Diabetes Management Trends in the Work-from-Home Workforce

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As we continue to adapt to a work-from-home workforce, employers are wondering how they can best support their employees through meaningful health benefits. For people with diabetes, who are at a higher risk for severe disease from COVID-19, that support for their daily diabetes management is critical for their continued health.

Here are two significant diabetes management trends we’ve seen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic that paint a clearer picture of how employers can best support their employees with diabetes through remote care options.

Remote care expands access to diabetes care

There’s been much discussion about when things will return to “normal” after the pandemic. People are eager to gather with their loved ones, employers are hoping to reconvene in office spaces with fewer health risks, and the world at large is yearning to put this year of social distancing and isolation in the rearview mirror.

But some elements of the pandemic are here to stay — and for people with diabetes, that could spell a very significant victory for their health. Endocrinology was one of the top specialties to take advantage of remote care early in the pandemic, 1 and to great effect.

The number of Americans with chronic conditions like diabetes who participated in at least one telehealth visit since the COVID-19 outbreak increased by 77%.1 Some health systems discovered an even more promising statistic: that diabetes care provided via telemedicine can successfully reach more patients than traditional face-to-face visits.2 By giving people with diabetes easier access to their care team from the comfort of home, they have increased support for their daily diabetes management. Support is no longer limited to the scant moments a person has face-to-face with their doctor once or twice a year — and that’s a trend RocheDiabetes Health Connection is proud to be a part of.

Remote care as a preventive tool to get ahead of prediabetes

You’re probably aware of the two different types of diabetes: type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes generally develops in childhood or adolescence, though it can occur later in life, too. Type 2 diabetes generally develops later in life, and many people might not experience any symptoms for years.

What you might not be aware of is a condition called prediabetes. You can think of prediabetes as the precursor to type 2, as most people develop prediabetes before they get a diagnosis of type 2 diabetes. 3 While the individual’s blood sugar isn’t quite as high as it would be with type 2 diabetes, it is still higher than the accepted healthy range.

But one of the most critical facts about prediabetes is that it doesn’t always lead to type 2 diabetes. It can be “reversed” by implementing lifestyle changes like more activity or a healthier diet — and remote diabetes management has proven to be a critical tool in making that reversal a reality.

Telehealth platforms have been shown to reduce the risk of people with prediabetes ultimately developing the disease.4 When people have access to virtual care and support from the safety of their homes, they are more likely to comply with best practices for diabetes management and truly make a change in their personal health.

For a deeper dive into diabetes management trends in the work-from-home workforce, download our white paper, Virtual Diabetes Management: Supporting patients and improving outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. You’ll learn how remote care is paving the way for clinically meaningful outcomes, and how RocheDiabetes Health Connection can help your business take a step in the right direction for your employees with diabetes.

SOURCES:
1: Doximity. (2020, September.) “2020 State of Telemedicine Report.” https://c8y.doxcdn.com/image/upload/Press%20Blog/Research%20Reports/2020-state-telemedi cine-report.pdf
2: Alromaihi, D., Alamuddin, N., & George, S. (2020). Sustainable diabetes care services during COVID-19 pandemic. Diabetes research and clinical practice, 166, 108298. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabres.2020.108298
3: American Diabetes Association https://www.diabetes.org/a1c/diagnosis
4: Omada Health. (2017 – 2020) “Preventing Diabetes with Digital Health and Coaching for Translation and Scalability.” https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03312764
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