Initiating diabetes technology of any kind is a big step for patients, but also for a lot of primary care clinicians. If you have concerns, these myths and facts are for you.
Diabetes "technology," ie, medication delivery and glucose monitoring devices, can benefit any patient with diabetes. Available devices range from test strip- based glucose monitors and injectable medication pens to Bluetooth enabled continuous glucose monitors and insulin pumps.
Do you think about getting patients started using a device but recall having "heard a few things" that make you hesitate?
Click through the myths/concerns below and the facts on diabetes tech, compiled by Diabeteswise.org, and find a comment from a clinican who treates diabetes patients to help dispel each concern.
Concern: “My patients can’t use devices if they don’t have WiFi or a smart device.”
A fact: Your patient may not have access to every feature of a specific device, but they will benefit from the main ones.
Concern: “Helping my patients troubleshoot device problems is very difficult.”
A fact: There is a lot of support available for clinicians as well as their patients, including on YouTube!
Concern: "Technology is too difficult for my patient population."
A fact: All devices go through FDA Human Factors testing to ensure usability by the majority of people, safely. Naturally, there will be learning curve.
Concern: “My patient has a pre-existing condition [or lives with a disability] – I don’t think there are any devices for her.”
A fact: Comorbidities are not likely to make diabetes technology less useful; in fact, using the technology may help reduce patients' overall disease burden.
Concern: “My patient’s social support system won’t benefit from the device.”
A fact: The majority of diabetes devices use Bluetooth connectivity giving patients the option to share data with those they wish to have it.
Concern: “My patient is on a budget and cannot afford diabetes technology.”
A fact: Diabetes is undeniably an added cost to any budget but signficant strides are being made with federal and private insurers to expand access to a broad range of the diabetes population.