The summer conference season is a time when people from all industries head to important gatherings to learn about advances in their respective fields. In the medical world, these conferences serve as goalposts to track progress within specific sectors and catch everyone up to the latest developments and technologies.
Two of the major conferences that focus on diabetes will highlight the progress that has been made with regard to treatment plans, education programs, and the incorporation of technology and digital health solutions.
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) conference (June 10, 2016) and the American Association of Diabetes Educators (AADE) conference (August 12, 2016) will feature a number of sessions that cover the aforementioned breakthroughs in diabetes care.
Diabetes Education Advances
The ADA conference will feature a session that’s hosted by Diabetes Care Partners (DCP), a group that focuses on providing diabetes solutions. Their session will focus on the impact of education programs on diabetes patient outcomes.
DCP, led by Founder and CEO Tony Song, will present its findings from a study that found the organization’s proprietary education curriculum is effective in managing diabetes. Patients experienced a decrease in glucose levels following the education program, with the largest drop being seen at 6 months. While the education was incredibly effective in keeping these levels low, the DCP study authors note that follow-up was necessary after this 6-month period.
“This demonstrates that follow up measures are necessary to maintain glucose control,” the authors wrote in the conclusion. “Patients are more aware of how they can maintain control of their disease from completing the program, but some patients relapse causing their A1cs to trend back upward.”
Thankfully, technology and programs like that available from Welkin, a DCP partner, can help to keep patients on track with the education curriculum after this period. Support measures that are included in the Welkin system will help patients stay on track – DCP noted that mobile engagement applications could be a main way that people don’t experience a regression following the education.
Digital Health and Diabetes
The link between digital health and diabetes will be explored further in a number of presentations at the ADA conference, as sessions will highlight the importance of incorporating new technology and solutions into care programs.
Health coaching, specifically delivered through mobile technology, is not a new idea. The benefits of this approach, however, are beginning to be seen in a number of studies. In one recent study, published in the Annals of Family Medicine, long-term benefits were seen by patients with chronic conditions who were able to access health coaching, according to Fierce Practice Management.
Another study found that diabetes patients who were able to use mobile technology to connect with health coaches saw improved health outcomes.
“Providing cost-effective interventions that improve self-management is important for improving quality of life and the sustainability of healthcare systems,” researchers from several Canadian universities wrote in a joint paper, published at Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR), according to Fierce Mobile Healthcare.
These concepts are part of what will be covered in the AADE conference, as keynote sessions and smaller panels will discuss the role of technology and health coaching within the overall diabetes education landscape.