Those with diabetes who live in rural areas often have difficulty regularly visiting doctors. With telemedicine, however, these individuals are able to more often speak to their treatment team, including their primary care physician and pharmacist. The North Carolina Health Resources & Services Administration with assistance from the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust ran 13 telemedicine programs from 2013 to 2016. These sites were all aimed at assisting adults in underserved area whose type 2 diabetes was not controlled.
Patients scheduled several teleconference meetings with health care experts. Pharmacists assisted these individuals with learning about the disease and medication associated with it. Patients were educated on their specific medications and on how to manage their disease. Some meetings were with multiple team members. Over 1,200 teleconferences were held over a 30 month period with 365 patients. Each had an average of three to four meetings. Overall, patients showed improvements in their A1c, weight, and low density lipoprotein during the first year. These results were similar to patients who met with their health care team in person.
These findings were published in North Carolina Medical Journal on June 19, 2017.