As many people would expect now that we’re well into the 2020s, blood glucose management has also gone digital. What once was a world of pens, pencils, forms and logbooks has become a place where apps and smartphones reign supreme.
There are more possibilities for powerful data analysis of blood glucose than ever before. The possibilities extend far beyond just mobile apps though. Diabetes management software that can be used by clinics and hospitals to manage large numbers of diabetes patients is also maturing. These are also known as diabetes management systems or DMS.
What is a DMS?
DMS refers to software tools that help manage the blood glucose data of people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Associated data generally includes blood glucose measurements from a BGM (blood glucose meter) transmitted via Bluetooth, manual entries of blood glucose measurements, diabetes log books, insulin dosage information, records of carbohydrates and meals, statistical analysis, records of hypo and hyperglycemia, and general physiological information.
Such software can combine results from multiple meters, stack results from breakfast lunch and dinner vertically so mealtimes on different days can be easily compared, color code results, and create charts to make blood glucose patterns much easier to analyze.
Whilst many examples of this software have found their way into smartphone apps (see the Rightest Care App), healthcare professionals responsible for a large number of patients need a more comprehensive system.
Bionime is one such company that provides this kind of professional platform for diabetes management by healthcare workers. The Rightest Diabetes Management System (also referred to as Rightest DMS) gives healthcare staff a portal from which they can monitor and track the blood glucose test results of multiple patients all in one place.
The key aims of the Rightest DMS are to:
- Help categorize the diabetes data of patients for quick further analysis,
- Allow medical and healthcare professionals to quickly detect issues that require attention,
- Provide an easy communication method between patients and their medical team both for commenting on specific results and general messaging,
- Help prevent adverse events from happening.
To this end, the DMS has the following functions:
- Case grouping
- Glycemic Review by Group
- Rapid Screening of Hypo/Hyper Events
- SMS Alerts for Critical Events
- Estimated A1C
- Postprandial Glucose Excursion
- Glycemic Variability
- 24-Hour Glucose Display
- Detailed case reviewing
- A Physiological Data Profile for each case
- Professional-Patient Communication platform
- Bulk messaging
What Is Shown On A Profile?
When healthcare professionals log in to the DMS they can view all the patient cases connected with their account. The dashboard gives an overview of all these patients and contains key pieces of information such as their name, age, contact number, any groups they are assigned to, and the time of their most recent blood glucose test. This makes it easy for the healthcare professional to scan through patient information quickly.
The DMS also contains useful tabs which automatically filter cases who have recently uploaded a blood glucose result in the hypo or hyper range. Clicking on these tabs refreshes the dashboard to show only individuals who have posted blood glucose results that are too high (hyperglycemia) or too low (hypoglycemia).
Why Group Cases?
With such a large number of cases being linked to a DMS, additional filtering can also make managing the caseload much easier. Groups can be created and cases then assigned to them. Grouping can be powerful to combine cases that have similar treatment methods, ages, or are part of test groups. For example, it is possible to view just the cases that are being treated with insulin separately from those who are managing their diabetes without using insulin. This can be done by creating a group.
Once a group is created cumulative statistics for that group can be viewed. The total number of patients and healthcare workers associated with that group is shown. Most importantly, the average blood glucose result of all the individuals in the group is shown along with the number of cases who have posted hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic cases. The total percentage of tests that were in the hyperglycemic or hypoglycemic range is also shown.
Filtering Makes Data Clearer
A lot of detail is available for an individual case. Viewing data for a particular individual in-depth can give greater insight into their blood glucose picture and the success of their diabetes management regime. Test results over the last 7, 14, 30, or 90 days can be viewed and are color-coded according to whether they are above the target range, below the target range, or inside the target range.
Results from testing with a blood glucose monitor before and after mealtimes are also paired and underlined. The color of the underline is determined by the degree of change in blood glucose across the mealtime. An increase of greater than 60mg/dL may be of concern and so is underlined with red to denote a high increase. A low increase of less than 30mg/dL is denoted with a blue underline. Meanwhile, ordinary increases of between 30 and 60mg/dL are not underlined. This helps healthcare workers to view and understand the postprandial blood glucose behavior of patients quickly.
A detailed glucose data summary is also provided. A bar plot visually shows the percentages of cases in hyper, hypo and target ranges along with outliers. Estimated A1c is also shown and can be compared week to week for signs of general progress in glucose management.
Communication Made Easier
A final key aspect to a good DMS is the level of functionality that is included to facilitate smooth communication between patient and professional. Rightest DMS allows comments to be added to specific blood glucose test results which will then appear in the Rightest Care App being used by the patients. There is also a chat function that allows exchanging of messages between the user and professional.
Diabetes management software is here and it’s not going anywhere. Instead of cumbersome logbooks which need to be brought along to the clinic, glucose data can be recorded, tracked, analyzed, and shared easily through digital platforms. Such software is being used by clinics and hospitals around the world to help empower people to live better lives with well-managed blood glucose.
In the future full integration with CGM (Continuous Glucose Monitors), including a future Rightest CGM, will allow a CGM sensor to upload the full picture of a person’s blood glucose to allow healthcare professionals to help them keep their glucose fully on track.
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