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Taking Control Of Diabetes Just Got Easier With Telemedicine

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many doctors started providing care via telemedicine. Now, patients with diabetes can easily reach out to their doctors to help manage their condition with the help of virtual consultations.

According to Dr. Aurora Macaballug, Board Member and Chair of the Advocacy Committee of the Philippine Society of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism (PSEDM), the improved patient adherence is a product of improved access to doctors. Patient adherence refers to a patient’s willingness to correctly follow medical prescription for the benefit of his or her own health.

“When we thought of digital technology in the healthcare sector pre-pandemic, we probably thought of electronic records management,” she said. “But now, digital technology has expanded its role and function in our practice. We are able to extend our clinic hours and reach patients who can’t go physically to the clinic, and of course patients are able to search for us online as well.”

Patient Adherence Powered by Convenience

Diabetes is a chronic and lifetime disease. Taking control of the disease is largely dependent on the patient’s adherence to their medications and their doctor’s advice. According to PSEDM, having a balanced diet, exercise, timely medication, and regular check-ups—will increase the chances of patients getting their diabetes under control.

“Because of the convenience of telemedicine, we’ve seen notable improvements in patient adherence,” said Dr. Macaballug. She highlights four key benefits of telemedicine that promote patient adherence:

  1. Easy access to doctors. Proximity is no longer a barrier when it comes to seeing a doctor. Telemedicine has effectively expanded the doctor-patient communication where a doctor from Visayas can connect with a patient from Luzon.
  2. Time saved. No more waiting for clinic days, and no more commuting through heavy traffic just to get a check-up.
  3. Quick and timely access to reliable information. Most patients turn to Google for on-demand medical advice. Telemedicine almost duplicates that experience and makes it better, allowing for patient-specific and reliable medical advice.
  4. Quicker feedback loop. Whether it’s for e-prescriptions, or to ask questions, the patients can talk to and hear from doctors more easily. It has become our new clinic.

Dr. Macaballug is quick to caution however that telemedicine should not be a replacement for physical consultation but rather, a supplement.

“For people with diabetes, if their sugar is very stable, they can get consultations online,” she said. “But in cases that are alarming, kung namamanhid, masikip ang dibdib, o kaya may sugat (numbness, tightness in the chest, or a wound), that would require us to physically see the patient.”

Beyond Telemedicine

Diabetes requires lifestyle changes to manage and control it. That is why education will continue to play a significant role in helping patients and their caregivers manage diabetes.

Patients will more likely follow prescribed treatment consistently when they understand their condition and take responsibility for their disease.

“The beauty of telemedicine is that it goes beyond outpatient department consultations,” said Dr. Macaballug. “It’s also for education. We used to have physical lay forums for these activities. Because of the pandemic, we transitioned to lay webinars.”

This article is part of a series of informative pieces from Kontrolado Ko, Diabetes Ko, an awareness campaign by MSD in the Philippines that advocates patient adherence to medication and treatment among people with diabetes in the Philippines.

The goal of the campaign is to raise awareness among people with diabetes about the importance of making impactful changes to one’s own lifestyle to manage diabetes, and that taking medication as prescribed by their doctors is a vital first step toward better health outcomes.

11 Comments
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11 Comments

  1. Vivian lazo
    November 5, 2020 at 11:01 am

    Wow telemedicine big help to para sa my mga my diabetes para cure at home kahit Pandemic

  2. Maryrose Marcelino
    November 5, 2020 at 3:22 pm

    Worth to read to mommy. Thanks for sharing po. Dami ko nalaman. ??

  3. Erica Sosing
    November 5, 2020 at 7:13 pm

    Ang galing ng Telemedicines mommy, safe consultation dahil via online po sya. Kahit nasa bahay Lang po pwede natin mamonitor ang ating sugar. Good news po eto sa mga may diabetes. ?

  4. Antoniette Sanchez David
    November 5, 2020 at 8:03 pm

    Dapat po talaga pag may sakit kang diabetes control mo lahat ng kakainin mo dahil hindi biro ang sakit na ito lalo na pag blood sugar mo papabain ang hirap kaya dapat control mo lahat

  5. Antoniette Sanchez David
    November 5, 2020 at 8:04 pm

    Dapat po talaga pag may sakit kang diabetes control mo lahat ng kakainin mo dahil hindi biro ang sakit na ito lalo na pag blood sugar mo papabain ang hirap kaya dapat control mo lahat tapos pag may sugat ka matagal pa mag hilim kaya lahat ng gagawin mo lalo na kung alam mo masusugatan ka hinay hinay kalang

  6. Antoniette Sanchez David
    November 5, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    Ang galing kasi kasi nasa bahay ka may telemedicine na sila para sa may mga sakit

  7. MA D EL
    November 6, 2020 at 12:31 am

    Very nice,dami pong benefits ang telemedicine, at Kung stable naman po yung sugar ng patient they can get consultations online

  8. Yanpaladquisol
    November 6, 2020 at 6:41 pm

    Laking tulong talaga ng telemedicine lalo sa panahon ngaun ?❤️

  9. Jeng Manalo
    November 9, 2020 at 9:12 am

    Ay gusto ko tong telemedicine easy to use and track diabetes para mas maagapan kung meron man dahil napakahirap magkaroon ng diabetes nagkaganyan ang lola ko daming bawal kaya masmaigi maaga pa lang maagapan na

  10. Manilyn inciso dacut
    November 23, 2020 at 7:02 am

    Maganda po itong telemedicine big help po siya…dapat po talaga lagi tayo aware sa ating kinakain..

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