Wednesday, May 12

UAE diabetes clinic showcases results of tech-focused care



A Dubai-based specialist diabetes clinic has released its very first report on the outcomes of its care model, demonstrating that continuous data monitoring is advantageous in dramatically improving the health of those with the condition.

GluCare Integrated Diabetes Center, which describes itself as the “world’s first healthcare provider to employ integrated continuous data monitoring” and the “region’s first healthcare provider to use digital therapeutics (DTx)” launched in September of last year. It has now released its first set of preliminary outcomes that show that its patients achieved an average HbA1c reduction of 1.7% points over 90 days.

The report explains: “For diabetes patients, HbA1c is a key measure of how well controlled one’s blood sugar has been on average over a three-month period. Studies have shown that a reduction of just 1% point in HbA1c results in a 21% decrease in end-point diseases related to diabetes, a 21% reduction in diabetes-related deaths, a 14% decrease in heart attacks, and a 37% reduction in microvascular complications.  

“GluCare’s preliminary performance tops best-in-class programmes globally that are generally achieving more modest reductions over a three-to-twelve-month period.”

THE LARGER CONTEXT 

At the beginning of their treatment plan, patients reportedly receive a connected starter kit that includes a wearable band that measures heart rate and heart rate variability, respiration rate, physical activity, skin temperature, and sleep patterns. They are also provided with a wearable blood glucose monitor. The kit then collects data in real-time, with real-time insights and risk factors identified for each patient via artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning.

“While technology is at the core of what we do, it is the application and use of that technology that allows us to connect with our patients in a more meaningful, impactful and supportive way,” explained GluCare co-founder and managing director, Ihsan AlMarzooqi. “The use of data to understand our patient’s health allows us to be more present with them in-clinic and prescribe care more effectively. In between visits, this technology also allows us to connect with them and provide meaningful support. Our technology allows us to offer a more human-centric approach to diabetes care, one that works as highlighted by our outcomes.”

AlMarzooqi added that the company’s newly-released results demonstrate that its care model is “not only effective, but it vastly outperforms traditional models of care”.

“The cost of diabetes is enormous. Not only at a societal and economic level, but fundamentally on an individual level,” he continued. “Our initial outcome results show that GluCare’s world-first model of care is not only effective, but it vastly outperforms traditional models of care. Our integrated approach also outperforms newer stand-alone tech-enabled platforms.

“Being able to launch our model-of-care in a country where uncontrolled diabetes is so prevalent, and to prove its effectiveness, is a blessing. It foreshadows what is possible for patients globally who have long suffered with inadequate care and support in a healthcare system that simply didn’t work for them.”

Last year, AlMarzooqi explained that the establishment of the centre came about as the result of a large number of diabetic patients in the UAE reporting non-compliance to their care plans. At present, those with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes account for approximately 20% of the total population, he said.

WHY IT MATTERS

Further results from this report reveal a “4.7% average reduction in total body weight, a 25% average reduction in low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and an average blood glucose time in range of 79%, well above the 70% recommended by the American Diabetes Association.”

For comparison, GluCare cited the US-based remote diabetes management platform, Livongo, whose HbA1c results released 2018 reportedly highlighted an average 1% point reduction.

ON THE RECORD

“The cost of investing in these new models of care is exponentially less than doing nothing. We hope to demonstrate to all our stakeholders over the long term – whether they be patients, governments, payors, or employers – that we are able to deliver a vastly superior set of outcomes, but at a lower unit cost. In other words, better value,” said GluCare co-founder and chairman, Ali Hashemi. “Our north star is to change human behaviour in a sustainable way, leading to improved outcomes. A little counterintuitively, we use advanced AI and technology as a humanising force to engender this change.”

Upon launch, GluCare became the first clinic in the region to offer the Dexcom G6 Continuous Glucose Monitor, plus implement AI in retinal eye screenings via a partnership with Topcon Healthcare.



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