Virtual Training Suitable for Type 1 Diabetes Patients

June 26, 2021
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the usage of telemedicine tools in all medical fields.

A major byproduct of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has been the adoption of telemedicine tools to help patients while reducing the need and risk of in-person medical appointments.

In data presented during the American Diabetes Association 2021 Virtual Meeting, researchers examined how virtual training helped patients with type 1 diabetes.

Even with recent technological advances, researchers have yet to close the gap in discovering optimal glycemic control for patients with type 1 diabetes. However, hybrid closed loop systems equipped with automated algorithm-derived adjustments of basal insulin delivery could improve this without adding additional therapeutic burdens or educational investments.

A team, led by Adrian E. Proietti, evaluated the effectiveness of HCL systems in type 1 diabetes patients in Latin America who received a virtual training.

The Study

In the prospective observational data analysis, the researchers examined 104 consecutive patients with type 1 diabetes that initiated treatment with MiniMed™ 670G system in Argentina. The average age of the patient population was 32.8 and each patient was previously on MDI+SMBG (26%), MDI+isCGM (12.5%), CSII+SMBG (9.6%), CSII+isCGM (2.9%), and SAP-TS (49%).

The baseline GMI was 7.3 ± 0.8%.

The researchers conducted baseline and follow-up visits at day 28, 90, and 180. Training and follow-up was performed completely virtual. The time in range 70-180 mg/dl significantly increased regardless of prior therapy from 62.1±14.8 % at baseline to 74.6±8.6 %, 74.2±9.8 % and 74.3±9.6 % at days 28, 90 and 180 respectively (P <0.05).

In addition, mean glucose levels decreased from 166.1mg/dL at baseline to 152.9 mg/dL (P <0.05) at day 180 and GMI was reduced from 7.3% to 6.9% (P <0.05).

The sensor wear time and Auto Mode use was 89.1% and 88.6%, respectively, at the conclusion of the study.

“Our findings confirm that the use of MiniMed™ 670 System allows patients to achieve glycemic control within recommended targets in a non-selected population in Argentina,” the authors wrote. “Virtual education appears to be suitable for patient training on HCL therapy during current COVID-19 pandemic situation.”

Telemedicine During COVID-19

Earlier this year, a survey revealed significant satisfaction with telehealth visits among endocrinology providers and patients.

In fact, many patients with chronic endocrine health problems who required close monitoring indicated a desire to continue telemedicine follow-up visits following the end of the pandemic.

Among the patients surveyed, 65% expressed they would like to continue with telemedicine after the pandemic. Furthermore, 42% of patients preferred video visits, while 37% preferred phone calls. As many as 77% indicated that the quality of care with telemedicine, regardless of modality, was almost the same as in-person visits.

In terms of time spent in visit, 45% said they liked spending less time with telemedicine.

A majority (54%) noted that the duration of their telemedicine visit was about the same as in-person, and yet 54% also believed they spent less time with telemedicine.

Even more, an overwhelming majority (90%) indicated that all their questions and concerns were addressed through telemedicine.

However, a smaller proportion of patients reported no connectivity issues (37%) or technical difficulties (25%).

The study, “Six-Month Glycemic Control with a Hybrid Closed-Loop System in Type 1 Diabetes Patients during COVID-19 Pandemic in Argentina,” was published online by ADA.