Using Telemedicine for the Management of Diabetes

According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report for 2020, released by the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), around 34.2 million people in the United States are affected by diabetes. This statistic means around 10.5% of the population is affected by the disease. However, only 10.2% of the population has been diagnosed, meaning that some people are affected but are not aware. Your loved ones, friends, or even you could have diabetes but would not be aware of this life-changing fact.

Therefore, to tackle this disease, you need to know what steps to take in the case of a diagnosis. One such tool that will prove to be incredibly useful for you is telemedicine. This is the increased use of technology and artificially intelligent information in the health industry.

Diabetes and You

So what exactly happens in the case of a diabetes diagnosis, and when should you get yourself tested? 

There are a few indicators for diabetes which doctors use to assess the health risk of a patient. One indicator is whether there are high blood sugar levels in your urine. This might mean that you either have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes means that your pancreas is unable to produce insulin or produces very little of it. Type 2 diabetes means that your body is unable to respond to insulin normally.

What is insulin?

Insulin is the hormone that your pancreas is tasked to create to break down the chemical composition of sugar or glucose in your body. It is responsible for your body’s metabolic composition and helps your muscles, liver, and fat absorb carbohydrates from your blood.

Insulin is vital for your body, and this is why diabetic patients carry insulin pumps around with them to allow their bodies to function properly.

There are a few tests that can be carried out to check whether a patient suspected of diabetes has the disease or not. One such test is the glucose fasting test. In this test, the patient can only consume water for 8 hours. Most people prefer to get this test done in the morning as this way they will not have to conduct a fast during the day and thus not feel exhausted throughout the day. For this test, blood is taken from the patient and tested for the amount of sugar levels present. The result of this test will help determine whether the patient is suffering from diabetes or not.

Diabetes and Telemedicine

Telemedicine has made headways in the world of medicine in the past few years. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that this process has made the diagnosis of diabetes easier too. There are many advantages to using telemedicine for diabetes. One such advantage is the increase in efficiency when it comes to this particular communication process. Doctors can provide consultations to patients who live halfway across the world. They can assess the patient, analyze what ails them, prescribe them with tests, and then assess those tests to reach a hypothesis as to what their issue is.

Patients can even use telemedicine and telehealth portals to connect with doctors and book appointments without unnecessarily traveling or making time in their busy lives. They can even book tests and lab results from their homes and even request a lab team to come to their homes if they cannot travel to a hospital lab or clinic. Patients who are traveling or visiting states and cities they are unfamiliar with will benefit immensely from telemedicine. Assume that a patient of yours, who has lived in New York for their entire life now has to shift to Chicago because of some work commitments. They are unfamiliar with the city and do not know anyone there. Suddenly they feel exhausted and tired and do not know which hospital contains the best doctors, because they haven’t even familiarised themselves with the neighborhood. Telemedicine websites and mobile applications will help benefit them as a patient. They will be able to stay connected with you, their doctor, back in New York. You, as a doctor, will in turn, be able to stay connected with your patients all over the world.

Conclusion

Conclusively, the impact of your practice will benefit not only those in your locality but also those who would generally not have the time or the resources to get in touch with you. This way, the missing percentage of patients who remain undiagnosed and the 7 million or so patients in the US alone do not have to worry or be confused as to why they feel so exhausted, as to why they’re feeling a loss of energy, as to why it takes so much time for their wounds to heal. They would finally be able to get the information they deserve to know to live a life with a much higher standard of living. And telemedicine will help them get there.

Difference Between Telehealth & Telemedicine

telemedicine vs telehealth

With the recent surge of COVID’19 cases in the United States, the dependency on technology has skyrocketed. Online consultations are becoming the norm as the world tries to socially distance. Not only has COVID’19 increased the number of people who need medical assistance, but it has also increased the number of individuals who can now not go for in-person consultation due to social distancing SOPs. If you are already sick, you would not want to risk getting infected with COVID’19 as well.

Telehealth and telemedicine help patients get assistance from the comfort of their homes. That brings us to the question: is there a difference between telemedicine and telehealth? Although they are often used interchangeably, the truth is that telehealth is a more general term, whereas telemedicine comes under the umbrella of telehealth.

 

What is telehealth?

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, 60% of all health care institutions use some form or the other of telehealth. The use of technology such as computers and phones for anything health-related comes under telehealth. From health blogs to mobile apps used for tracking health, telehealth does not just deal with technologies that fall under telemedicine. Telehealth aims to make information more accessible to people who live in isolated or rural communities and cannot easily travel long distances for consultation. This is especially convenient for people with chronic illnesses and infectious diseases.

With time, telehealth has evolved into an industry that generates $3.2 billion in revenue. Today, it is used for a multitude of reasons other than telemedicine, such as:

  • Apps for personal health management: There are thousands of apps available online that allow you to record important details about your personal health. You can use these apps for anything from tracking your menstruation cycle to recording your daily caloric intake.
  • Online delivery: You can use online pharmacies to order any medication or supplies you may need. Online delivery is very convenient, especially in the case of life-threatening conditions that require supplies on an urgent basis.
  • Appointment reminders: It is human to forget. However, thanks to technology, there are apps available that remind patients of their scheduled appointments. You can even cancel or reschedule at your convenience.
  • Monitoring health from a distance: Most medical devices today can measure health indicators such as your blood pressure or blood glucose and directly send the results to your doctor, without the need of a third party.
  • Educating and informing the masses: Especially relevant during the era of COVID’19, telehealth has played an essential role in alerting the public regarding virus hotspots and developments in SOPs.
  • Maintaining records of patients: Organizations such as SmartClinix allow doctors to access EMRs (electronic medical records) for reviewing and consultation. Accessing all previous prescriptions and test results of patients from one platform could save time and even lives in emergencies.

 

What is telemedicine?

The decades-old confusion about what comes under telehealth and telemedicine is a common one. Telemedicine refers to a more specific industry that comes under telehealth. Historically, it has been used to refer to one-on-one clinical communication between doctors and patients. SmartClinix offers technology that provides seamless, private video conferencing from the convenience of your home.

Telemedicine is becoming increasingly relevant, especially when it comes to mental health services. Behavioral illnesses associated with mental health can benefit from the advancement of technology. Telemedicine provides a solution to the lack of medical health professionals available to the masses. It helps patients set up weekly appointments with a psychologist or a psychiatrist while avoiding the stigma involved with it, all from the privacy of their homes.

SmartClinix goes as far as offering an option to avail the triage facility in case patients need emotional support from their loved ones during a consultation. Telemedicine is increasingly trying to incorporate ways to cater to all the needs of patients.

Telehealth and telemedicine both aim to reduce the healthcare disparity amongst the masses. With the rising cost associated with medical expenses, not everyone in the United States has access to high-quality healthcare, which is why SmartClinix has partnered up with PMF (Pioneer Medical Foundation).

For the first time in a decade, the number of Americans without healthcare at any point during the year rose by over 0.6%. From 7.9% in 2017, the number of individuals without any health insurance rose to 8.5% in 2018. By providing its medical services to the homeless, refugee, uninsured, and underinsured adult community, SmartClinix attempts to bridge this gap. Telemedicinal services are now available to all patients of Pioneer Medical Foundation, who can easily connect with health care professionals by logging on to Pioneer Medical Foundation’s website where they can access SmartClinix’s interactive patient portal. Visit our website today to avail the convenience of SmartClinix!