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  • Writer's pictureOrange Biomed

Portable A1c Devices Help Patients Better Control Type 2 Diabetes Post-Diagnosis


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Diabetes is the seventh-leading cause of death in the U.S.


More than 37 million Americans die annually from diabetes.


Diabetes care for patients accounts for 1 in 4 healthcare dollars spent in the U.S. A large part of these costs is spent on diabetes-associated comorbidities.

Diabetes comorbidities can be anything from neurological to cardiovascular, renal, and other complications such as chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Chronic kidney disease is also one of the top leading causes of death in the U.S. annually. 33.33% of diabetic adults develop chronic kidney disease resulting in poor quality of life, and even death, if left unmanaged.


How can we improve diabetes treatment and prevent comorbidities in the U.S.?


In short, we can improve treatment and prevent complications by ensuring proper access to HbA1c testing for all U.S. patients.

However, the reality is that up until 2016, only roughly 70% of U.S. adults with diabetes followed this recommended guideline.


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There are several reasons why patients do not follow guidelines, including:

  • Expensive Healthcare Costs

  • Difficult, Painful At-Home Test Options

  • Lack of Technology Know-How

  • Inaccurate Results from POC A1c Tests

  • Busy Schedules Resulting in Missed Appointments


Beyond patients’ homes, providers can also implement POC solutions in their day-to-day operations.

A recent review by Rhyu et al. highlights the benefits of POC A1c testing in physician’s offices. The study found that “POC A1c testing in primary care, if widely available and integrated into workflow, has the potential to positively impact diabetes care. Real-time feedback may change patient and physician behaviors, allowing earlier therapeutic intensification.”


Another study on the cost-effectiveness of implementing POC A1c testing found that “compared to a centralized laboratory test, the use of the POC-A1c device in a healthcare unit increased the chance of the early control of type 2 diabetes and reduced costs in relation to DM-related outcomes.”


The NIH study, Implementation of point-of-care testing in an ambulatory practice of an academic medical center, found that POC A1c testing “can significantly improve clinical operations with cost reductions through improved practice efficiency.” As a result, there was an overall decrease in patient visits, saving the medical center a large amount.


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Increased POC A1c testing will improve medical facilities’ effectiveness and reduce costs and patient visits.

According to a report by Susan Garramone, Senior Clinical Marketing Manager of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics, “every 1% decrease in the HbA1c level in a diabetes patient can remarkably lower the risk of complications, underscoring the importance of HbA1c monitoring and control.”


As a result of increasing POC HbA1c testing among patients with diabetes, physicians and medical facilities nationwide will find increased effectiveness in diabetes management and reduced number of patient visits per year. Simultaneously, costs will decrease.


U.S. physicians should consider adopting in-office POC HbA1c testing devices to monitor the A1c levels of patients in real-time for more efficient and cost-effective treatment. Increased, real-time testing with POC A1c devices will allow for faster intervention and treatment of diabetes and even potential increased diagnosis of diabetes or prediabetes.

Overall, increased testing will lead to improved patient outcomes, aiding the diabetes burden substantially.

What more could you ask for as a U.S. healthcare provider?


Sources:

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