"Using telecare for diabetic patients: A mixed systematic review"
Authors: Mignerat, Muriel; Lapointe, Liette; Vedel, Isabelle
Publications: Health Policy and Technology
Objective: Numerous telecare interventions and technologies are used in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus. This systematic review examines the different telecare interventions implemented, the technologies used, as well as the outcomes. Such a synthesis serves to optimize telecare use for diabetic patients and inform decision makers on technology selection and the impacts that can be expected with telecare use. Materials and methods: Following a systematic, comprehensive search of databases, 2139 qualitative and quantitative studies were initially selected; after careful review and screening, 50 studies were coded and analyzed. Results: A typology is proposed that identifies the nature of telecare interventions and technologies used as well as the outcomes associated with their use. Overall, telecare produces positive results with a variety of outcomes, such as improved health status, increased quality of care, decreased health service use or cost, increased satisfaction and increased patient knowledge. Discussion: While telecare is seen to have overall positive outcomes, some caveats have been identified. There is no "one size fits all" solution. Inexperience with technology combined with a mediocre user interface can create many problems that inhibit appropriate adoption of the technology. There is a growing presence of mobile technologies, which provide immediate feedback and can be integrated with social media. Conclusion: The results of this review can be used by healthcare professionals, organizations and patient support groups to tailor their policies with regard to the choice, planning, diffusion and monitoring of telecare interventions and the technologies implemented to care for patients with diabetes. © 2014 Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine.