iHealth & Technology
Participation in a diabetes management program relying on remote communication devices reduced the use of health care services for preventable conditions among older populations with chronic diseases and limited access to health services, according to a study in the American Journal of Managed Care.
For the study, researchers compared outcomes for two groups of veterans with type 2 diabetes at high-risk for requiring inpatient and outpatient care. One group used the Department of Veterans Affairs Care Coordination Home Telehealth program, the other did not. The CCHT program allows patients to maintain direct communication with their care coordinators through services such as messaging devices and videophones. The different types of health care services used by the patients were assessed at the beginning of the study and 24 months later.
The authors found that the group using the CCHT program had a significant reduction in hospitalizations related to their diabetes and other ailments and that using the CCHT technology resulted in care coordinators initiating fewer visits to primary care physicians.
However, researchers concluded that further study is needed to measure the cost-effectiveness of such programs (Barnett et al., American Journal of Managed Care, August 2006).