Improvement of Care & Outcome
During the COVID-19 pandemic, routine T1D care was forced from care delivered in person to various “care at a distance” solutions (also known as ‘telemedicine’, ‘telecare’, ‘digital/virtual clinic’, ‘remote monitoring’). Advances in and use of technology like insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitoring and cloud-based data-exchange, were already increasing before the pandemic. As a result of COVID-19-related lockdowns this process accelerated out of necessity. After initial worries about how these forced changes would impact care and glycemic outcomes, most studies on the subject have shown stable glycemic outcomes and even improvements during the pandemic. Furthermore, both people with T1D and healthcare providers seem to appreciate telemedicine. This study, co-authored by Dick Mul of Diabeter, aimed to assess COVID-19-induced changes (e.g. implementation of telemedicine and psychological support) in pediatric T1D care and possible associations with glycemic outcomes and complications.
Data on almost 27,000 individuals with type 1 diabetes aged ≤21 years and with >3 months diabetes duration were extracted from the SWEET database. Also a questionnaire about diabetes care and telemedicine was sent to almost 67,000 individuals receiving care in all 97 centers active in the SWEET registry at the time of the study.
Concluding, the authors state