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Perspective

Digital tools for optimising diabetes self-management

nATAlie WiSCHer, SOFIANOS ANDRIKOPULOS

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Abstract

Self-management of diabetes requires patients to regularly monitor and interpret their diet, exercise and blood glucose levels and can become burdensome in the long term. Judicious use of digital tools may help patients to better and more easily manage their diabetes and live healthier lives.

Key Points

  • many digital tools are available to aid people in self-managing their diabetes, but some are more helpful and evidence-based than others.
  • Several mobile applications, including some integrated with blood glucose meters, have been shown to have positive outcomes on HbA1c levels, hypoglycaemia incidence and diabetes self-management skills.
  • for people with diabetes, social media can provide a valuable connection to other people living with the condition.
  • Wearable tness devices can provide personalised health data, which may assist with behaviour change.
  • Telehealth and remote telemonitoring show promise for providing care to patients with diabetes.
  • The growth in ‘big data’, genomics and arti cial intelligence systems is likely to contribute to evolutionary changes in the management of diabetes.
  • Practitioners should apply due diligence regarding digital self-management tools but not be afraid to support and engage patients in using this technology.

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