As a nurse, researcher, and educator at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes at the University of Colorado School of Medicine for the past 17 years, Laurel Messer, PhD, has conducted clinical trials that have brought to market devices to help diabetic patients monitor their blood sugar and deliver insulin.
Despite the availability of multiple devices, however, primary care physicians and endocrinologists often do not have the time to educate themselves about the wide variety of technologies available to their patients with diabetes, which means many are going without devices that can. make their lives easier and help them better manage their illness.
“There are all these really cool diabetes technologies out there that can help people with diabetes,” Messer says. “There are blood glucose monitors that tell you your glucose level every five minutes, and you don’t even have to prick your finger; there are devices that make it easier to deliver insulin or that calculate doses so that you can give more accurate insulin. But only a very limited number of providers really know enough about these devices, or are willing to prescribe them for their patients, because they don’t have the time to educate themselves about them and understand how to use the data effectively.
Armed with a $ 2.7 million grant from the Helmsley Foundation, Messer is looking to solve this problem. She will spend the next 36 months with medical software company Dreamed Diabetes to create an online platform where information can be input from providers on specific diabetes patients and be directed to potentially beneficial devices and new recommendations. insulin dose for their specific situations. Dreamed Already in Commerce provides healthcare professionals with an automated decision support platform for dosing insulin and co-create the new features with Messer for this project.
“We want to create an online platform that helps providers navigate the discussion with the patient about device selection,” Messer says, “and then help them with how to write the prescription and help the patient with a command to get the device. Then, after the patient gets on the device, we want to provide them with information on how to interpret that data to better inform insulin dosing and to navigate discussions about self-management behaviors. “
Once the new system – dubbed the Shared Empowerment for Early Device Success (SEEDS Pathway) – is developed, Messer plans to enroll 15 physicians to test it with diabetic patients, looking at the results, including improved glycemic control. , financial viability and supplier and user satisfaction.
“Five of the providers will be in primary care, five in pediatric endocrinology and five in adult endocrinology,” she says. “We’re going to educate them about the platform – we’re going to teach them how to use it and answer their questions about the diabetes devices – and then we’re going to ask them to each enroll five patients so that they can or using the SEEDS platform to bring these patients to devices.
On a mission to improve patient care
Messer is the creator and director of the PANTHER program at the Barbara Davis Center, which also strives to educate healthcare providers and people with diabetes about devices for diabetes, including continuous glucose sensors and insulin delivery systems. She sees the SEEDS path as the next step in her mission to connect people with diabetes to technology that can improve and extend their lives.
“When we see these patients in the clinic, we see their blood sugar control improving,” she says of patients with diabetes who use the devices. “We see their lifestyle improving – they have to think about their diabetes less. In general, diabetes technology is a net positive for the majority of people, and by allowing more promotion of the devices by multiple vendors, we will see more benefit for people with diabetes. ”
Once the Helmsley Foundation-funded study was completed, Messer plans to have created an easy-to-use, easy-to-access platform that bridges the gap between provider knowledge and the availability of technology to help patients – especially in medically underserved populations where access to specialists is scarce.
“It provides a fast-track gateway to getting the best care you can get from community physicians who cannot subspecialize in diabetes – physicians who would not normally be able to offer the most up-to-date technology,” she says. . “From a public health perspective, it’s about equipping as many people with diabetes as possible with the best tools possible to take control of their glucose levels, which could mean they live an extra 10 years, or are not intended to combat the vascular complications of diabetes causing disability.
“I want to see a reduction in morbidity and mortality from diabetes, and if equipping doctors is part of that path, that’s what I want to do.”
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