Verizon has awarded a grant to Baptist Health’s Community Outreach department to fund a diabetes program that will evaluate the use of technology to improve diabetes self-management.
This program is focused on serving the medically underserved population, especially those who are at risk for excessive use of health-care resources, poor coordination of health-care services, and the potential for poor health outcomes.
A person with diabetes must make a number of critical decisions about their condition on a daily basis, yet many spend very little time with a health-care provider. An informed and motivated participant is crucial in managing the disease and reducing the risk for complications.
Thanks to the generous grant from Verizon, the Community Outreach team will undertake a comprehensive diabetes management program open to 250 participants that will follow evidence-based guidelines from the American Association of Diabetic Educators to help improve the health of participants while at the same time measuring how the use of mobile technology can remove barriers to effectively managing the disease.
Some of the guidelines that will be tracked for all participants include increased physical activity, healthy eating, medication use, monitoring of blood glucose, problem solving especially for blood-glucose levels, reducing risks of diabetes complications, and living with diabetes.
The project will involve two groups of participants –– 125 in a controlled group and 125 in a variable group. What makes this unique is that it will evaluate how the use of technology impacts the variable group versus the controlled group, but all participants will be given equal help in managing their diabetes.
The controlled group will be provided with a basic glucometer, test strips, blood-pressure machine, set of scales, and pedometer.
Instead of the common equipment given to the controlled group, the variable group will be given a cell phone and service plan, Ideal Life wireless scales, Ideal Life wireless glucometers with test strips, Ideal Life wireless blood-pressure machines, a Fitbit Zip pedometer, video conferencing via Vidyo, and an AADE Diabetes Goal Tracker app.
The controlled group will also remotely check and send their associated readings to a diabetic educator, who will monitor in real time all variable group participants’ results.
To qualify for this program, participants must:
- Be a diagnosed diabetic using medication and be required by a health-care provider to monitor glucose at home
- Agree to commit to one year of participation and use the equipment provided
- Agree to pre- and post-screenings for A1C, blood sugar, cholesterol, BMI, and blood pressure
- Agree to take blood-sugar screenings as prescribed by a health-care provider in addition to checking blood pressure and weight at least weekly
- Attend or participate in at least one educational workshop, phone conference, or webinar
- Agree to stay within data-plan requirements for cell-phone users
- Agree to return all equipment in working order if voluntarily dropped out of the program
For more information or to register for this program, call the Baptist Health Community Outreach department at 501-202-1540.