Researchers are trialling a new mobile app which helps people with diabetes to monitor their blood sugar levels and enables health professionals to manage their patients remotely.
University of Queensland Research Fellow, Dr Farhad Fatehi, is managing the clinical trial at the Princess Alexandra Hospital diabetes clinic.
“Blood glucose readings are sent directly via blue-tooth technology from the glucose meter to a smartphone and then immediately to secure servers on the Internet where doctors and nurses can access the readings,” Dr Fatehi said.
“This is a faster and more accurate way of relaying the information than patients having to write out their results and then read or send these on to health professionals for assessment.
Developed through collaboration between UQ, the CSIRO's Australian eHealth Research Centre and Queensland Health, the app could streamline care for Australians living with diabetes.
“The app gives patients immediate feedback on their blood glucose readings through colour codes, charts and tables.
“Patients can use this data to more accurately assess and understand their own condition, putting them front and centre of their own care.
“They are more empowered, enabled and have more control over their situation.”
“If patients can better manage their condition using this app, their risk of complications such as amputations, blindness and kidney failure will be decreased.”
More than 1.5 million Australians have diabetes and each year about 100,000 people are newly diagnosed with this life-long disease.
“This represents a major cost to Australia’s health system and puts extra stress on health professionals,” Dr Farhad said.”
“The app could allow health professionals to treat more patients at any one time, with greater confidence in the data.
“This could mean a considerable reduction in healthcare costs for diabetes every year.”
Dr Fatehi is a winner of an Advance Queensland Fellowship, and one of 10 Queensland Fresh Science finalists, a national competition helping early-career researchers share their stories of discovery.