Improved follow-up is crucial to promote the health of people with diabetes and reduce social costs. In collaboration with several partners, i-man is launching a clinical trial to enrich diabetes education with telemonitoring and remote care, aiming to improve this follow-up.
About 1 in 10 people in Flanders has diabetes, which has a major impact on the Belgian health budget. Diabetes educators now follow up with their patients through set times, often resulting in late responses. Better follow-up is needed to improve the health of diabetics and reduce social costs.
i-mens is therefore launching a clinical trial in collaboration with partners, including the Diabetes League, to complement diabetes education with telemonitoring and remote care. The study, called ‘hybrid care pathway type 2 diabetes’, involves 100 participants followed for 9 months. The test group is given measuring devices to record some parameters themselves, such as blood sugar, blood pressure and number of steps, while nurse operators from the Z-plus care centre monitor them in real time.
Julie Wyffels, general manager Z-plus
“Our nurse operators speak to the doctor, nurse or diabetes educator so that an action immediately follows. This can be an intervention, but also, for example, a short phone call, an image calling session or an education session via consultation with a diabetes educator. In this way, healthcare providers play very short notice.” More frequent tailor-made contact allows diabetics to be better guided and encouraged to adopt a healthy lifestyle.
Added value for patients and society
In a previous project, Diabetes on the Run, patients also systematically monitored some parameters themselves. The results showed that the overall health status of those patients improved. Moreover, they reported experiencing more control over their disease. The hybrid care pathway for type 2 diabetes goes one step further: the values of
individuals with diabetes are also monitored in real time by nurse operators. Intensive cooperation with various partners and healthcare providers allows us to be shorter on the ball and intervene just-in-time where and when needed.
Dorien Vandormael, strategic innovation manager at i-mens
“The diabetes educator still physically visits. We do need to optimise to find the right moment.
The new care pathway is a perfect example of hybrid care: home-based care is not being replaced, but rather extended to include remote care. This way, the educator visits at moments that really matter. And through much more frequent contact, via phone or video calls, at times when things go wrong, we provide tailored guidance and encourage healthy lifestyles. We are convinced that this will create a positive impact on the health of diabetes patients which consequently can also reduce the social cost.”
Evaluation after 9 months
The 50 people will be monitored intensively for 9 months. Their results are compared with those of 50 people from a control group who continue to follow the regular care pathway. After 9 months, it will be evaluated whether this study can become a permanent service.
For the development of this hybrid care pathway for type 2 diabetes, i-mens is collaborating with
– Z-Plus: telemonitoring limits and first intervention
– Comarch: software
– Ascensia Diabetes Care: hardware
– Odisee: effectiveness research
– UGent: cost-effectiveness research
– Roche Diabetes Care/ Roche Diagnostics: hardware, blood tests
project support (advisory board)
– Helan: hardware en advisory board
– Zorg&Meer: hardware
– Diabetes Liga: advisory board
– Solidaris: advisory board
– Mederi: advisory board