Academics & Research

Research

Telemonitoring Aids Diabetes Patients

Diabetes patients whose disease management was overseen by a pharmacist via telemonitoring significantly lowered their A1C levels - a measure of blood sugar - compared to those who received standard diabetes care, a study with 150 patients has shown. The researchers divided the study participants into two groups of 75 patients each. The group whose care was led by a pharmacist via telemonitoring saw an A1C decline of 2.07 percent from their baseline levels compared to a 0.66 percent baseline decrease in the standard-care group. The study lasted six months. Telemonitoring sessions were held once a day, lasting five to 10 minutes.

Telemonitoring patients received one of two devices for the study. They used their own glucometers to measure A1C levels as well as a digital scale provided to them to monitor their weight and blood pressure monitors that came with the telemonitoring device or were given to them. A1C and LDL levels, as well as weight and blood pressure readings, were transmitted electronically to the pharmacist, who checked to ensure they were within ranges determined to be acceptable at the outset of the study. Patients also answered several questions during each telemonitoring session, incuding whether they had taken their medication.

While A1C levels in the telemonitoring group decreased significantly at the end of six months, declines in blood pressure and LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol were not statistically significant between the two groups. Studies by other researchers have shown, however, that pharmacist-led care can result in lower blood pressure. Patients also received weekly diabetes care education sessions. The study showed not only that pharmacist-led diabetes care could result in better disease management but also that diabetes patients could improve their own management of the disease.

Laura Shane-McWhorterPharmacotherapy