Background: The expanding role of technology to augment diabetes care and management highlights the need for clinicians to learn about these new tools. As these tools continue to evolve and enhance improved outcomes, it is imperative that clinicians consider the role of telemonitoring, or remote monitoring, in patient care. This article describes a successful telemonitoring project in Utah.
Subjects and methods: This was a nonrandomized prospective observational preintervention-postintervention study, using a convenience sample. Patients with uncontrolled diabetes and/or hypertension from four rural and two urban primary care clinics and one urban stroke center participated in a telemonitoring program. The primary clinical outcome measures were changes in hemoglobin A1C (A1C) and blood pressure. Other outcomes included fasting lipids, weight, patient engagement, diabetes knowledge, hypertension knowledge, medication adherence, and patient perceptions of the usefulness of the telemonitoring program.
Results: Mean A1C decreased from 9.73% at baseline to 7.81% at the end of the program (P<0.0001). Systolic blood pressure also declined significantly, from 130.7 mm Hg at baseline to 122.9 mm Hg at the end (P=0.0001). Low-density lipoprotein content decreased significantly, from 103.9 mg/dL at baseline to 93.7 mg/dL at the end (P=0.0263). Other clinical parameters improved nonsignificantly. Knowledge of diabetes and hypertension increased significantly (P<0.001 for both). Patient engagement and medication adherence also improved, but not significantly. Per questionnaires at study end, patients felt the telemonitoring program was useful.
Conclusions: Telemonitoring improved clinical outcomes and may be a useful tool to help enhance disease management and care of patients with diabetes and/or hypertension.