Smart meter advances connection between patients, educators in real-time diabetes management
NEW ORLEANS – Real-time connection to a certified diabetes educator via a smart blood glucose meter can help adults with diabetes receive help when they need it most, as well as to learn how to avoid problems in the future, according to a presenter speaking about a new platform to provide diabetes education.
Often, a patient with diabetes will leave a clinician’s office and is on their own to manage the condition for long periods before they are in touch again, said Jodi Pulizzi, RN, BSN, CDE, CHC, director of clinical services for Livongo Health, based in Chicago. According to Pulizzi, that patient may struggle with a meter that is not user-friendly, a lack of test strips due to insurance limits, and a lack of real-time data that could clue them in to potential self-management problems.
The Livongo Health program, Pulizzi said, provides its patients with a cellular-enabled, connected blood glucose meter that uploads readings in real time to the company cloud system. Patients also receive unlimited test strips.
The meter is designed to send the blood glucose reading along with important contextual information like time of day, the type of meal eaten, physical activity information and any symptoms a person may be feeling, Pulizzi said. An instant feedback message tells the patient whether blood glucose is in range, and provides tailored educational messages from AADE curriculum.
With the help of this information, “[the patient] already understands whether [they’re] in range or not, and how to improve it at that time,” Pulizzi said during the presentation.
If blood glucose is above or below a certain range, the smart meter triggers a notification to one of the company’s certified diabetes educators, who calls the patient within 2 minutes to intervene, Pulizzi said.
“We’re going to make sure that they’re safe in that time, and that they’re doing the right things to treat [themselves],” Pulizzi said.
Members also get access to a member portal and the ability to request a coaching session, she said.
“We do an assessment, but it’s a thorough conversation, as opposed to a list of long questions,” Pulizzi said.
Employer groups or insurance companies pay a per-member, per-month rate of $70 for the service, Pulizzi said. The company currently does not work with Medicare but plans to in the future, Pulizzi said. – by Regina Schaffer
Pulizzi J. T02. Presented at: The American Association of Diabetes Educators Annual Meeting; August 5-8, 2015; New Orleans.
Disclosure: Pulizzi reports no relevant financial disclosures.