Viewpoint story by Peter Schwarz, Chair EUDF Self-care, Technology & Digitalization Strategic Forum
Better self-management through digital support
We are currently observing two very distinct trends around the use of digital tools in diabetes care. On the one hand, we see inertia among physicians when it comes to using digital tools. On the other hand, the development of intuitive digital tools triggered by patient needs is very rapid. These tools are being provided by both small and large organizations focused on helping people with diabetes improve self-management.
In the past, when very few solutions existed, the inertia on the physicians’ side was understandable. However, the landscape has changed dramatically and there are now a great number of available digital solutions focusing on patient needs.
We have to create the opportunity for people with diabetes in Europe to benefit from the added value of the application of digital solutions.
In the EUDFSelf-care, Technology and Digitalization Strategic Forum our proposal is to look for best-practice solutions in Europe and identifying sustainable, transferable solutions.
We’d like to create an environment where solutions that prove successful for people with diabetes in one country can easily be shared with other countries, stakeholders, and organizations to support their people with diabetes.
We believe we can make an impact because of the range of voices in the Forum. People with diabetes are strongly represented and are a key stakeholder group in identifying best-practice solutions they believe could work for them. Members who are medical doctors have daily experience with, and understanding of, the pros and cons of a range of digital solutions. People with diabetes and professional organizations are also represented and will be key to building a framework for supporting and promoting best-practice solutions to be distributed throughout Europe.
There are a very fast-growing number of best-practice solutions currently in Europe. Some are developed by a single physician, some by health insurance companies or startups. Often, these solutions are used only in a very small environment. This is what we would like to change. We would like to shine the spotlight on those that have proved effective and help them broaden their reach into Europe - and beyond.
The unique nature of our working group and our strong connections to people with diabetes and professional organizations gives us a unique opportunity to champion effective solutions.
We are optimistic we can build an environment of understanding to scale up these solutions for the benefit of people with diabetes across Europe.
If we are successful, the number of people with diabetes being supported by digital solutions in Europe will continually grow. Our vision in the Forum is that every person with diabetes in Europe can use digital support based on their individual needs and preferences and on their readiness to change their lifestyle.
We understand some of our medical colleagues are skeptical.
But there is strong evidence that digital support in the form of an app or an online program can help enormously in improving the empowerment of people with diabetes which leads to better self-management and finally to improved decision making by people with diabetes.
This is what we all want for people with diabetes.
Learn more about the EUDF Self-care, Technology & Digitalization Strategic Forum here.
Call to action
If you have or know of a best practice with regards to self-care, technology and digitalization that could help move the needle for quality care for people living with diabetes, we would love to hear about it. The more we know, the more we can achieve together.