The use of telemedicine to support type 2 diabetes care Pichayes Wiriyapong, Saharat Pongsura, Anjana Fuanchan, Teerapon Dhippayom
Keywords:Diabetes mellitus, telemedicine, telehealth, e-health
Patients with type two diabetes (T2D) require continual care to control their blood glucose, keep it at normal limits and therefore decrease the risk for long term complications. Telemedicine is one of the most effective approaches for healthcare professionals to deliver diabetes care to enhance accessibility and support patient self-care. There are several types of telemedicine, which can be classified into four groups: telemonitoring, teleconsultation, tele-education, and tele-homecare. The details of providing telemedicine to T2D patients vary widely according to the following features: (1) communication devices, e.g., computers or telephones; (2) communication approach, e.g., one-way reminder communication or direct two-way communication; (3) providers e.g., physicians, nurses, or multidisciplinary teams; (4) frequency of service provision e.g., daily, weekly and monthly. With regard to the evidence from meta-analysis of studies in T2D patients, telemedicine has shown to improve the glycemic control of both hemoglobin A1C and fasting blood glucose and reducing the risk of hypoglycemia compared to usual care, although it had no impact on their quality of life. The findings on economic evaluation differed greatly, which depended on variations in the health care system. Telemedicine can help in terms of controlling diabetes. However, the implementation of telemedicine for T2D patients in Thailand should consider the abilities of the patients in terms of accessing and using related information communication technology, as well as their competency in self-care.
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