Diabetes care goes mobile

11 June 2018
Dr Anish Menon
Dr Anish Menon

Endocrinologist, Dr Anish Menon, is rethinking diabetes care.

Currently pursuing a PhD through UQ’s Centre for Online Health, Dr Menon is part of a team exploring how digital health can be used to improve patient care for people with type 2 diabetes.

The team – comprising Dr Menon, Professor Len Gray, Associate Professor Anthony Russell, Dr Farhad Fatehi, Dr Dominique Bird and Dr Mohan Karunanithi – is trialling a ‘mobile health’ platform developed in conjunction with CSIRO to improve patient care.

Branded ‘REMODEL’ (REthinking Model of Outpatient Diabetes care utilising EheaLth), the study employs a mobile app linked to a Bluetooth glucose meter, periodic patient surveys and a web portal for remote monitoring by clinicians.

Patients can check their blood glucose levels, which are then uploaded to the web portal where specialists can view the results in real time. Patients receive automated feedback via text messages based on uploaded data.

“This shows patients the trends and patterns of their diabetes, allowing them to better manage their condition,” Dr Menon explains. “It also ensures more timely and accurate data recording for clinicians, enabling them to provide clinical feedback and more easily prioritise patient care.”

As Dr Menon points out, people with complex diabetes who are having difficulty managing their condition can receive care when they need it. “Consequently, health providers can more accurately channel resources to provide person-centred care to complex patients and run more efficient clinics.”

Dr Menon sees mobile digital health technology such as REMODEL as the future of diabetes care. “Ideally, in the future we’d like to see REMODEL integrated into a patient’s medical records to link primary care and specialist team clinicians, facilitating better patient management and safer, more holistic care for patients.”

The current REMODEL trial at Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, is expected to conclude in February 2019. The suitability of the platform for patients living in remote areas will also be trialled, with recruitment of regional and rural patients commencing shortly.

In the meantime, Dr Menon remains positive that a mobile digital future for diabetes management is well within reach.