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Access to wearable technology is a significant improvement to help people manage diabetes

Access to wearable technology is a significant improvement to help people manage diabetes

Availability of diabetes technology through the NHS should be “applauded”.

Published: Dec 10, 2018
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The lives of people with diabetes have been “significantly improved” thanks to the availability of wearable technologies to help manage the condition.

A recent survey of subscribers to diabetes magazine Desang found that 24% of those who took part in the poll are on insulin pumps, which is more than twice the national average

The survey was compiled by Desang Editor, Sue Marshall, who has type 1 diabetes and is a regular contributor to DRWF’s Diabetes Wellness News.

The results also found that the top two technology devices were blood test meters and continuous glucose monitoring (CGM). In addition non-tech related treatments for hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) was included as a top response.

Sue, said: “We’ve always known our magazine attracts readers who are interested in technology, but we were amazed at how many people are obviously being given access to wearable technology.

“This is hugely significant for people who have diabetes as technology has been scientifically shown to enrich and simplify their lives with improved health outcomes. I believe this trend is a direct result of the hardworking NHS teams who work tirelessly, ensuring the health of the nation is as good as it can be. They should be applauded for their efforts.”

Lesley Jordan, chief executive of INPUT Patient Advocacy, and an insulin pump user herself, said: “The National Diabetes Audit published in 2017 showed that 15% of adults in England, and 28% of children and young people in England and Wales, use an insulin pump.

“We have hit the benchmark set by NICE in 2008, which is great. There’s still a lot to do to reduce variation in access to pumps and to flash and continuous glucose monitoring across the UK, but we are greatly encouraged by these statistics.”

Dr Partha Kar, Associate National Clinical Director for Diabetes for NHS England, said: “We already know technology has become an essential part of our day, but for someone who has a chronic condition that needs round-the-clock management such as diabetes, technology can be a complete game changer.

“Diabetes technology can be used to provide both educational and motivational support. Allowing patients to learn new practices and routines related to diabetes management. Users can also receive daily diabetes self-management activities including blood glucose monitoring, exercising, healthy eating, taking medication, monitoring for complications, and problem-solving.

“The fact the NHS is supportive of technology among the diabetes community is a huge step forward and I am very pleased that all those who have access are taking up the opportunity, because ultimately good diabetes management is essential for patients.”

Around 300 readers responded to the survey and showed their favourite tool, relating to their diabetes management, was mobile phone apps that track blood test results. Apps that incorporated the glycaemic index, the glycaemic load to assess diet, and to count carbs were also popular.

Just over 70% of those surveyed said they tested their blood more than three times a day, and many said they had benefited from an education programme such as DAFNE or Bertie.

As previously reported, since World Diabetes Day (14th November) Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of NHS England, announced plans to end the current variation of the FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring device for people with diabetes in some parts of the country. It was announced that NHS England would ensure the device is available on prescription for all patients who qualify for it in line with NHS clinical guidelines.

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