In the United States today, more than 30 million people live with diabetes — a challenging condition that requires individuals to constantly, and diligently, manage their body’s needs. Those who use insulin know that carefully logging glucose (blood sugar) readings is necessary for addressing out-of-range levels. And yet, despite the importance of having to track their health information over time, many who live with diabetes also report struggling to keep up the pace with these detailed recording methods.
A new survey conducted by the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES), and supported by Sanofi, found that although 65 percent of respondents reported they are doing everything they can to manage their diabetes, just as many (67 percent) feel guilty about not doing more.
In fact, with the pressures of everyday life, many find recording methods can be difficult to manage. While there are currently a wide variety of different methods available, including tracking glucose levels and insulin use, many believe there is still room for improvement — and are looking to technology to streamline the process of sharing progress with their healthcare team.
When considering what could make tracking easier, survey respondents (82 percent) revealed they often wish their data was put together automatically so they can see everything in one place. Further, the vast majority of participating individuals (more than 80 percent) stated that having a device that connects to an insulin injector, automatically tracks/records insulin use and wirelessly sends the information to an app on a smartphone or tablet, would be helpful in more effectively managing their diabetes.
“The management of diabetes is complex and so deeply personal that people living with diabetes often need to make drastic changes to their lifestyle, relearning their body’s needs at the most basic level,” says Lorena Drago, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES and multi-cultural nutrition education expert. “Diabetes care and education specialists and other healthcare professionals have a unique opportunity to personalize and streamline diabetes management — by recommending that people use tools to record their information which are more efficient, more accurate and easier to understand.”
It’s worth noting that it’s not just someone’s health at stake; respondents overwhelmingly believe that integrating technology into existing recording methods could also make their lives easier. Specifically, respondents to the survey stated that having a device that could automatically record, store and distribute data would: 1) give them a more personalized understanding of their diabetes (79 percent); 2) make managing or tracking insulin use less time consuming (78 percent); and 3) make them feel more empowered when it comes to managing their diabetes (79 percent).
It’s time to bring disease management processes into the digital age. Every day, those who live with diabetes have to take time out of their busy schedules to ensure they’re staying safe and healthy. It’s a frustrating and time-consuming process that many find to be challenging given the unpredictable nature of daily life. Through the power of technology, we have a chance to make a meaningful difference for those in need, providing people with the tools necessary to live undeterred by their diabetes without compromising their health in the process.
For more information, visit DiabetesEducator.org/TechnologyIntegration.