Paulus Carpelan, Vice President at Quattro Folia Oy argues that now is the time to rethink healthcare when it comes to the treatment of people with diabetes
Diabetes, as a chronic condition, is managed through the daily decisions on how to eat, sleep, take medication, exercise, etc. These small decisions directly affect the overall care balance of a diabetic and in that respect, to the risks of diabetes-related complications.1 Traditional diabetes care is handicapped to prevent the diabetes-related complications, as it cannot help diabetics with their own everyday challenges. It is only when complications emerge, that active healthcare interventions are used. It is time to focus on managing diabetes to prevent as many complications as possible.
The problem in diabetes care today is that the current care model is not designed for people with a chronic condition. Pre-scheduled routine appointments do not meet the needs of a diabetic. The clinician’s ability to help the diabetic is very limited, based on such encounters. As a result, time and time again, you can find comments from diabetics repeating how the current care model leaves them alone and helpless with their diabetes.
“I told my consultant that I felt horrendous, he replied ‘I’m not here to talk about your emotions.”2
In-between the routine appointments, the diabetic is totally on their own to treat their diabetes and the outcome is depending on the individual’s own know-how and motivation to treat themselves every day with no visibility of the progress on the way.
“The worst thing is the sheer isolation, I’m left to work it all out on my own with no help or support.”2
From fixing the consequences to managing the problem
In the UK, each year, 75,000 people with diabetes die, 32% of them die early.3 Diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people of working age.4 5 Every week diabetes-related complications cause over 100 amputations. Up to 80% of these are preventable.6
In the UK, the cost of diabetes is predicted to grow from the current 10% to 17% of the entire NHS budget over the next 20 years. Of that, up to 80% of the costs are due to complications. Add to that the social security costs related to diabetes complications.7
At the same time, the studies show that up to 50%…80% of complications could be avoided by focusing on helping diabetics to better manage their diabetes condition.6 8 Based on the available evidence, it is time to look at new ways of how to take care of people with diabetes.
Balansio – New way to provide timely and need-based care
Balansio is a diabetes management system for hospitals and clinics to provide diabetes care directly to the daily life of their diabetic patients. With clinical intelligence, Balansio follows automatically every diabetic using the system on a 24/7 basis, by analysing their care data. This helps the diabetic to better follow the agreed care plan on a daily basis. The goal here is to enable the individual with diabetes to learn and improve their own diabetes management routines. Balansio system is a cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution, which is used through a mobile app and web application. Balansio a is CE marked medical device.
Balansio puts the focus on managing diabetes
Visibility to the care status enables timely intervention and progress recognition
Visibility to a diabetic’s self-care data changes diabetes management into data-driven, fact-based care. When the data is enriched with clinical intelligence highlighting the progress and issues to focus on next, it enables the diabetics themselves and the care team to recognise the achievements and build on that success the next improvements needed, one by one. When that is combined with Balansio’s daily HbA1c estimation, the whole care team have holistic and continuous visibility to the diabetic’s overall care balance.
More time for the clinicians to concentrate on diabetics who benefit their help right now
In the data-driven care model, the need for routine appointments disappear. Automation and clinical intelligence provide the routine help and guidance directly to the diabetic’s mobile application. For the clinicians, Balansio highlights the patients who need professional help the most.
Care motivation is built on increased understanding and achievements
When the clinicians have better visibility and more time to provide individualised care, they can motivate and support the diabetic including the emotional and psychological health aspect. Overall, care motivation is built on success and a feeling of empowerment. The best boost for motivation is that your clinician recognises your success and praises you on your achievements.
Goal-oriented and measurable results
The digitalised care plan in Balansio is tailored for each individual with diabetes. The care automation helps and motivates the diabetic on reaching his goals.
When new technology and intelligence is combined with the professionals to focus on helping and supporting people with diabetes to better manage their condition, it is possible to change the future of healthcare. This is mandatory, not only due to the overflowing public healthcare costs, but because it is the right thing to do for each individual with diabetes.
1 One percent point decrease in HbA1c level reduces patient’s risk for complications up to 40%. H. Shamoon et al. (DCCT study group), 1993 – The New England Journal of Medicine.
2 Diabetes UK. The future of diabetes. https://www.diabetes.org.uk
3 Every year 24,000 die earlier than we would expect for their age group/demographic. Source: The Information Centre for Health and Social Care. (2011). National Diabetes Audit Mortality Analysis.
4 Kohner E, Allwinkle J, Andrews J et al (1996). Saint Vincent and improving diabetes care: report of the Visual Handicap Group. Diabetic Medicine 13, suppl 4; s13–s26.
5 Arun CS, Ngugi N, Lovelock L et al (2003). Effectiveness of screening and prevention of blindness due to diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic Medicine 20 (3); 186–190.
6 N. Holman & R. J. Young & W. J. Jeffcoate (2012); Variation in the recorded incidence of amputation of the lower limb in England. Diabetologia: 55:1919–1925.
7 Diabetes UK, A Cost of Diabetes Report. https://www.diabetes.org.uk/resources-s3/2017-11/diabetes%20uk%20cost%20 of%20diabetes%20report.pdf
8 DCCT Research Group. N Engl J Med 1993; DCCT/EDIC Aiello et al. Diabetes Care 2014, DCCT/EDIC Martin et al. Diabetes Care 2014.
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