The COVID pandemic has been the cause of several major and minor changes. While COVID took predominance in treatment, it was evident that regular follow ups on chronic diseases including diabetes took a back seat. This led to a cascade of terrible outcomes for the diabetes patients across India. Nonetheless, there was a bittersweet victory that came from this situation with the incorporation of Telemedicine and diabetes management. Read on to understand the implications and benefits of this incorporation.
Diabetes is a disease that not only restricts one’s life in terms of diet. In addition to this, the patient is also required to visit the diabetes hospital quite frequently. The reason for these in-person hospital visits could range from routine checkups to unexpected flare-ups. Therefore, individuals suffering from the disease would always require proper access to a trained medical professional. However, this was not possible during the thick of the pandemic and may still not be available in some regions. For this reason, teleconsultation became an attractive option.
The Telemedicine approach to imparting treatment for diabetes has not seen much development until a few years prior. The reason being that diabetes management comes with a significant number of complexities. These complexities made it hard for both doctor and patient to control their problematic blood sugar. Therefore, to counter this, many research projects have been started to enhance the management of diabetes virtually.
The study in question consisted of 42 trials at random in French hospitals. The team surveyed a total of 6170 patients from the ages of 13 to 71 and suffering from the different types and forms of diabetes. Eight trials used teleconsultation and the rest used telemonitoring through special devices. The comparison was made between patients receiving treatment through the traditional methods and telemedicine mediums.
The findings were significantly positive, with the patients reporting a reduction in their HbA1c (Haemoglobin A1c) levels that became even more evident as the treatment progressed for another six months. Beneficial effects were noticed by patients, more in Type 2 diabetes mellitus. In addition to this, another study was conducted in China. The patients in this study saw a decrease in blood glucose by 0.37% compared to other patients.
Therefore, the studies have shown that diabetes management is possible through telemedicine mediums.
Teleconsultation can occur through various mediums. A patient can receive treatment by phone calls, text messages, emails and even telemedicine apps like Diahome. By partaking in the treatment, an individual will receive the following benefits:
Cost-Effective: A patient will not have to shell out money for both transportation and consultation costs. Although there may be charges while using the app or the professional’s services, it is considerably lesser than the in-person appointment at the hospitals or clinics!
Save Time: The time it takes to get to the hospital is non-existent in this case. One also need not spend time in a waiting room in this case. Therefore, individuals that are under time constraints can receive the help they need despite their busy schedules.
Immunocompromised Friendly: This feature is especially relevant during this time. Patients who are already immunocompromised are taking a big risk every time they visit the hospitals as it can be easy to catch other diseases on these visits. Managing one’s diabetes online through apps or other mediums allows one to protect themselves from other diseases, and that way, one can stay safe.
Education: Most telemedicine apps create educational content to help patients better understand their illness. Therefore, information regarding their diet or testing or other aspects can be intimated to them easily.
Convenience: Patients have the benefit of scheduling in-person appointments or digital meetings with their diabetologists at a time that is convenient for both parties.
Telemedicine can never replace the traditional method of treatment. However, it can work hand in hand with hospitals to deliver the best and most suitable treatment to their patients who are very much in need of help.
Diahome is an app that caters to individuals looking to manage their diabetes at home. Diahome is available on iOS and Android play stores and it provides several services to their clients. As per their tagline, “Diabetes Care comes Home”, they bring the best diabetes care to the patients home. The app is a product of the efforts of Dr A. Ramachandran Diabetes Hospitals, Chennai. In fact, the Dr. A. Ramachandran Hospital has been a source of hope to hundreds of patients being a pioneer in providing comprehensive diabetes management. It possesses an environment that can provide each patient with comprehensive diabetes treatment. The services offered by Diahome include:
Patients who sign up for the app can schedule consultations with expert diabetologists and other healthcare professionals for their medical needs. The app also provides a patient with a range of experts to choose from and, therefore, find the doctor that they are most comfortable with. As per the American Diabetes Association’s Standards of care, diabetes educators and dietitians are also part of the team. This app is a boon for indians living abroad. Many Indians living abroad find diabetes care provided not meeting their unique needs because of ethnic considerations affecting response to medications, dietary and cultural habits differing vastly from the residents of the foreign country etc.Having an exclusive app designed indigenously helps bridge this gap, while not compromising in providing international standards of care!
Diahome has also undertaken the novel idea of providing at-home testing for its patients. Given that some patients may also be physically challenged, they can schedule tests from their own homes. No longer does a person need to wait, especially, testing for fasting blood glucose is very convenient, when it is picked from home by a professional who will visit their house to take the required samples. Results, in this case, are quick and accurate.
Patients can also save their time and energy, which would have gone towards a visit to the pharmacy. This is because Diahome can also deliver medicines required by the patient to their homes.
Therefore, the Diahome platform makes the life of a diabetes patient significantly easier with the services they provide.It allows a patient to be independent and live their lives as best they can without being bogged down by frequent hospital visits.
A patient interested in availing the delivery services of Diahome can do so after plugging in their pin code in the app to find out about the numerous cities served across India. In addition to this, the social media platforms run by Diahome also act as a hub for educating people about their conditions. The Facebook and instagram pages houses information regarding the management of diabetes and tips that could improve the lifestyle of their patients.
Author: Sripriya Ravi, MSc,M.Phil,MS, Dietitian/Diabetes Educator, Diahome