Modem Transmission of Glucose Values Reduces the Costs and Need for Clinic Visits
- H. Peter Chase, MD1,
- Jerusha A. Pearson, BA1,
- Clare Wightman, BA1,
- Mary D. Roberts, MD1,
- Adam D. Oderberg, BA1 and
- Satish K. Garg, MD12
- 1Department of Pediatrics, Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado
- 2Department of Medicine, Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, Colorado
OBJECTIVE—To determine whether modem technology allows for effective management of type 1 diabetes when used in lieu of a clinic visit.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS—A total of 70 adolescent patients with diabetes were prospectively randomized to either a control group or a modem group. Control group patients continued the standard of care of quarterly clinic visits, and modem group patients were instructed to transmit blood glucose data every 2 weeks for 6 months instead of a usual quarterly clinic visit. Health care providers analyzed the data received by modem and contacted patients to discuss diabetes treatment changes. GHbA1c levels were determined at 0 and 6 months, and the number of high and low blood glucose levels and adverse events were tracked. Clinic visit costs, patient expenses, and health care provider times were tracked for cost analysis for both groups.
RESULTS—A total of 63 patients (33 control, 30 modem) completed the 6-month study. The GHbA1c values significantly decreased in both groups, with no statistically significant difference between groups (P = 0.96). The occurrence of mild-to-moderate hypoglycemic events were similar in the two groups, and there were no severe hypoglycemic events. The average cost of care for a clinic visit was $305.00, whereas the cost for 6 months of modem transmission was $163.00.
CONCLUSIONS—This study shows that electronic transmission of blood glucose levels and other diabetes data every 2 weeks—in lieu of a clinic visit—results in a similar level of glucose control and incidence of acute diabetes complications when compared with current standard care.
Address correspondence and reprint requests to H. Peter Chase, MD, 4200 E. 9th Ave., B140, Denver, CO 80262. E-mail:.
Received for publication 23 July 2002 and accepted in revised form 12 December 2002.
A table elsewhere in this issue shows conventional and Système International (SI) units and conversion factors for many substances.
See accompanying editorial, p. 1626.
- DIABETES CARE