Fans of Seinfeld know all about the “Festivus Miracle” that took place during the Holiday season. In the diabetes world, we have our own version of a miracle – something magical that has sprung up from this dumpster fire of a year.
Telemedicine used to be considered taboo. Insurers would not reimburse for it. Providers were not equipped to supply it. And most patients were not all that keen on using it. My, how things have changed. Necessity being the mother of invention, various forms of virtual healthcare have been implemented since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. And the reception has been overwhelmingly positive. In a soon-to-be-published study in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, investigators in Spain reported that, since the start of the pandemic, a whopping 98% of people with type-1 diabetes found telemedicine to be an effective way to receive treatment. Recently, many private and public health insurers have extended coverage for healthcare services provided through “electronic communications” into the new year, and a number of new platforms have been developed to make it easier for healthcare providers to work with their patients remotely. In the Spanish study, the authors concluded:
“The COVID-19 crisis has brought to light a number of challenges and opportunities regarding global health management and, more specifically, the management of diabetes. We are faced with the opportunity to adopt digital technologies to improve the quality and reduce the costs of healthcare services and perhaps even to improve access to healthcare while increasing adherence to medical visits.”
Sounds like a miracle to me!
Diabetes, and type-1 diabetes in particular, is very well-suited to virtual care. Integrated Diabetes Services is a recognized pioneer in this field, having provided remote/virtual services for nearly fifteen years. Our patients can be found in all 50 States in the U.S. plus 35 other countries, covering six of the seven continents (sorry… the internet seems a bit spotty in Antarctica). Even the group classes we’ve taught at local hospitals are now being provided on a virtual basis via teleconferencing. Being able to receive and review data, offer guidance and educate through a desktop/laptop computer or phone isn’t just safe, convenient and effective for us. It is safe, convenient and effective for YOU.
Once the pandemic is over, we will resume seeing patients on a more regular basis in the office. But telehealth is here to stay. Wherever you are, we can help. If you’re in need of a diabetes “tune up”, please reach out. There is nothing we can’t accomplish by working together.
To you and your family, may you find your own personal miracle this Holiday season!