Telemedicine interventions in the management of diabetes mellitus in special epidemiological conditions
The COVID-19 pandemic, an unprecedented epidemiological context, has brought multiple swift changes in public policies, healthcare facilities and the daily life of individuals worldwide. While the management of infections with SARS-CoV-2 have become a priority in most medical settings, a drastic reduction in the outpatient visits for noncommunicable diseases, an avoidance of hospitals and also a limitation in non-urgent medical appointments with delayed diagnosis and treatment have been reported.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a lifelong condition that requires continuous non-pharmacological and pharmacological interventions to achieve and maintain an adequate control of glycaemic levels and of other cardiovascular risk factors. The COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to an increased difficulty in patients’ access to state-of-the-art diabetes care, situation that has found its solution through the inclusion of telemedicine into routine clinical practice. These interventions have been shown to improve glycaemic control, mental health and the communication between patients with DM and their healthcare providers, while also lowering the risk of potential infections with SARS-CoV-2. The aim of this review is to describe the epidemiological context that has led to the increased usage of telemedicine in diabetes and the diversity and benefits of these interventions.