Tackling key challenges in diabetes treatment with comprehensive digital solutions

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This November, as we honor National Diabetes Awareness Month, the team at BrightInsight is thinking about how digital solutions can improve the lives of the more than 400 million people worldwide living with diabetes.

Diabetes can be extremely difficult to manage, and patients depend on devices like continuous glucose monitors and insulin pens to keep themselves healthy and avoid trips to the hospital. Unfortunately, these devices alone aren't enough to help patients manage their condition—comprehensive digital support is needed. This is where biopharma companies can make a difference.

"Addressing the growing diabetes epidemic takes more than best-in-class medicines alone," says Anders Dyhr Toft, former Corporate Vice President of Commercial Innovation at Novo Nordisk. "We need to engage with people on their level and integrate with the solutions they are already using to manage their diabetes."

Exploring the top challenges in diabetes

Uneven and inconsistent dose management — For diabetes patients, glucose levels are key. Their health depends on closely tracking this level, which can be quite challenging.

Limited patient-provider communication — About 95% of diabetes disease management is done by the patient, not their provider. This means that providers don't often have visibility into how well the patient is managing their condition between appointments. Having real-time visibility would be helpful to providers and allow them to adjust treatments as needed.

Poor medication adherence — Adequate glycemic control is difficult to achieve and often requires the use of medication. Unfortunately, nearly half of diabetes patients are unable to achieve adequate control, in large part because of poor medication adherence. This leads to unnecessarily high rates of morbidity and mortality.

Disparate data sources — While existing digital solutions, such as continuous glucose monitors and insulin pens, are extremely helpful to patients and providers, these devices don't usually document the patient's blood glucose data, so the patient is responsible for doing so manually. Doctors are juggling disparate and sometimes conflicting data sources, which makes it hard to make informed treatment decisions. What’s more, they lack centralized portals to monitor patient visits to specialists for eye, foot or kidney check-ups.

Improving diabetes treatment with digital disease management solutions

Digital solutions are a key to improving disease management in diabetes care, and that’s where BrightInsight is proud to be playing a part in solving some of the biggest challenges.

“[Digital solutions] can offer a lot of value from the patient perspective—especially since this info is real time. It helps drive and reinforce and motivate them to do better. Doesn't seem like too much work on the patient. This gives them more control.”

– Diabetes primary care provider

Here are some of the key opportunities in digital diabetes care:

Data integration

Continuous glucose monitors and insulin pens have the power to revolutionize diabetes care. To get the most from these innovative tools, the data they produce must be integrated for use by all members of a patient’s care team.

Auto-titration of drug dosing

Auto-titration solutions can offer immediate updates to dosing and support early detection of missed doses or overdosing, helping patients reach optimal dosing levels faster.

Secure, compliant patient apps

Easy to use, secure patient apps support diabetes patients on their journey. Features can guide them through setting up connected devices, monitoring their glucose levels, updating their insulin dosage and more.

Connected clinical portal

Empower providers to communicate with patients, collaborate with peers on the care team to share data in real time. Providers can access key information, including real-time blood glucose readings, blood pressure, kidney results, last eye and podiatry exams, treatment log, carb tracking, physical activity log and more.

“My continuous blood glucose meter and companion app have changed my life and my partner's life. Because we have continuous data on my blood glucose levels, my partner doesn't have to constantly worry about lows when we are apart, or about reviving me in the middle of the night due to a low. This technology solves many issues for us."

–Diabetes patient

Every day we see more and more progress toward our vision to transform patient outcomes globally by bringing the power of digital technology to healthcare. Perhaps no area has been more impacted by digital than diabetes care, and the opportunities will only continue.

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