Hackensack, NJ, October 30, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- Diabetes is a costly chronic health condition that places immense strain on patients, families, healthcare providers and medical systems. In an effort to mitigate these challenges, the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes (BDC) at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, together with Children’s Hospital Colorado, is piloting a first-of-its-kind clinical program, leveraging video conferencing technology from Vidyo, to help teens and young adults better adapt to living independently with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) by providing real time, face-to-face access to their physicians and group interaction with other young adults living with T1D.
“Young adults struggle more with management of their diabetes than any other age group and are at high risk for hospitalizations, lapses in medical care and early complications,” said principal investigator Jennifer Raymond, MD, assistant professor of pediatric endocrinology at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, who is leading the program. “Utilizing telemedicine and leveraging the Vidyo technology to let young adults meet conveniently – anywhere from any device – engages this group in a new way to help them take charge of their health and prevent unnecessary complications.”
The study, named “Colorado Young Adults with Type 1” or CoYoT1 (said: coyote), is focused on patients aged 18-25 who often experience significant lapses in routine diabetes care. Central to the CoYoT1 study is Vidyo’s technology, used to conduct secure virtual one-on-one visits between physicians and patients and group clinic meetings. The easy-to-use software-based platform from Vidyo delivers HIPAA compliant, HD quality video conferencing over most Internet connections and is compatible with all major devices, enabling young adults in the study to access care and interact with peers from college dorm rooms, home or on the go, using public Internet, cellular or wired networks.
The average time for participants to travel to BDC for a routine appointment is 2 hours and 50 minutes, however the average time commitment for a CoYoT1 clinic appointment is only 50-60 minutes: a 20-30 minute appointment with the doctor followed by a 30 minute group clinic meeting during which patients are able to share their experiences with other young adults with T1D. By eliminating the lost time in travel and engaging these young patients via the devices that are already a fundamental part of their daily lives, the program becomes easier for participants to integrate into their schedules.
“Before the program, a visit with my doctor took four or five hours out of my day and my mom’s day, so for me this program is all about convenience,” said Eric Thompson, a student at University of Colorado at Boulder participating in the study. “I was concerned I would lose the personal connection with my doctor by meeting on Vidyo instead of in-person, but the only thing that was sacrificed was the driving and waiting time, and now I feel more independent and able to manage my diabetes without being as reliant on help from my parents.”
“This high risk group can more effectively manage their health when we coordinate care to meet them where they are,” emphasized Fred Thomas, PhD, Director of Telehealth at Children’s Hospital Colorado and assistant professor of psychiatry and epidemiology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. “Allowing visits to occur at home saves time, reduces costs and improves patient outcomes; we are hopeful our research will show the multiple benefits of home-based care enabled by telemedicine, a win for patients and payers.”
Prior to this program, approximately one third of the participating patients had not seen a diabetes doctor in the past five or more months (the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends visits every three months). Additionally, prior to joining CoYoT1, patients averaged two visits per year, compared to the ADA’s recommendation of four yearly visits. Following recruitment, 100 percent of patients were seen within the ADA’s recommended time frame via a Vidyo-enabled appointment.
Initial feedback from participants on the CoYoT1 clinic experience includes:
100 percent of participants felt comfortable talking with a doctor online
95.5 percent of participants are comfortable using online technology
95.5 percent would like to have another online appointment
95.5 percent did not feel they lost time from work or school to attend the appointments
“Reliability and support across devices and networks are strengths of our technology and are essential to the success of the CoYoT1 study and ensuring that quality of care is not sacrificed for convenience,” said Eran Westman, CEO, Vidyo. “Vidyo is optimistic that the research conducted by the Barbara Davis Center and Drs. Raymond and Thomas will affirm the benefits of video-enabled healthcare: better patient outcomes, reduced travel time and overall cost savings.”
The CoYoT1 study is possible through the support of more than $1 million in gifts, including $960,000 from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.