Home diabetes measuring gets better results
People monitoring diabetes and blood pressure at home get better results than patients who are only seen by their GP, research has shown.
A study looking at over 300 people with type 2 diabetes over nine months compares the health outcomes of people using telemonitoring devices to those who were looked after according to current guidelines, visiting their GP practices at least once a year.
The devices that half of the people were asked to use, records the person’s health measurements at home and automatically sends the data directly to their doctor for them to analyse.
Researchers found the telemonitoring group had significantly better control of their diabetes and blood pressure than those who were treated as usual.
On average those using the technology lowered their HbA1c levels by 5.6mmol/l, compared with those with usual care, and their blood pressure was reduced by an average of 3mmHg.
Lead researcher Professor Brian McKinstry, of the University of Edinburgh’s Centre for Medical Informatics, said: “Type 2 diabetes is a common condition for which self-management is vital.
“Previous research has shown that asking patients to manage their blood sugar levels at home is ineffective. This study suggests that if health information is sent directly to a GP, it can help doctors and nurses to decide which patients need help, further treatment and advice.”
Researchers will now aim to identify which patients benefit most from the technology and decide how long it should be used for, before aiming to roll out the technology across NHS services.
The study, published in PLoS Medicine, was funded by the Chief Scientist Office of the Scottish Government.