Managing New-Onset Type 1 Diabetes During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Challenges and Opportunities

Diabetes Technol Ther. 2020 Jun;22(6):431-439. doi: 10.1089/dia.2020.0161. Epub 2020 Apr 17.


Background: The current COVID-19 pandemic provides an incentive to expand considerably the use of telemedicine for high-risk patients with diabetes, and especially for the management of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Telemedicine and digital medicine also offer critically important approaches to improve access, efficacy, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness of medical care for people with diabetes. Methods: Two case reports are presented where telemedicine was used effectively and safely after day 1 in person patient education. These aspects of the management of new-onset T1D patients (adult and pediatric) included ongoing diabetes education of the patient and family digitally. The patients used continuous glucose monitoring with commercially available analysis software (Dexcom Clarity and Glooko) to generate ambulatory glucose profiles and interpretive summary reports. The adult subject used multiple daily insulin injections; the pediatric patient used an insulin pump. The subjects were managed using a combination of e-mail, Internet via Zoom, and telephone calls. Results: These two cases show the feasibility and effectiveness of use of telemedicine in applications in which we had not used it previously: new-onset diabetes education and insulin dosage management. Conclusions: The present case reports illustrate how telemedicine can be used safely and effectively for new-onset T1D training and education for both pediatric and adult patients and their families. The COVID-19 pandemic has acutely stimulated the expansion of the use of telemedicine and digital medicine. We conclude that telemedicine is an effective approach for the management of patients with new-onset T1D.

Keywords: CGM; COVID-19; Health economics; New-onset type 1 diabetes; Telemedicine; Virtual.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Betacoronavirus*
  • COVID-19
  • Coronavirus Infections / complications
  • Coronavirus Infections / prevention & control*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / therapy*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / virology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Pandemics / prevention & control*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / complications
  • Pneumonia, Viral / prevention & control*
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Telemedicine / methods*
  • Young Adult