Cloud technology has quickly become a mainstay of modern life. We use it to get directions, make restaurant reservations and listen to new music. For those living with type 1 diabetes (T1D), cloud technology also offers a way to improve and simplify control in an increasingly mobile world.
Traditional blood glucose (BG) monitoring has hampered active lifestyles. It’s meant trying hard to inconspicuously test and manually log readings, then either calling or emailing providers to discuss care plans. Cloud technology, on the other hand, can remove those barriers by easing BG management in several ways:
- An automatic log of all readings created in the cloud eliminates the need to maintain manual reading logs or download meters to PCs for analysis.
- BG logs are instantly and always available for review and analysis online, by the individual as well as authorized providers and family members.
- Individuals and providers are more tightly connected in real time, allowing informed clinical support to be provided when it’s needed.
For parents, text messages can alert them every time their child takes a reading—along with the reading itself. One working mother, for example, describes how overwhelmed she was before using a cloud-based platform to manage her son’s T1D. The school nurse had to email daily BG logs and call before her son’s sports practices to adjust the daily care plan. The time-consuming back-and-forth affected her job performance, and created friction with her son who, understandably, hated logging.
By contrast, a meter connected to a cloud-based platform can liberate blood glucose data automatically and store it in an FDA-cleared server. Data can be electronically monitored in the cloud, with systemized messaging and alerts available. That same working mother, for instance, now uses an iPhone app or online account to check her son’s readings whenever she wants. She emails any changes to her son’s daily care plan to the school nurse during breaks or her lunch hour. Her son and her family now have so much freedom, she says, that they’re comfortable sending him to a week-long camp because they know he’ll remain well-monitored.
Another parent of two T1D teenagers notes that inconspicuous cloud-connected BG meters also can help maintain privacy and encourage more testing throughout the day. He remarks that text messages with pattern observations and coaching from nurse educators offer a “priceless” step forward in T1D management.
By making bi-directional T1D care conversations easy, cloud technology opens the door to better engagement, better control, peace of mind and independence. For the T1D community, it can be life-altering.
By David Bjork
President and COO of Telcare, Inc.