08.08.2019 | Reading time: 4 min

Pioneering for diabetes and geriatrics patients?

In particular, patients with chronic diseases and elderly people with a variety of symptoms are dependent on continuous, efficient and, above all, simple support. Not only in sparsely populated regions, but also in metropolitan regions, elderly people in particular suffer from a deficient availability of care. This is being exacerbated in particular by declining mobility. Long waiting times, difficulties in making appointments and high patient numbers at the treating physicians make it necessary to find new possibilities of patient care and support in the future in addition to the classical doctor’s visit.[1]

Modern communication media, the new standard

Many of those affected are already entitled to care benefits. They are accompanied by their relatives, by outpatient services or by employees of inpatient facilities. The additional support provided by telemedicine and patient support programs is particularly suitable for this group. These offer a modern opportunity for the sustainable improvement of targeted communication between the actors involved. They help to ensure patient safety and increase the quality of life and participation of patients.

According to data from the “Future Health 2018” PwC study[2], digital solutions can represent a valuable addition to medical care. Of course, they do not replace the personal patient-doctor relationship. Around 72% of respondents consider modern communication media to be a necessary standard in medical practices.[3] Video chatting with the doctor or online support for patients are therefore fully in line with the trend. As the Fontane study of the Charité shows, quite successfully.[4]

diabetes patient in video chat with a physician

Sustainable improvement in the quality of life

Patient support programs are a successful and important field of application for the use of new communication media. Their aim is to offer people with chronic illnesses suitable and individual support in dealing with their illness and to improve their quality of life in the long term. Hardly any other area is as suitable for this as diabetes management for older patients. The primary goal is to strengthen the self-determination of these patients and to make them more confident in dealing with the disease and the symptoms. Users are supported in particular by the use of digital apps and by support from competent health motivators. Communication takes place via various channels such as telephone, SMS, email, video stream, use of app functions or other digital media. The security in the daily management of their chronic illness offers those affected the chance to focus on the positive aspects of improving their quality of life and not just to be confronted with the deficits. In the future, the significant expansion of the use of patient support programmes in standard care will be an inevitable step towards self-determination and patient safety.