Tele-diabetes Implemented to Manage New-Onset Diabetes During COVID-19 Pandemic

Two case studies have highlighted the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes (T1D) cases in an adult and an infant during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Two case studies have highlighted the use of tele-diabetes to manage new-onset type 1 diabetes (T1D) cases in an adult and an infant during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, according to an article published in Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics.1

Telemedicine was used safely and effectively in both studies after day 1 in patient education, according to the study authors. The aspects of management of new-onset T1D patients, adult and pediatric, included ongoing diabetes education of the patient and family digitally.2

The patients used continuous glucose monitoring with commercially available analysis software to generate ambulatory glucose profiles and interpretive summary reports. The adult participant, a 20-year old, used multiple daily insulin injections with data upload to his caregivers to further facilitate virtual management of his diabetes. Their initial time-in-range (TIR) was 16%, which improved to 58% after 2 weeks of virtual management. At 3 weeks, the TIR was at 90%.1,2

The pediatric participant, a 12-month-old, was started on an insulin pump. The family was able to learn how to upload the insulin pump data via their home computer, using a software account linked to the hospital. The continuous glucose monitor was set up on a cell phone worn by the child on a fanny pack, with remote monitoring by both the parents and continuous connectivity to software linked to the hospital account. Daily dose adjustments were made by the physician via phone or email based on the data received.1,2

The participants were evaluated through a combination of e-mail, Internet via Zoom, and telephone calls.2

Both cases showed the feasibility and effectiveness of telemedicine for applications in which health care professionals had not used it previously: new-onset diabetes education and insulin dosage management.2

The study authors expressed how telemedicine can be used safely and effectively for new-onset T1D training and education for both pediatric and adult patients and their families. In conclusion, telemedicine is an effective approach for the management of patients with new-onset T1D, according to the authors.2

REFERENCES

  • Tele-diabetes to manage new-onset diabetes during COVID-19 pandemic [news release]. New Rochelle, NY; EurekAlert: April 21, 2020. https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-04/mali-ttm042120.php. Accessed April 22, 2020.
  • Garg SK, Rodbard D, Hirsch IB, et al. Managing new-onset type 1 diabetes during the COVID-19 pandemic: challenges and opportunities. Diabetes Technol Ther. 2018; 20: S21-S24. Doi: https://doi.org/10.1089/dia.2020.0161.