Telemonitoring effect on diabetes outcomes long-lasting

Telemonitoring had a sustained positive impact on outcomes for diabetes patients, even as the intensity of the monitoring decreased, according to a Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association study.

The study examined veterans who participated in The Diabetes Telemonitoring (DiaTel) Study, which compared active care management that included home telemonitoring to monthly care coordination efforts via telephone calls. The initial study ran from January 2005 to November 2007.

Afterward, the DiaTel study was extended over a six-month period at a lower intensity. Researchers found significant improvements in HbA1c levels for patients undergoing active care management and telemonitoring. Those results were sustained, even when the intensity of the interventions decreased.

Such results add to the promise telemonitoring continues to show, particularly for patients with chronic conditions. In March, Geisinger Health Plan in Danville, Pa., reported that use of a home telemonitoring program for patients with congestive heart failure reduced their readmission rate by 44 percent.

Additionally, research unveiled at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research Scientific Sessions 2012 in Atlanta showed that telemonitoring could help to reduce blood pressure rates for patients. Patients who received telemonitoring help and regular follow-up support from a pharmacist were more likely to have lowered their blood pressure than patients receiving traditional care, according to researchers. 

To learn more:
- here's the JAMIA abstract
- check out this profile at ClinicalTrials.gov

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