Telehealth helps rural patients manage Type 1 diabetes, study finds

An endocrinology telehealth clinic successfully cut down travel time while decreasing glucose variability among Type 1 diabetes patients, according to a study published by the CDC on Jan. 25.

For the study, the researchers — led by Timothy Xu, a researcher with Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic School of Medicine and Atlanta-based Emory University — analyzed the outcomes of 32 Type 1 diabetes patients who enrolled in the Decatur-based Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center's endocrinology telehealth clinic. These patients received specialized diabetes care from remote Atlanta-based endocrinologists via telehealth.

Researchers discovered patients enrolled in the telehealth clinic experienced a decrease in glucose variability and average hemoglobin A1c levels. These patients also saved roughly 78 minutes of one-way travel time, and the VA saved roughly $72.94 in travel reimbursements per patient visit.

All of the patients the researchers surveyed reported they would recommend telehealth services to other veterans, indicating high patient satisfaction with the program.

The researchers suggested the endocrinology telehealth clinic helped rural patients in Alabama and Georgia overcome barriers to receiving specialized diabetes care.

"Specialty diabetes care delivered via telemedicine was safe and was associated with time savings, cost savings, high appointment adherence rates and high patient satisfaction," the study authors concluded. "Our findings support growing evidence that telemedicine is an effective alternative method of health care delivery."

More articles on telehealth:
American Telemedicine Association names CEO after 6-month search
San Francisco startup releases 1-year results of study to 'reverse' Type 2 diabetes
AHA to FCC: 'Significantly increase' Rural Health Care Program funding to address internet connectivity concerns

© Copyright ASC COMMUNICATIONS 2020. Interested in LINKING to or REPRINTING this content? View our policies by clicking here.


Featured Webinars

Featured Whitepapers