Diabetes Telehealth Network participant Annie Ford of Beulah discusses her experience with the virtual program at the North Sunflower Medical Center. and how she has learned more about her diabetes in the last few months than over the 15 years she’s had the disease.
JACKSON, Miss. – In January of 2014, the Diabetes Telehealth Network was created by a partnership of Governor Phil Bryant, the University of Mississippi Medical Center (UMMC), North Sunflower Medical Center (NSMC) in Ruleville, MS, GE Healthcare, Intel-GE Care Innovations, and C Spire to provide people with diabetes more consistent and timely access to clinicians through the use of Telehealth technology in their homes.
The program began recruiting patients in August in the Mississippi Delta to participate in an 18-month remote care management program, a concept that fuses technology with UMMC specialists to improve patient outcomes in a historically underserved area of the state. The Diabetes Telehealth Network – a first of its kind nationally – is intended to forge a stronger connection between people with diabetes and clinicians in a way that supports earlier clinical intervention, more effective use of health services, and creates positive health habits and behavior change.
Program participants are given tablets powered by Care Innovations enabling healthcare providers to remotely help patients manage their diabetes. Patients use their tablets to share what’s going on with them physically, emotionally and psychologically through daily health sessions with their clinicians. The tablets automatically capture and transmit health data, such as weight, blood pressure and glucose levels.
This information provided daily by patients gives clinicians a much more complete view of a patient’s health status, permitting earlier, proactive care. Using this technology, clinicians can better engage and educate patients, easily adjust medical care plans, schedule phone calls or video chat with patients.
Just months into the program it is receiving excellent feedback from patients about how the Diabetes Telehealth Network is empowering them to take better control of their diabetes, while having the guidance and oversight of clinicians.