Diabetes is a chronic condition with many co-morbidities. Despite national guidelines in place in certain countries, disease management can greatly be enhanced by personalised decision support tools. These summarise patient clinical characteristics, treatment preference and ancillary data at the point of care.
An improved solution for diabetes management
The EU-funded ProEmpower project developed a personalised self-management solution that exhibits interoperability across healthcare systems. “We wanted to improve the quality of existing diabetes services and address social aspects such as working and retirement issues,” explains project coordinator Ozan Beyhan. The ProEmpower solution has the potential to detect the disease early, facilitate the collaboration between the patient and the professionals, and offer support for personal decisions. It also collects and analyses parameters implicated in the glucose control loop such as stress, carbohydrate intake and activity. Education, training, and motivation of diabetic patients for a healthier lifestyle are also important aspects of the ProEmpower platform.
DM4ALL – an mHealth system for diabetes
The DM4ALL platform, developed by ProEmpower, includes both web and mobile interfaces and can support all the diverse needs of diabetes care. Connecting to intelligent medical devices, it can obtain data for monitoring disease progression. “DM4ALL is based on information about lifestyle, treatment plan activities, and disease-related markers,” emphasises Beyhan. Moreover, it uses validated questionnaires to collect information and feedback from patients. DM4ALL offers an integrated personalised approach that aims to encourage patients and involved actors to adopt best practices in disease management. It is expected to help patients adhere to their treatment plan, improving their quality of life.
DiaWatch – supporting telemedicine
ProEmpower also developed the DiaWatch solution, which consists of a sensing system platform which operates using a smartphone. Optionally integrated with other devices, these include a wristband, a glucose monitoring sensor, and a sphygmomanometer. Additionally, it incorporates an artificial intelligence-based application – DoctorPro – which exploits continuous machine learning models to profile the patient and make appropriate recommendations for diabetes treatment, exercise, and a healthy lifestyle. Patients build personal profiles, and their data is progressively updated and communicated to clinicians who are given the opportunity to send text, audio, and video messages directly to their patients. Moreover, DiaWatch encompasses motivational and training content for disease management as well as a social tool for interaction with the community.
Clinical testing of the ProEmpower solutions
DM4ALL and DiaWatch were two fully implemented systems that were piloted for a minimum of eight months in different hospitals and primary care centres in four European countries. The pilots involved more than 480 end users who evaluated the feasibility of the ProEmpower solutions. The trial showed that the use of the ProEmpower solutions led to an improvement in certain clinical parameters such as decreased levels of glycated haemoglobin and systolic blood pressure. Patients also exhibited an overall improvement in their quality of life and an improved ability to manage their condition. Healthcare professionals have also expressed a favourable opinion of the ProEmpower solutions. “ProEmpower has shown the effectiveness and sustainability of telemonitoring and training strategies for people with diabetes,” concludes Beyhan.
ProEmpower, diabetes, management, DM4ALL, DiaWatch, training, digital solution