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Diabetes Discoveries & Practice Blog

Diabetes Prevention, Care, and Education in the Digital Age

Emerging technologies provide benefits, challenges, and opportunities in diabetes care.

Stay tuned for the Diabetes Prevention, Care, and Education in the Digital Age video series, featuring experts sharing insights on the use of digital technologies in diabetes care. In the next four weekly blog posts, you’ll hear from the following experts:

  • John Piette, PhD, from the University of Michigan School of Public Health
  • Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD, from the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute and the Scripps Translational Science Institute
  • Ann Albright, PhD, RDN, from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Linda Siminerio, RN, PhD, CDE from the University of Pittsburgh

View Transcript

John Piette: We have apps, we have text messaging systems, we have automated calls, we have sensors – there's all kinds of ways that we're trying to communicate with patients in new ways. Some of those areas have less scientific evidence, like apps on smartphones. Some have an enormous amount of evidence, like text messaging systems.

Athena Philis-Tsimikas: We work in an environment with a number of health disparities. We have a high population of Latino patients in our community. And one of the things we found was that many of them use mobile phones that – as a matter of fact, probably much more than they have access to computers in their home.

Ann Albright: There is a wide range of digital tools that are available to assist in diabetes prevention. And we are using the term at the CDC “continuum of complexity” really just to help try to categorize things because there are so many.

Linda Siminerio: TREAT is our telemedicine model and it stands for Telemedicine for Reach, Education, Access, and Treatment. The TREAT model, I think, has many benefits. For one, patients get improved outcomes. And so, they feel better. And not only do they have improved clinical outcomes, but because they have now a virtual team – you know, we can't get teams in all these areas. But they have a virtual team. So now they receive education about how to take care of their diabetes, and they have somebody in their community now that they never even realized was part of a team.

 


About the Authors

Joh Piette headshot

John Piette, PhD is a Professor in the Department of Health Behavior Health Education and Director of the Center for Managing Chronic Disease at the University of Michigan. Dr. Piette’s work focuses on improving access to quality self-management support among patients with a variety of chronic conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, depression, and chronic pain. His work includes developing mobile health interventions designed to improve patient health monitoring and assistance with behavior changes.

Joh Piette headshot

Athena Philis-Tsimikas, MD is the Corporate Vice President of the Scripps Whittier Diabetes Institute and Director, Community Engagement at the Scripps Translational Science Institute in San Diego, California. Dr. Philis-Tsimikas developed and implemented the innovative Project Dulce program which cares for underserved populations with diabetes utilizing nurse care management and peer educators in partnership with the primary care physicians to improve outcomes.

Joh Piette headshot

Ann Albright, PhD, RDN is Director of the CDC's Division of Diabetes Translation at National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. As director, Dr. Albright leads a team whose mission is to eliminate the preventable burden of diabetes through leadership, partnerships, research, programs, and policies that translate science into practice. Dr. Albright is also a member of the National Diabetes Education Program’s Executive Committee.

Joh Piette headshot

Linda Siminerio, RN, PhD, CDE is Professor of Medicine and Nursing, Health and Community Systems at the University of Pittsburgh. A nationally-recognized expert on self-management education and care delivery models in both pediatric and adult populations, Dr. Siminerio serves as the principal investigator on numerous studies related to diabetes prevention and treatment. She is also immediate past Chair of the National Diabetes Education Program.

 

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