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Bringing the benefits of interactive digital health to the care of elderly persons with diabetes

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Glucostratus (Bringing the benefits of interactive digital health to the care of elderly persons with diabetes)

Reporting period: 2018-05-01 to 2018-11-30

The project studied the technological, practical and economic feasibility of a new solution that uses a blood glucose meter with built-in mobile data transfer and a secure cloud platform to bring up-to-date blood glucose readings from the growing population of elderly persons with diabetes to their care teams. These diabetics who often have very limited IT skills just need to perform the familiar blood glucose test. The result is then sent automatically.
The objective of the system is to improve the quality of diabetes care by enabling healthcare professionals to intervene early when deemed necessary based on up-to-date blood glucose data and to improve the productivity of home care by using remote monitoring to reduce the number of expensive nurse visits.
The study covered the following countries using meetings with experts in diabetes care, home care and health IT as the primary methodology: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, the UK and the Netherlands. Two remote monitoring pilot projects were performed in Finland.
The use of smartphones is increasing also among senior citizens. The target group of the remote monitoring solution can be increased by offering a smartphone application as a future alternative for elderly diabetics who have reasonable IT skills.
For growing the business internationally, it will be essential to find partners that offer complementary IT solutions for the same target market. However, combining a software system with blood glucose testing hardware and single-user test strips represents a challenge that must be addressed in order for the business model and go-to-market strategy to work. The skills required to sell, implement and support software solutions for care providers are very different compared to the skills needed to handle selling and logistics of single use consumables. Therefore, building and managing a network of capable partners will be crucial for the growth and success of the business.
The feasibility study confirmed that in all the countries studied there is significant potential for a system that transforms the care of elderly diabetics from paper records to a digital process and uses remote monitoring whenever possible to reduce the need and cost of expensive nurse visits. The concept has global potential, and there is an increasing willingness to pay for this kind of remote monitoring.