The world of digital innovation encompasses all industries and sectors. But one of the most promising areas of digital advancement is in healthcare, where never-before-seen data sets are being accumulated to make more sense of the health issues, treatments, symptoms, and medicines in place around the world. One of the more common chronic illnesses, diabetes, is a case in point. With more access to data regarding symptoms, patient profiles, and longitudinal diabetes development studies, healthcare professionals are able to pinpoint, like never before, the best ways to treat diabetes on a patient-by-patient level.
One of the biggest promises of telehealth, wearable health tech, and big health data sets is the sidelining of generalized treatments for more personalized, bespoke treatment approaches. In the past, someone diagnosed with diabetes would be prescribed treatment based on the type of diabetes they have and their age profile. But the treatment, while effective, might not be optimal for the individual in question. With access to one’s blood glucose levels and other key healthcare data, doctors are better able to consider alternative or tailor-made treatments to suit the individual, not the group.
The other side to this data collection is the ability to spot diabetes at the moment that it begins to develop in people – or even beforehand. With data from longitudinal studies, which map how individuals’ health changes over time, doctors are coming closer to understanding the dangerous moments when someone may be at risk of developing diabetes. We already have a set of general risk factors and activities to avoid and diets to take to prevent diabetes development. But more data means better insights and a better understanding of the risk profiles of each person who may be at risk of developing diabetes down the line.
Living with diabetes is getting easier and easier. Thanks to healthcare breakthroughs in the past half-century, insulin treatments – often taken at home or on the move – are far less disruptive to an individual’s life than they once were. But digital healthcare and smart healthcare apps can take this innovation a step further – by providing diabetes management on a real-time level. Measuring blood glucose over time, such apps help you understand how your diabetes affects measures like your energy levels. But it also shows you when and how to administer the best treatments to keep you feeling healthy at all times.
Many people with diabetes have been able to manage it at a consistent level for decades, with little concern about their circumstances changing. But there are also those for whom the diabetes develops, changing the course of treatment required for the patient. In these cases, it’s important to be switched on to how your illness is changing over time – and again, digital healthcare checkers, giving you more instant access to healthcare professionals, can help. Connecting patients with better data and telehealth doctors could spell a new era of diabetes development security across the world.
These four key areas represent how digital healthcare innovation is helping diabetes patients manage and deal with their chronic illness better.