Survey Highlights Challenges of Diabetes Management, Potential Impact of Technology

October 19, 2020
Gianna Melillo

Gianna is an assistant editor of The American Journal of Managed Care® (AJMC®). She has been working on AJMC® since 2019 and has a BA in philosophy and journalism & professional writing from The College of New Jersey.

Results from a national survey conducted by the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists show that individuals living with diabetes feel they are doing everything they can to manage the condition, yet believe more can be done.

Results from a national survey conducted by the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES) show that individuals living with diabetes feel they are doing everything they can to manage the condition, yet believe more can be done.

The survey was conducted throughout June and July of 2020 and included over 700 adults living in America with either type 1 or type 2 diabetes. All respondents took insulin administered via a vial/syringe or pen regularly for at least 6 months. However, respondents were not excluded from the survey if they used an insulin pump or inhaled insulin.

Specifically, the results found individuals are challenged by tracking information related to their condition over time. Sixty-five percent of respondents reported they are doing everything they possibly can to manage their diabetes, while 67% reported feeling guilty about not doing a better job.

In addition, 62% reported being too busy to log and/or forgetting to log their insulin use when asked about the most common challenges they face in tracking insulin use over a month’s time.

“The complex nature of managing diabetes presents an opportunity for health care professionals to personalize diabetes management,” said Lorena Drago, MS, RDN, CDN, CDCES. “One way to personalize diabetes management is to collect useful diabetes information automatically in one place.”

The study results highlight the potential role technology can play in improving diabetes management. Among those surveyed, 80% believed a device that connects to an insulin pen, can automatically track and record insulin use, and wirelessly send the information to a smart phone or app would be helpful.

Of individuals who currently track their blood glucose levels with a blood glucose monitor or continuous glucose monitor, 47% reported their current method is simple and easy, but they also wish it was even more simple and easy to do. Among those who track insulin use, 45% reported that looking back at their use and how it impacts their levels is easy, but they still desire an easier process.

Eighty two percent of respondents felt having all their data put together automatically and being able to see everything in one place would make tracking their diabetes information easier.

When asked about the specific impact a connected device may have:

  • 79% responded it would give them a more personalized understanding of their diabetes
  • 78% responded it would make tracking or managing insulin use less time-consuming
  • 75% responded it would make them feel more empowered when it comes to managing diabetes

“Given the personal nature of diabetes, and the constant management needed, these data truly underscore the challenges people face in tracking and managing diabetes information,” said Kellie Antinori-Lent, MSN, RN, ACNS-BC, BC-ADM, CDCES, FADCES, president of ADCES. “These data also show the potential benefits of integrating technology into the care routines of people living with diabetes.”

The survey was supported by Sanofi US.