Woman smiling after receiving remote patient monitoring for diabetes

Remote patient monitoring for diabetes explained

Written on December 20, 2022 by Sendra Yang, PharmD, MBA. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.

Table of contents

Diabetes is a chronic severe condition that impacts how food is broken down in your body into sugar and released into the bloodstream [1]. More than 37 million adults in the United States are estimated to have diabetes. Diabetes is the number 1 cause of kidney failure, lower-limb amputation, and adult blindness and is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

The three main types of diabetes are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes [1]. Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in children and young adults. Type 1 is an autoimmune response in which the body attacks itself and stops making insulin. Type 1 diabetics need to take insulin every day to live. Type 2 diabetes is usually diagnosed in adults and is a result of the inability of your body to use insulin adequately. Type 2 can be managed with weight loss, a healthy diet, exercise, and medications. Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women without a history of diabetes. Gestational diabetes usually goes away after having the baby; however, it can increase the risk for type 2.

Managing your diabetes can be challenging. Keeping sugar levels within your target range will help prevent and delay health issues such as vision loss and kidney disease [2]. You can check your blood sugar levels through a finger stick with a glucometer or a continuous glucose monitor. You can also get a test called a hemoglobin A1C test, or HbA1c, which looks at your average blood sugar levels over three months. Another way to monitor and keep a check on your blood sugar levels is through remote patient monitoring.

What is remote patient monitoring?

Remote patient monitoring is the use of technology to allow for health data to be sent to your healthcare provider to track, review, diagnose, or manage your disease and condition from a different location. Remote patient monitoring is usually performed via telehealth, outside the traditional healthcare environment (in-person clinic office visit) [3,4]. Various technologies like mobile applications and devices like glucose meters or blood pressure monitors make remote patient monitoring possible. Conditions and symptoms that can be followed with remote patient monitoring include [4]:

  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension or high blood pressure
  • Heart conditions
  • Asthma/Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
  • Sleep apnea
  • COVID-19

Remote patient monitoring and telehealth or telemedicine

Remote patient monitoring is a service that can be performed through telehealth or telemedicine [4]. As telehealth expands, more remote patient monitoring will more likely be implemented because of [4]:

  • Advancements in medical technology
  • Awareness of telehealth for providers and patients
  • More insurance coverage for telehealth
  • Ability to monitor different conditions and prevent severe complications in remote or rural locations

Remote monitoring for diabetic patients

The need for effective management of diabetes is imperative to prevent serious long-term complications [5]. The goal of diabetes management is to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range as much as possible to reduce symptoms and minimize the risk of future complications. Telehealth and remote patient monitoring allow you to send your blood sugar levels to your healthcare provider at an offsite monitoring center for evaluation and management [4,5].

Several studies have investigated telehealth and remote monitoring of diabetic patients [5-10]. One study found that patients who had more frequent and regular participation in remote monitoring had lower HbA1C levels at the end of the program [10]. Another study suggests that telehealth with remote monitoring may improve diabetes management regardless of primary care office visit frequency [6]. A review study found that telehealth interventions, including remote patient monitoring, have a significant improvement in HbA1C levels compared to usual care [5].

Benefits of telehealth and remote monitoring for diabetes

The advancement of technologies and the ability of healthcare providers and patients to use this technology have expanded telehealth and transformed remote monitoring [7,8]. Telehealth and remote patient monitoring have several benefits for diabetes:

  • Increased patient knowledge of the diabetes disease state [7,9]
  • Improved self-management and shared decision-making in how diabetes can be managed and treated [7,9]
  • Initiate earlier clinical assessments and treatment since remote monitoring offers providers the ability to see a patient’s day-to-day sugar levels [9]
  • Minimize long-term complications and potentially future hospitalizations for diabetic patients
  • Expand access to care for diabetic patients in rural locations or who have mobility issues, who cannot easily travel for in-person office visits

Remote health with Everlywell

For a remote health option, Everlywell offers Virtual Care Visits. You can easily schedule a telehealth video call with a certified healthcare provider with Everylywell. You can further discuss your condition and the monitoring tests available to you at Everlywell.

Note that Everlywell's Virtual Care Visits are not for patients experiencing life-threatening symptoms or patients who have already been diagnosed with a condition and who are interested in recurring prescriptions or ongoing management of a chronic condition.

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  1. Diabetes basics. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. URL. Published October 25, 2022. Accessed December 15, 2022.
  2. Manage blood sugar. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. URL. Published September 30, 2022. Accessed December 15, 2022.
  3. Digital Health Implementation Playbook - American Medical Association. URL. Accessed December 15, 2022.
  4. Telehealth and remote patient monitoring. Telehealth.HHS.gov. URL. Accessed December 15, 2022.
  5. Lee PA, Greenfield G, Pappas Y. The impact of telehealth remote patient monitoring on glycemic control in type 2 diabetes: a systematic review and meta-analysis of systematic reviews of randomised controlled trials. BMC Health Serv Res. 2018 Jun 26;18(1):495. doi: 10.1186/s12913-018-3274-8. URL
  6. Randall MH, Haulsee ZM, Zhang J, Marsden J, Moran WP, Kirkland EB. The effect of remote patient monitoring on the primary care clinic visit frequency among adults with type 2 diabetes. Int J Med Inform. 2020 Nov;143:104267. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2020.104267. URL
  7. Fagherazzi G, Ravaud P. Digital diabetes: Perspectives for diabetes prevention, management, and research. Diabetes Metab. 2019 Sep;45(4):322-329. doi: 10.1016/j.diabet.2018.08.012. URL
  8. Johnson EL, Miller E. Remote Patient Monitoring in Diabetes: How to Acquire, Manage, and Use All of the Data. Diabetes Spectr. 2022 Feb 15;35(1):43-56. doi: 10.2337/dsi21-0015. URL
  9. Walker RC, Tong A, Howard K, Palmer SC. Patient expectations and experiences of remote monitoring for chronic diseases: Systematic review and thematic synthesis of qualitative studies. Int J Med Inform. 2019 Apr;124:78-85. doi: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2019.01.013. URL
  10. Su D, Michaud TL, Estabrooks P, Schwab RJ, Eiland LA, Hansen G, DeVany M, Zhang D, Li Y, Pagán JA, Siahpush M. Diabetes Management Through Remote Patient Monitoring: The Importance of Patient Activation and Engagement with the Technology. Telemed J E Health. 2019 Oct;25(10):952-959. doi: 10.1089/tmj.2018.0205. URL
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