I am a massive fan of Telcare’s drive to innovate and am confident that they’re leading a radical transformation in healthcare delivery. Their successful model of capturing data to guide Patients in managing their diabetes is but the tip of the iceberg for the possibilities of mobile health management. They will be instrumental in helping healthcare professionals redefine what it means to care for and work with Patients to help them manage chronic disease.
Telcare offers a multi-faceted diabetes management solution.
Their mobile-connected Blood Glucose Monitor, which is FDA-approved and CE-certified, is the starting point. The meter is embedded with state-of-the-art 3G Mobile radio technology, which permits seamless global mobile connectivity. It will connect to a secure portal anywhere on the planet where there is a mobile signal.
When Patients test their blood glucose, the readings are automatically uploaded and stored on a secure server, called Telserve, using the mobile connection. When there is no signal, the meter will inform the patient and work like a regular, unconnected meter until it next connects to a network, at which point it will upload the readings.
Patients can track their blood glucose levels over time either on the meter or through Telserve’s web portal. Furthermore, Patients can give permission to family, loved ones, and healthcare providers to access their readings.
The meter can be programmed to automatically give feedback based on readings, thus letting the Patient know whether or not they are in their targeted range and how to proceed. After looking at the Patient’s readings, healthcare providers can also send custom messages to the meter.
Telcare’s diabetes management solution is remarkable for a number of reasons:
> Solving the problem of data tracking:
One of the biggest challenges for diabetes management is accurate tracking of blood glucose readings. Knowing trends in glucose levels helps adjust day-to-day care as well as long-term care strategies. Current glucose meters require either manual logging or uploading of readings, which means that many Patients have unreliable or incomplete logs. Telcare’s automatic logging ensures that every reading is recorded, giving both Patients and Doctors a better picture of a Patient’s health and enabling a better care strategy.
> Creating tools that enable care managers to serve thousands of Patients:
ii) Identifying the Patients that have lost control in the last day and sending them a message containing a secure link to an Interactive Patient History Taking tool (watch this video intro to a Mayo Clinic Proceedings paper to appreciate the value of such an intervention).
iii) Identifying the way in which individual Patients want to be contacted, whether it be via their Telcare device, a landline, a SMS, a video message, a 3G video call…
iv) Avoiding the burden of administrivia so that they can free up time to care and be available for Patients.
v) Creating automated, actionable feedback loops that can encourage Patients to take action based on intelligent real-time analysis of accurate data.
> Integration with smartphone apps to motivate Patients:
The readings from Telcare’s meter can be integrated with Mobile Social Gaming platforms so that they can activate some of the same motivational triggers that keep us engaged with games to help us beat the challenges of chronic disease.
Where the big demand for Telcare will come from
I have met with several leading Endocrinologists, GPs and Diabetes Specialist Nurses and after explaining the product and demonstrating the service, I ask them if they think there will be any unconnected Blood Glucose meter in use in the UK in a decade. So far they have all told me some version of “no chance but this has to happen more quickly than that because we won’t be able to afford for it not to”.
I think that is very positive signal that will no doubt inspire adoption, but sales will need to start somewhere. Here are what I think the initial big markets will be:
> Children and young adults – Will find new ways to connect with their parents and family regarding their blood glucose levels. Each time a child at school administers a blood glucose test using the Telcare meter, the reading can be automatically sent in a text message to the parent’s mobile phone, thereby drastically reducing the anxiety parents of children with diabetes often feel.
> Patients with diabetes who need support making lifestyle changes – The connected Telcare meter can enable Patients to create an ecosystem of care by connecting their caregivers and supportive family members.
> Pregnant women who develop Gestational diabetes – Women with gestational diabetes require “between Doctor’s visits” monitoring because any significant changes in blood glucose levels can have an impact on pregnancy. Telcare provides this seamless and critical link between caregivers and women with gestational diabetes.
How you can get involved
> (I care for a)/(I am a) Patient trying to manage Diabetes
Please click on the following links to view and print off a couple of brochures that will help you share this new technology with your carers:
If you have their email you might also share with them a link to this post.
> I’m a healthcare worker who is involved in the care of Patients with diabetes
If you’re a Diabetes Specialist Nurses, Nutritionist, GP, or Endocrinologist who has been waiting for this time to come please click here and submit your details using our online form. A Telcare Sales Representative will be in touch to discuss opportunities to get involved.
> I’m a brightspark and I have great ideas about what you could do better and what you could do next
Not only will your suggestions help Patients all over the world as they benefit from the increasingly intelligent use of data but we will also ensure that we personally thank the best contributors with complimentary documented consultations with 3G Doctor (available to patients in the UK and Ireland only – if you are living abroad we can arrange for you to donate them).