Patient Perspectives on the Benefits and Challenges of Diabetes and Digital Technology
Diabetes technology continues to evolve, advancing with our understanding of human biology and improving our ability to treat people with diabetes. Diabetes devices are broadly classified into the following categories: glucose sensors, insulin delivery devices, and digital health care technology (i.e., software and mobile applications). When supported by education and individually tailored, technology can play a key role in optimizing outcomes. Digital devices assist in diabetes management by tracking meals, exercise, sleep, and glycemic measurements in real time, all of which can guide physicians and other clinicians in their decision-making. Here, as people with diabetes and patient advocates, as well as diabetes specialists, primary care providers, and diabetes care and education specialists, we present our perspectives on the advances, benefits, and challenges of diabetes technology in primary care practices.
· Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) technology offers primary care providers (PCPs) access to additional data on patients’ glycemic status to inform therapeutic adjustments and to guide safer decisions for diabetes management. Initiatives are needed to inform PCPs about the benefits of diabetes technology and how to optimize its use in clinical practice.
· Easy‑to‑use diabetes technology devices prescribed to patients to improve outcomes may reduce consultation time and make clinic visits more effective.
· Intermittent use of CGM (i.e., professional CGM) should be considered for all individuals with type 2 diabetes who are receiving insulin but not meeting glycemic targets.
· Personal CGM devices should be more widely prescribed, particularly for individuals with type 2 diabetes who are receiving insulin or at risk of hypoglycemia.