Can Being Connected Keep You Healthy?

As a healthcare provider with a focus on diabetes, I take care of a lot of people who monitor their blood glucose level, blood pressure, and weight at home. And even though we all understand how important these readings are, most of my patients don’t like keeping a written record to bring to me. Many of them don’t know the readings that should concern them, or if their readings are as they should be.

In recent years, healthcare technology has advanced, and remote health monitoring has emerged as a way to improve care for people who have diabetes, and also make caregivers (healthcare providers and loved ones) more efficient and accurate. Unfortunately, up until now, systems have usually been expensive and difficult to use.

Over the last few months, I have been recommending an affordable alternative system for people who have diabetes from Ambio Health called the Ambio Remote Health Monitoring System. Ambio is a wireless remote health monitoring system that effortlessly allows automatic readings of vitals including blood pressure, blood glucose and weight, which can then go to whomever is identified to receive the information.

Take these recent examples of people being impacted in a positive way by remote health monitoring:

John is a 35-year-old man was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He was told to check his blood glucose at least four times a day. He was scared of his numbers going too high and getting a diabetes complication, but I was concerned about his numbers going too low. It is not unusual for people who have type 1 diabetes to need a larger amount of insulin early on, but then need a lot less. Although any high blood glucose reading can be dangerous, it is the long-term high blood glucose that can cause a real problem. On the other hand, low blood glucose can cause more immediate problems, and even death. When we met, I introduced John to remote health monitoring. I started getting his numbers right away. His doctor and I advised him to decrease his insulin and so we have avoided any serious low blood glucose levels.

William is a 62-year-old man who had a stroke three years ago. He has diabetes, high blood pressure, and a family that loves him. Before remote health monitoring, we talked weekly. He wasn’t writing down his blood glucose levels; he would have to read off every number to me. I was never sure if they were correct, and it took a long time to go through them. He wasn’t even checking his blood pressure. Once we started remotely monitoring his readings, I got his blood glucose and blood pressure results automatically. The numbers were all high and we had a record of all the readings to share with his healthcare providers. Medicine changes were made immediately. One important finding was that William’s blood pressure was only high in the morning, which is the most dangerous time for high blood pressure. A lot of people miss that number if they don’t check at home. Bringing William’s numbers to target range in a timely manner can help him prevent another stroke.

Patients tell me they are doing better just knowing someone is watching and that someone cares. Healthcare providers like me get more accurate information to help us provide the best care possible. The advances in remote health monitoring are proving a win for us all.

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(10 Articles)

Joy Pape, MSN, RN, FNP, CDE, WOCN, CFCN, FAADE is a registered nurse, board certified in diabetes education and foot care nursing. A high incidence of heart disease in her family led her into the field of nursing where she has spent her life helping people with their health concerns.

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