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Application of computers in diabetes care--a review. I. Computers for data collection and interpretation

Application of computers in diabetes care--a review. I. Computers for data collection and interpretation

Medical Informatics 20(4): 281-302

The paper reviews the contribution of information technology (IT) to diabetes care. An appraisal of this topic with respect to insulin-dependent (type 1) diabetic patients is carried out in view of the landmark findings of the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial (DCCT) which has demonstrated that maintaining tight blood glucose control can delay the onset and slow the progression of the later life complications of diabetes. The review starts with the clinical background and the main features of the control schema in which diabetic patients receive insulin therapy. An overview is then provided of recent IT initiatives in diabetes care, and the application of IT techniques to assist in the diagnosis and characterization of patients with diabetes mellitus is considered. The role of IT approaches for short-term glycaemic control is discussed and the utilization of computers for collecting, viewing and interpreting home monitoring blood glucose data is reviewed; both quantitative and qualitative techniques being considered. In the second paper the role of decision support tools for planning insulin therapy using clinical algorithms, hand-held devices, knowledge-based approaches, telemedicine techniques and interactive simulations is reviewed, and the validation and clinical evaluation of these tools is discussed. The likely impact of the routine clinical application of implantable/non-invasive blood glucose monitoring devices is also considered. Finally, the application of computers as teaching tools is reviewed and the ways in which such educational approaches might be applied for disseminating the benefits of the DCCT trial more widely are discussed.

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Accession: 008181847

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 8744938

DOI: 10.3109/14639239509024284

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