With all the devices readily available, it’s easy to find an affordable fit to keep track of your weight and exercise. People use this information to track their eating habits, steps, calories burned and much more every single day.
These devices evolve according to consumer wants, so why not leverage this technology and focus on consumer needs instead? Why not use this technology as preventive tools for issues such as diabetes or awareness of risks linked to this disease?
When a patient is at risk of becoming diabetic, whether it be due to a genetic predisposition or otherwise, what tools are actually available to healthcare professionals? What tools or programs can they offer their patients?
Care teams have difficulty finding the right tools and balance when it comes to diagnosing and providing resources to their patients.
Timothy E. Graham, an endocrinologist and physician involved in Intermountain’s diabetes prevention efforts perfectly described this situation:
“One of the biggest frustrations for physicians is when we can diagnose a condition that we know has high stakes for the patient, but we don’t have effective tools—whether it’s a medicine or a program or a referral—to help the patient. Prediabetes has been lingering in that horrible space for almost a decade, and now we have the ability to connect patients to services that are truly impactful.”
Healthcare professionals simply lack the proper resources to recommend tools or programs that will help their patients either prevent diabetes, track it or recommend the necessary lifestyle changes to help improve their chronic disease.
As technology increasingly takes over the way many practice medicine, it’s far time patients leverage this technology to help themselves as well.
Doctors need to become the technology enabler, introducing relevant tech that will help the over 80 million people with prediabetes in the U.S.
An article in the Wall Street Journal states:
“New studies show that the emerging field of digital medicine—a combination of remote monitoring, behavior modification, and personalized intervention overseen by the patients’ own doctors—can improve outcomes in some of the most costly and tough-to-manage categories such as diabetes, heart disease, and lung disease.”
The article, outlining Intermountain Healthcare’s diabetes prevention program, showcased a specific participant, Michael Astle, who significantly reduced his weight and diminished his risk of diabetes. Apps, online communities, digital monitors and personalized health coaches have significantly helped patients improve their weight and health outcomes, diminishing their risk of diabetes along the way.
Leveraging health tools that incorporate seamlessly into a patient’s daily life and activities is the best way to track health goals and motivate patients.