Wellness Expert Praises Hi-Tec Diabetes Control Programme

diabetes new techType 2 Diabetes doesn’t only take its toll on your blood sugar, but your mental wellbeing can also be affected by the disease. A global health expert has hailed a new computerised self-care system for its significant benefits to type 2 diabetic wellness, helping to improve your diabetes control and mental health-related quality of life.

An estimated 40% of people with diabetes have poor glycaemic (blood sugar level) control, and this significantly increases their risk of costly and debilitating diabetes-related complications. However, thanks to a high-tech system called the Australian TLC Diabetes programme, diabetes sufferers are provided with follow-up and support, enabling them to self-manage their chronic diabetic condition. This is according to Professor Brian Oldenburg, Head of the Global Health and Society Unit at Monash University, who said that, on average, a person with diabetes spends 8,760 hours on their own monitoring blood sugar, taking insulin and other medications and managing diet, physical activity and stress.

Professor Oldenburg explained, ‘Living with diabetes and managing all of the required self-care is very stressful. Many people struggle to maintain a routine that is optimum for their health. We know that with chronic conditions like diabetes there is a lot of evidence of increased risk of depression and anxiety. People experiencing significant levels of distress will often have poor self-management of their diabetes. We have found that as people gain greater control using the TLC system, their psychological health also increases. Additionally, it is a means of screening people who could benefit from the intervention of a health psychologist.’

He continued that the Australian TLC Diabetes programme, which is an automated and interactive, 24-hour telephone system designed to provide ‘virtual’ telephone encounters between people with diabetes and health professionals, has, in trials, led to improvements in overall diabetes management, including mental health functioning and improved glycaemia control. This may seem insignificant, but if these changes are sustained over a long period of time, they can lead to vital reductions in diabetes complications and mortality.

According to Professor Oldenburg, ‘We need to urgently develop new ways of helping individuals to more effectively self-manage their chronic conditions. We are currently investigating ways of scaling up the Australian TLC Diabetes system to make it available to many thousands of Australians with diabetes. We also want to develop similar programs for other chronic conditions so that people can access these 24 hours a day, seven days a week.’

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