Digital Health is probably THE most trending word in the health care world today, especially after the advent of the COVID pandemic. But Digital health is more than that. It encompasses leveraging digital technology to offer an entire gamut of services for people – from (continuous glucose monitoring with remote coaches) to treatment (doctor consultation with prescriptions) to lifestyle support (diabetes reversal programmes, programs for PCOS) to education and awareness.
An Endocrinologist is uniquely placed to understand the need gaps in current clinic appointment processes and help design technology to address these gaps. I have been consulting with a health technology company (FITTERFLY) for more than a year now. It has been an incredible journey – Designing PCOS and Diabetes, conceptualising patient-friendly reports, collaborating on diabetes reversal programs, and discussing our findings at various meetings across the country and holding webinars for the lay public.
A case in point being Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) – e.g. when girls with polycystic ovary syndrome come to the clinic, in one consultation, there is a lot to cover- diagnosis, medical treatment, lifestyle modifications, future implications on health and a lot more. This is information overload for a limited 20-minute consult, and the young girl is unlikely to remember most of it.
So, I worked with Fitterfly to design a HEAL PCOS program which takes girls with PCOS through all this information for three months and dynamic support on nutrition and exercise to build lifestyle changes as a habit. An informed and motivated person can work wonders and greatly ameliorate her condition with the right support.
Similarly, people with Type 2 diabetes are often confused about what they can and cannot eat. Many people are loathed to stop rice, and many have no idea of the high blood sugars that can ensue with foods that are not sweet. Using a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to measure blood sugars 24X7 along with close attention to food intake and exercise, it is possible to understand the impact of different foods in our body – an evolving field called “Precision Nutrition”. This helps guide people on what they can and cannot eat, which is unique to their body, helping them achieve good sugar levels and better outcomes. The Diabefly Pro is a programme I advised on which is run by trained nutrition coaches. In an article presented at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists Annual Meeting in 2020, Diabefly Pro helped people reduce their weight and Hba1c (by 0.5%) without any change in medications.
Last but not least, I am very excited to be a part of a pioneering program based on sound scientific studies and decades of experience with Shilpa Joshi (Vice President of Indian Dietetic Association), Dr Sanjay Kalra ( past president of Endocrine Society of India) and Dr Shefali Bharadwaj (PhD in Clinical Nutrition) to help people with early diabetes reverse their diabetes fully or partially. http://www.fitterfly.com/diabefly-reverse. This is in its final stages. We are hoping to publish the findings of our first 50 patients by this year-end.
We have coined the term “TELETHYROIDOLOGY” to describe the adoption of telemedicine for the management of thyroid conditions. Our original publication describes how we can triage patients who can be safely managed in the comfort of their homes – reducing travel/cost/wait times but providing world-class care. We give road maps for the management of conditions like Hypothyroidism, Hyperthyroidism and thyroid nodules. Use this link to access the full article: “Telethyroidology”: Managing thyroid disorders through telemedicine’ to know more about it.
The link is given here- https://lnkd.in/ggYQi3U