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Patient Follow Up and Monitoring
Currently, there are many various types of equipment that can help diabetic patients care for themselves and monitor their health remotely. According to Gonder-Frederick, Shepard, Grabman, and Ritterband (2016), such devices as “the blood glucose meter, insulin pump, and continuous glucose monitor” were developed and refined for people to use (p. 577). Moreover, this technology allows diabetic patients to create a system where they are able to fully automatize the process of insulin delivery. The activities connected to the monitoring of patients are also becoming more and more computerized. Blood glucose (BG) meters help individuals to stay informed about their well-being, while insulin pumps help them to dose the injections and deliver the medicine on time.
Furthermore, different programs and applications allow diabetic patients to talk with physicians without visiting hospitals. For instance, Kennedy, Runge, and Brown (2016) state that existing and future devices give patients an opportunity to send the gathered information to their smartphones and computers, which then can be shown to physicians and medical establishments. Moreover, various mHealth applications can analyze data such as BG levels, injection schedules, and common patterns in order to predict possible issues and warn patients to act accordingly. The use of Internet-based systems also allows medical professionals to consult patients and monitor their health. For instance, psychologists can provide online consultations and assess individuals’ well-being. All in all, the current state of technology that helps people treat diabetes is very advanced.
Monitoring devices are closely connected with equipment that helps patients to apply self-treatment. The insulin pumps described above, for example, can replace insulin injections. According to Liberman et al. (2016), the use of these devices often leads to patients experiencing less stress about their condition as they feel in control of their health. Moreover, diabetic patients that use technology for home therapy feel less pressured about their well-being. Liberman et al. (2016) state that many individuals with diabetes can be distressed by and tired of continuous monitoring of their BG levels. However, the use of automated programs and devices helps them not only to relieve stress but also to adhere to the treatment with success. Existing insulin-delivering devices do not require patients to do multiple injections a day, freeing them from the continuous strain of responsibility. Self-management of diabetes is becoming more dependent on technology than before as the development of new programs and devices gives patients an ability to monitor and treat themselves without regular check-ups at the hospital.
Billing and Insurance
Diabetic patients have to spend a substantial amount of money on their treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2017), lifetime medical costs for individuals with diabetes often put them in a challenging position as patients need to pay for the treatment of their condition and some possible complications that may follow it. Moreover, the financial burden of diabetes impacts the national health care system, as well.
Insurance can cover a part of the expenditures. For instance, Medicare.gov (2017) states that such equipment as BG test strips, BG testing monitors, insulin, and lancet devices and lancets can be obtained with insurance. However, only a number of providers work with insurance companies. Furthermore, more expensive equipment that would allow patients to automatize their processes is not covered. Thus, patients that want to have better technology to maintain their health have to spend significant amounts of money. Insurance also partially covers various treatment opportunities and exams, including a foot exam, a yearly eye exam, training for diabetes self-management, and nutrition therapy. These services are covered by some programs and are full of various rules and limitations.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Modeling and economics. Web.
Gonder-Frederick, L. A., Shepard, J. A., Grabman, J. H., & Ritterband, L. M. (2016). Psychology, technology, and diabetes management. American Psychologist, 71(7), 577-589.
Kennedy, L., Runge, A., & Brown, A. (2016). New diabetes tech on the horizon: What’s coming by mid-2017 in the US? Web.
Liberman, A., Buckingham, B., Barnard, K. D., Venkat, M. V., Close, K., Heinemann, L.,… Laffel, L. (2016). Diabetes technology and the human factor. Diabetes Technology & Therapeutics, 18(S1), S-101-S-111.
Medicare.gov. (2017). Diabetes supplies & services. Web.