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.
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.