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Digital Diabetes Care and the Data Paradox

Dr. Revital Nimri, the Director of Scientific and Technology Diabetes Center at Schneider Children’s Medical Center of Israel, shares her insights about adapting diabetes care to the digital world.

 

Technology has revolutionized the way we live our lives and interact with each other – with just one text, email or phone call we can reach someone across the world. Why not adapt this same principle to revolutionize doctor-patient communication and to create digital solutions for diabetes care management?

Diabetes is a chronic condition that requires a high level of adherence and care from both individuals with diabetes and the healthcare system. Technology and digital tools have a lot of potential to improve care for people living with diabetes.

Instead of waiting a few months to see a physician, travelling to a clinic and taking a leave of absence from work/school – technological advancements have raised the possibility of a ‘digital clinic’. This clinic could have various aspects –apps assisting with carb counting, physical activity, education, sensors collecting and transmitting data on real time, telemedicine fostering virtual visits and artificial intelligence providing decision support for health care professionals and individuals with diabetes. The digital clinic model be the solution to several critical problems in the healthcare system today such as the shortage of endocrinologists, physician burnout and more.

However, the rationale that increasing technology will lead to better outcomes and improved care does not always hold true. The best example of this is the “data paradox” in diabetes care. People with diabetes today are using more sophisticated methods to deliver insulin and measure glucose levels, however, the graph below depicts that the mean HbA1c levels of individuals with diabetes have gone up in the last seven years. This is particularly true for teenagers and young adults. Thus, despite technological advancements, people with diabetes in 2018 were worse off than those in 2012.

 

 

The data paradox refers to the dichotomy of increasing medical data correlating with worse health outcomes.
To solve this problem, instead of simply using more technology, we need tools, guidelines and strategies to better use technology.
These technologies should be user-friendly and actionable, otherwise they might take time away from meaningful doctor-patient interactions.

 

The data paradox is a critical issue that healthcare entrepreneurs should take into consideration when coming up with new ideas. Our company, Dreamed Diabetes has developed the AdvisorPro – an FDA approved decision-support system that provides exact insulin dosing adjustments and tips for type 1 diabetes management for health care professionals. The Advisor Pro can be used during clinical visits, in-between visits, as well as part of virtual visits. This tool exemplifies the future of diabetes management because it allows more frequent dosing adjustments and more effective and focused clinical visits. The AdvisorPro is also designed as a user-friendly technology to support health care providers and foster improved doctor-patient relations, thereby solving the problem of the data paradox.

To learn more about the advantages and potential problems of digitization in diabetes care, sign up for the Advisor Academy and join our live lecture with Dr. Nimri on July 31st, 8:00 am EST.