Diabetes and digital: How technology helps with self-care

Diabetes and digital

Many think that diabetes and digital technologies have very little to do with each other. However, they actually make a very
powerful combination.

Digital advancements have improved diabetes care immensely over the past few years. This allows for improved at-home testing and enables better condition management through apps like Fooducate and Glooko. 

However, some patients are still not confident in managing their condition. So, we used our clinical expertise and existing videos to combine diabetes and digital to educate patients on the latest self-care techniques.

Read on to find out how we did it: 

Using video to improve patient confidence

Diabetes is a complex but manageable condition. It requires consistent monitoring (e.g. blood sugar checks and foot inspections) and actionable knowledge of how to look after yourself.

It’s important to improve confidence in diabetes self-management because improper self-care can result in several complications, including:

  • Blindness
  • Kidney failure
  • Foot ulcers

To help patients improve their confidence and manage their condition, we created a collection of videos about diabetes, self-care techniques and the procedures they might require.

We started with a series of 16 videos covering a range of topics, including:

  • Living with diabetes
  • The importance of physical activity
  • Looking after your feet

This series is now available as an individual speciality video library or within our larger, sector-specific video libraries.

Example of videos in use:

Torbay and South Devon NHS Trust use our videos as part of their Diabetes Education programme.

This used to involve face-to-face group meetings, however, attendance was very low due to scheduling conflicts and a lack of engagement in patients aged between 20-65.

Instead of these meetings, the Trust sends out videos each week to ensure that diabetes patients receive the information they need to care for themselves.

These videos have already proven effective and boosted the confidence of several diabetes patients in the area.

This is just one example of how diabetes and digital technologies can come together to improve the patient experience.

Health & Care Videos creates an app for diabetic patients

The emails with videos proved successful, but to improve this service and make it even more accessible, Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation commissioned a patient journey app to complement the diabetes healthcare pathway.

This app is now the core educational resource for diabetic patients and medical professionals in Torbay. It includes:

  • A range of informative videos
  • Short quizzes to ensure patient understanding
  • Relevant push notifications (reminders, alerts for new content etc)
  • Links to useful external sources

By combining diabetes and digital in this way, we make this information much more accessible for patients in Torbay.

People with diabetes can now access this information remotely and easily through their phone. They also don’t need to worry about attending group meetings that may/may not fit around their schedule.

This app will also relieve strain on the diabetes services in primary care and local hospitals, by working to reduce the number of hospital admissions and GP appointments thanks to better informed, more confident patients. 

If you think your healthcare pathway could benefit from similar interventions, contact the Health & Care Videos team today.