Dr Viral Shah Emphasizes Importance of Patient Education on T1D Technologies

The next step for health care professionals is to teach patients how to act on the data collected by intermittently scanned glucose sensing technologies, according to Viral Shah, MD, an endocrinologist and scientist.

When it comes to diabetes technologies, the combination of the correct use, by the correct patients, in the correct manner is what leads to good outcomes, said Viral Shah, MD, endocrinologist and associate professor of medicine and pediatrics at the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes, Adult Clinic School of Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz campus.


What are the more common reasons why patients might fail to achieve optimal glycemic control even while using these technologies?

This is another excellent question. I give this analogy like, OK, I have an iPhone, an iWatch, but I don't use every single function in that. That means I'm not optimally using that. Similarly, in the diabetes technology space, if you do not use that optimally, you're not going to achieve the optimal outcomes. A couple of examples for that is many patients with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who are on intermittently scanned glucose sensing technologies, where you have to scan it, if you don't scan it, you don't see the number. And if you don't see the number, you're not going to make any action.

Ultimately, it's not about the use of technology, but the right use of a technology in the right patient, in the right manner, that leads to a good outcome. So I think all the health care professionals and everybody needs to not just the promote the technology, but also advise the patient on how to use it, how to review the data meaningfully, how to act based on the data. And if you don't act, you're not going to achieve the good results. So I think with the promotion of diabetes technology, the next step for us is now teaching our patients how to act on those data, and I think that will help to optimize the outcome.