Telehealth for diabetes promotes aging at home, not in the hospital

Mar 12, 2009

A large study of ethnically and racially diverse individuals with diabetes has found that home telemonitoring of their health resulted in significantly fewer deaths than in a similar group that was not monitored. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.

The study of 387 diabetics and 387 individuals without appears in the March 2009 issue of the .

The researchers, led by Neale Chumbler, Ph.D., professor of sociology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis's School of Liberal Arts and a Regenstrief Institute research scientist, used home technology to support timely transmission of diabetics' symptoms and health status at least once a day to a nurse coordinator who managed the process and acted upon the information when necessary or when requested by the patient.

"People want the freedom to remain in their homes. Telehealth appears to provide a safety net that will allow some of them - such as the growing number of individuals with diabetes - to age in place and to live where they want to live," said Dr. Chumbler, a medical sociologist who studies access to care and is associate chief of the Center of Excellence on Implementing Evidence-based Practice at the Roudebush VA Medical Center in Indianapolis.

Unless diabetes symptoms are closely monitored, the risk of death from the disease increases significantly. Approximately 25 percent of VA patients have diabetes.

The telemonitoring study, which followed VA patients with diabetes for four years, also provided educational resources to trial participants. "This study demonstrates the effectiveness of management for diabetes and the feasibility of using telehealth to carry it out," said Dr. Chumbler.

The magnitude and significance of effects on mortality for those with diabetes had not previously been demonstrated. This new study contributes to the growing list of scientific evidence regarding the effectiveness of care monitoring for a variety of chronic conditions. "Telemonitoring may be one of the most effective and cost effective ways of helping individuals avoid constant visits to their doctor's office or hospitalization."

More information: "Mortality Risk for Diabetes Patients in a Care Coordination/Home-Telehealth Program," Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare

Source: Indiana University (news : web)

Explore further: Allergan sues Valeant, claims fraud in buy attempt

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Diabetics experience more complications following trauma

Jul 16, 2007

Individuals with diabetes appear to spend more days in the intensive care unit, use more ventilator support and have more complications during hospitalization for trauma than non-diabetics, according to a report in the July ...

Study examines burden of diabetes on US hospitals

Jan 13, 2009

A new study published in Value in Health estimates the extent of hospital admissions for individuals with diabetes and its economic burden in the U.S. The results show that, during 2005, Americans with diabetes had 3.5 ti ...

Recommended for you

Exploring 3-D printing to make organs for transplants

Jul 30, 2014

Printing whole new organs for transplants sounds like something out of a sci-fi movie, but the real-life budding technology could one day make actual kidneys, livers, hearts and other organs for patients ...

High frequency of potential entrapment gaps in hospital beds

Jul 30, 2014

A survey of beds within a large teaching hospital in Ireland has shown than many of them did not comply with dimensional standards put in place to minimise the risk of entrapment. The report, published online in the journal ...

User comments : 0