VA Modernizes Diabetes Care with Telemedicine

Headline: Veterans use Dexcom Continuous Glucose Monitoring to improve diabetes  outcomes.

Although Diabetes Mellitus affects over 30 million Americans, Veterans are 2.5 times more likely to have diabetes than nonveterans due to increased risk factors such as exposure to herbicides during service, past physical strain with chronic pain, and advanced age and obesity.

Of the three major types of diabetes, Type 2 diabetes is more common in adults, and for veterans, is likely to coincide other conditions including obesity, hypoglycemia, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and more.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) continuously performs research and publishes guidelines for diabetes patient care, in addition to offering numerous opportunities for patient education. For instance, in 2009, it was found that intensive glucose control has no significant effect on cardiovascular events in Veterans with long-standing type 2 diabetes. The most common adverse event for Veterans who received both the intensive glucose therapy and the standard glucose therapy was hypoglycemia. Researchers suggested lifestyle changes and control of blood pressure and lipids, as well as antiplatelet therapy as effective interventions for type 2 diabetes.

Modern healthcare is attuned to patients’ agency in their own care and management of diabetes. A recent statement by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) included a comprehensive type 2 diabetes management algorithm which recognizes the patient as a whole and their unique spectrum of risks and complications. Patient lifestyle optimization is the crux of the diabetes management program perceiving medical therapy as, “adjunct,” to lifestyle management. Self-monitoring of blood glucose (SMBG) is high on the list of diabetes management principles, which underscores the need for patients to be educated on their condition and participate in their own self-care.

Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) has been demonstrated to be an effective diabetes management solution in addition to helping engage patients. CGM offers patients real-time glucose readings every few minutes allowing patients to see trends in glucose and how insulin, food, exercise, and other variables affect glucose levels. Whereas, traditional fingerstick readings are point-in-time and do not provide the required glucose level data that allows for intelligent decision making about when to take action and what insulin adjustments to make to prevent hyper- and -hypoglycemia. Considering that hypoglycemia is one of the most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes that veteran patients experience, CGM devices are a welcomed approach to diabetes care and management and support the VA’s diabetes care guidelines and self-management goals.

The VA Mail Order Pharmacy (CMOP) processes millions of outpatient prescriptions per year and distributes pharmaceuticals and supplies to VA medical facilities nationwide. High on their procurement list is the Dexcom CGM system. Dexcom is an FDA-approved, wearable technology solution for individuals with diabetes. It has been demonstrated that lifestyle interventions and increased health literacy improve diabetes outcomes in veterans, and Dexcom advances veteran diabetes management by essentially automating patients’ SMBG and increasing patients’ ability to make more accurate and knowledgeable decisions about their own self-management.

The telemedicine industry is booming and advancing diabetes management and enhancing the patient experience. Mobility and simplicity is key when it comes to the user experience of any technology, and Tandem Diabetes Care offers the t:slim X2 Insulin Pump with Dexcom CGM integration enabling patients to make quick and effective treatment decisions without multiple fingersticks. Plus, patients are able to transmit real-time glucose data to their family and caregivers on their mobile devices.

As a Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business medical and surgical supplier for federal customers, Geo-Med, LLC optimizes the VA’s procurement of innovative diabetes management solutions by being the exclusive authorized SDVOSB distributor of Tandem Diabetes Care products. Geo-Med also provides countless Dexcom products to VA medical facilities nationwide, including CMOP locations.

The Veterans Health Administration (VHA) is committed to improving patient care at its over 2,000 healthcare facilities and outpatient sites combined, and the demand for diabetes management services for veterans will continue to expand due to the aging veteran population, as well as increasing obesity rates among aging veterans.

Veterans who have diabetes and use the Dexcom CGM, in conjunction with the Tandem t:slim X2 Insulin Pump, are optimistically able to improve their overall health and prevent the day-to-day challenges of traditional diabetes self-care.

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Jessica Lynn Campbell is Geo-Med’s Sales and Marketing Operations Manager. Jessica holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology, a Master’s in English-Technical Communication, and is currently obtaining a PH. D. in Texts and Technology. Jessica is an experienced technical writer and has been published in both scholarly and media publications. Her primary research is health and medical communications. Jessica can be reached at Jessica.campbell@geomedsdvo.com or 407-810-7542.

Geo-Med, LLC is a verified Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) medical and surgical supplier to the Veteran Health Administration and Department of Defense medical facilities. Our primary focus is on providing high-quality products and exceptional customer service to our VA and DOD medical facilties.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.
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