical data) but at the same time, these data are able to be shared with their healthcare professionals and advices and intervention (if necessary) can be replayed instantly to the patients and achieve an optimal outcome for a Better Health for People with Diabetes.
- Boland, E., Monsod, T., Delucia, M., Brandt, C. A., Fernando, S., & Tamborlane, W. V. (2001). Limitations of Conventional Methods of Self-Monitoring of Blood Glucose: Lessons learned from 3 days of continuous glucose sensing in pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes. Diabetes Care,24(11), 1858-1862. doi:10.2337/diacare.24.11.1858
- Garg, S. K. (2008). Glucose Monitoring: An Important Tool for Improving Glucose Control and Reducing Hypoglycemia. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics,10(S1). doi:10.1089/dia.2008.0008
- Kajinuma H (2001) Guidelines for diet control in diabetes mellitus—importance of food exchange lists and perspectives for the future. Asian Med J 22(2):57–63
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