ADA 2020 — T2D: telehealth could improve glycemic control in rural patients


  • Pavankumar Kamat
  • Conference Reports
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Takeaway

  • Adults with poorly controlled type 2 diabetes (T2D) residing in rural areas had improved glycemic control after participating in a comprehensive telehealth program.

Why this matters

  • Rural populations tend to have poor diabetes outcomes as a result of limited access to specialty care and intensive self-management programs than their urban counterparts.

Study design

  • A 6-month telehealth intervention known as Advanced Comprehensive Diabetes Care (ACDC), comprising telemonitoring, self-management support, and clinician-guided medication management, was tested among 125 participants with T2D across 5 rural sites in the United States.
  • Funding: None.

Key results

  • Glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) levels dropped by an average of 1.36 percentage points from 9.25% at baseline to 7.89% at 6 months after the telehealth intervention. 
  • HbA1c levels had dropped by an average of 1.22 and 1.07 percentage points below the baseline levels at 12 and 18 months, respectively. 

Limitations

  • Small sample size.

Expert commentary

The study investigator, Elizabeth Kobe, MD candidate at Duke University Medical School in Durham, North Carolina, said: "Despite the drastic changes that COVID-19 has forced healthcare systems to make, ACDC delivery has continued unabated. ACDC has truly made a substantial difference for rural patients with diabetes, and it's well positioned for further dissemination."