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UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence Improving Digital Health Solutions with Simplified Data Sharing

Date Posted: June 10, 2020

digital-health-umass-diabetes.jpgDiabetes management technology continually produces new products designed to improve glucose control, quality of life and health outcomes. As the latest continuous glucose monitors (CGM), insulin pumps, infusion devices and smartphone apps hit the market, the data they generate helps providers make necessary adjustments to treatment. It allows the diabetes care team to analyze patterns in blood glucose levels, identify problem areas and suggest changes to patients as required.

Each product provides various benefits and options for people living with type 1 and type 2 diabetes, depending on lifestyle and personal preferences. There are many different programs available for patients to upload digital data and share it with their care team prior to arriving for an office visit, such as Glooko, Tidepool, Dexcom Clarity, Medtronic Carelink, LibreView, Tandem t:connect, MyCareTeam, etc. Adding to the data-collating difficulty is a wide range of computer access and user ability, or in some cases lack thereof.

The coronavirus pandemic changed the way people are receiving medical care and many experts feel it may never go back to the way it was before (Telehealth May Become the New Normal in Diabetes Care).

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“Our providers have always focused our efforts on one goal, which is supporting our patients’ health,” said Dr. David Harlan, co-director of the UMass Diabetes Center of Excellence (DCOE). “While our team has long recognized that telehealth visits could fulfill many patient needs, the COVID crisis created a payer funding environment that reimburses telehealth care – and patients seem to like these remote appointments.”

Thanks to support from the Helmsley Charitable Trust through their Diabetes Data Innovation Initiative, the UMass Memorial DCOE is developing digital health solutions to efficiently collect data and train administrative staff to implement the systems.

“Telehealth has created new challenges but also new opportunities to build on our prior work,” said Dr. Michael Thompson, ambulatory physician leader and chief of adult diabetes clinical research at the UMass Memorial DCOE. “This Helmsley Trust grant will allow us to share in the burden of diabetes blood glucose management with our patients, by way of simplified data sharing.”

More Diabetes Center of Excellence News