Holy Name Medical Center Blog

New Tech Tools Make Diabetes Easier to Monitor and Treat

Posted By Hilda Hernandez-Sepulveda, BSN, RN, CDCES
Coordinator, The Diabetes Center at Holy Name on November 3, 2021
Hilda Hernandez-Sepulveda, BSN, RN, CDE

Diabetes afflicts about one in 10 Americans, more than 34 million people nationwide. Another 88 million American adults - about one-third of the population - are considered pre-diabetic, meaning their glucose (sugar) levels are elevated. They are at risk of developing diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association.

Complications from diabetes can be life-threatening and severe – including vision impairment, kidney disease, stroke and heart disease. The disease is the sixth leading cause of death right here in New Jersey.

Managing diabetes often requires significant lifestyle changes, which can be overwhelming. At the Diabetes Center at Holy Name we’re here to help. Our specialized team can provide people with diabetes and pre-diabetes with the educational and emotional support needed to manage this complex disease.

Revolutionary Advances

We can assist you in making the most of a host of new tools and technologies that help provide a clearer picture of how to best navigate the lifestyle challenges - such as healthy eating and exercise - needed to manage diabetes. New advances in self- and remote monitoring over the past decade have been revolutionary:

  • Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems use a small sensor that penetrates the top layer of skin in the abdomen or arm to provide real-time readings that can be sent (or scanned) to a monitor or smartphone app. This technology is a big stride forward as the device can provide nearly 300 readings per day. Patients can see the real-time effects of food, exercise and medication on their glucose levels, better allowing them to head off danger.

    The process is more dynamic and less unpleasant than traditional finger sticks. Patients can shower with the 14-day sensor, which is held in place by an adhesive patch. Most monitoring systems are covered by Medicare and most private insurance. We encourage patients to try CGM systems. Most love them for the valuable information they provide in a convenient and efficient way.

  • Smart insulin pens are reusable injectors with a Bluetooth smartphone app that can help better manage the delivery of insulin, which is required for patients with type 1 diabetes and sometimes necessary for people with type 2 diabetes. Syringes and pumps were traditionally used, but increasingly patients are gravitating to the convenience of smart pens, since the system calculates and tracks doses and provides helpful reminders, alerts and reports.

  • There are many helpful Apps tailored to diabetes management. They can count carbs, show restaurant menus, compare calorie levels and otherwise help with healthy meal planning. They can also track exercise. These apps can be a great motivator in helping patients live healthier lifestyles.

    There are also apps that can check glucose levels recorded by finger sticks and prepare and share reports for doctors and diabetes educators.

  • North Jersey Telemedicine, Holy Name’s telemedicine program, helped our patients connect with healthcare professionals during the pandemic through their computers and smart phones. It allowed for continuing care in managing diabetes. This was especially important because people with diabetes are at high risk of developing COVID-19 and complications of the virus. We have encouraged COVID vaccination for our patients. Twenty months after the initial surge of the pandemic in New Jersey, patients have gotten more comfortable with using telemedicine, and it is covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurance. Telemedicine is a safe and effective way to access all that we offer at the Diabetes Center at Holy Name. Visit northjerseytelemedicine.com to find a provider.

Call Us to Learn More

The pandemic has hastened the adoption of many of these technologies and given patients the incentive to try new products that will simplify their lives. The data these new products provide make it easier for patients to monitor their personal medical information and for healthcare professionals to keep up to date on patients’ vital metrics and to troubleshoot problems.

There are many pieces to the diabetes management puzzle. Our diabetes educators at the Diabetes Center at Holy Name can help you put all the pieces together. Ultimately, we can better tailor individualized treatment plans that improve health outcomes.

Hilda Hernandez-Sepulveda, BSN, RN, CDCES, is a registered nurse and certified diabetes care and education specialist, who has served as coordinator of the Diabetes Center at Holy Name for nearly a dozen years.

The Diabetes Center offers daytime and evening, group and individual diabetes self-management education counseling sessions at its location, 222 Cedar Lane, Suite 301, Teaneck. Ask your doctor for a prescription for Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME). We also offer diabetes screenings and treatment. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call the center at 201-833-3371.