The current epidemic of Type 2 diabetes in the United States is one of population health’s biggest challenges.
November is National Diabetes Awareness Month, but very few Americans need a reminder: nearly 30 million people, or 10 percent of the U.S. population, are estimated to have Type 2 (also known as adult-onset) diabetes.
An estimated 20% of overall healthcare spending is spent on care of patients with diabetes, with diabetes drugs alone accounting for $1 of every $8 of prescription drug spending. Healthcare expenses and the lost wages of diabetics cost the U.S. more than $245 billion a year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The costs trends show no signs of slowing. In fact, between 2014 and 2017, diabetes management costs doubled, Managed Healthcare Executive reported earlier this month.
Diabetes poses a particular challenge to the overall health of our communities and also to our healthcare providers whose goals are to treat the disease efficiently and effectively and even more importantly to work toward prevention
We need to give clinicians every strategy and solution possible to manage the health of challenging populations. Tools that go beyond simply capturing patient data are needed, and efficient and accurate documentation that gets it right the first time is more critical than ever.
A care team that treats people with diabetes often includes many clinicians – primary care physician, podiatrist, ophthalmologist, and nutritionists, to name a few. The ability to share data and notes in real-time means they will be better able to coordinate care plans.
A more efficient documentation process for the physician means more time to counsel their patients to make the necessary lifestyle changes to stay healthy. As we know from breast cancer survivors, robust data can often empower patients to be better health advocates for themselves.
Someday soon, we expect AI-powered tools to tap into mountains of data to discover previously undiscovered patterns, social determinants and triggers for diabetes. This may allow clinicians to delay or even prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes, changing tens of millions of lives for the better in years to come but until them, our goal is to help the care team work as effectively as possible to treat the disease
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