Nursing via the internet and smartphones can be an effective way to help patients with uncontrolled diabetes to manage their care.
According to a new study conducted by McGill University, Canada for the Public Health Agency of Canada, tele-monitoring is also increasingly seen as a workable way of delivering care to patients with chronic conditions who live in remote places, or who require monitoring on a long-term basis.
During the pilot project, diabetic patients in four regions of Quebec submitted their blood sugar readings to a nurse every day using a secure website.
Patients also answered a series of questions online about their exercise, diet and food care.
Their nurses then monitored their responses, providing appropriate advice as and when required. If a patient’s readings were a cause for concern, then they appeared in red text and triggered an alarm.
Nurses also emailed their patients educational material to help them manage their conditions.
Antonia Arnaert, professor of nursing at McGill University, said: “Patients with chronic diseases like diabetes, or who have gone through surgery, often have lots of questions and the doctors and nurses don’t always have the time to answer them.
“With tele-nursing, whether using video-conferencing or text-messaging, patients say they feel they get lots of attention from their nurses, because they know that they have their full attention for an hour.”
“They said that tele-monitoring provided them with a sense of confidence in their ability to manage their diabetic condition themselves.”