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Telemedicine Benefits Children With Type 1 Diabetes

School-based program is associated with decreased A1c values and fewer emergencies

FRIDAY, May 22 (HealthDay News) -- In children with type 1 diabetes, a school-based telemedicine program may lead to better outcomes, according to a study published online May 22 in the Journal of Pediatrics.

Roberto Izquierdo, M.D., of the SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, N.Y., and colleagues randomly assigned 41 children ages 5 to 14 to receive either usual care consisting of medical visits every three months and as-needed conversations between the school nurse and the diabetes team or usual care plus a telemedicine unit in the school nurse office to facilitate monthly videoconferences between the school nurse, child, and diabetes team.

After six months, the researchers found that baseline A1c values increased in the usual-care group and decreased in the intervention group. They also found the intervention was associated with fewer urgent diabetes-related calls from the school nurse, and fewer emergency department visits and hospitalizations.

"At the present time insurance carriers do not reimburse for medical care delivered by telemedicine," the authors write. "It is hoped that as evidence accumulates demonstrating that diabetes care delivered by telemedicine is feasible, effective, and well-accepted, reimbursement will improve."

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