The digital age has opened a whole new worldwide Pandora box. The internet has provided us an ample access to analyze health problems and minor defects so we that can keep ourselves in tip top shape without always rushing to the doctor. We can now check whether our disease symptoms are compatible with a disease that even our Latin Professor cannot pronounce or are we just suffering from gas, from a certified website.
Do you know that with effective self-management of diabetes, you can improve not only your blood sugar but also hypoglycemia, depression, nonadherence to treatment, and lack of exercise? All hail Mother Science!
Researchers from Stanford School of Medicine conducted a six-month study on over 1200 patients to assess and evaluate the effect of online chronic disease management programs that met the American Association of Diabetes Educators standard. The participants were first approached online and educated about diabetes self-management and various tools, then invited to face-to-face workshops in various states of the US and later on were followed up with questionnaires.
The program assessed various indications such as blood sugar (HbA1c), depression, physical activity and lifestyle before and after the study. A tool-kit with diet, exercise tracking and a medication log was also included in it so that the patients could monitor themselves.
At the end of the study, participants showed a salient improvement in all five indicators. 5% of participants had reduced their HbA1c below 9, and 6% had reduced their symptoms of depression. Similarly, hypoglycemia dropped from 38% to 32% in six months.
The program was designed by Canary Health and was planned to provide educational materials and an internet forum for patients to interact with each other.
This particular study was peculiar because it did not exclude people with strict disabilities and severe problems rather it included such people with various chronic diseases to mimic real-life circumstances.
Patients showed remarkable improvements in the online study as well as the community-based workshop.
Some participants also seemed to be motivated by the program to take care of themselves. Dr. Neal Kaufman, Chief Medical Officer of Canary Health says “This study confirms previous evidence that empowering individuals to self-manage their conditions leads to improved health outcomes.”