The Implications of Smart Glucometers and PHRs
- The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 135 million people suffer from diabetes worldwide and this number will rise to 300 million by the year 2025.
- DM and its complications are the leading causes of death in the United States.
- People with diabetes are two to four times more likely to suffer from cardiovascular disease or from a stroke (JDF).
- Renal failure and diabetic retinopathy, often resulting in blindness, are also frequent complications.
- Diabetes costs the nation nearly $132 billion a year - $92 billion in direct medical costs and another $40 billion in indirect costs due to lost productivity.
The cost of managing chronic diseases in this country is escalating at a rapid pace. Approximately 120 million Americans have one or more chronic illnesses, accounting for 70 to 80 percent of health care costs. With the prediction that the amount of diabetes patients alone, will more than double in the next 16 years, there needs to be a comprehensive plan set forth to bring costs under control and improve patient outcomes. By developing solutions that allow patients to manage their care from home, the costs of care could be significantly reduced, loss of productivity diminished, and their quality of life significantly increased.
Smart Glucometers and PHRs
There have been several studies conducted in Europe that show the effectiveness of self-management when it comes to Diabetes. A decrease in Blood Glucose and HbA1c-levels among patients with Type I and Type II insulin dependent diabetes was noted in a study including 24,500 participants in Germany and Austria. Another study in Amsterdam mentions, “Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) has been found to be effective for patients with type 1 diabetes and for patients with type 2 diabetes using insulin”. There is debate amongst the researchers regarding the benefits of SMBG among Type II patients not using insulin, but further studies might shed light on this subset of the population.
There are already Glucometers, such as the one produced by Bayer on the market today that have software available to easily track Glucose levels and send reports to your Physician. There are also communities already in existence, such as Winona Minnesota, that are interconnected and showing fabulous results regarding improved health and cost reductions.
The solution needs to integrate both the smart devices and PHRs, so prescriptions, dietary requirements, exercise regimens, and overall care can be managed dynamically, while reducing trips to the Physician's office, the Hospital, and the ER. This needs to be implemented on a national level, to all areas and populations, disregarding socioeconomic status.
Submitted by: Eric Gebhardt
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
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- Self-monitoring of blood glucose in patients with type 2 diabetes who are not using insulin. Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15846742?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed.Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_DiscoveryPanel.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=4&log$=relatedreviews&logdbfrom=pubmed
- From Client Stories off of Cerner Web Site. Available at: http://www.cerner.com/public/Cerner_3.asp?id=31062