Remote Diabetes Services

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Services now LIVE in Scotland | Northern Ireland

Videoconferencing (VC) is used to deliver teleconsultations as part of diabetes services where there is considerable distance between the consultant and patient. Patients attending short notice appointments, 6 monthly reviews or their annual reviews could attend clinics at a remote site from the diabetes consultant who is based in a central location, often the main District General Hospital. The patient is escorted by a specialist diabetes nurse at the remote site who will send the patient’s blood glucose data from the patient’s meter via the internet to the consultant. A consultation can then take place via VC in a similar way to a face-to-face consultation. After the consultation, the doctor uses digital dictation to make information immediately available to the GP. Incorporation of the specialities of podiatry and dietetics will also ensure a comprehensive service could be offered to patients at remote sites.

Patients, nurses and doctors have been, on the whole, very satisfied with the use of VC in diabetes teleconsultations. Availability and quality of diabetes care has been maintained and in some cases improved. There is faster access to care, improved medication and better care control. When diabetes is a risk to kidneys or blood pressure is too high, a diabetes doctor has been able to make quick changes to patients’ medication. Consultants spend less time travelling to remote clinic sites which enables them to see more patients via VC or face-to-face consultations for newly diagnosed patients.


Demonstrator Project team leader: Gillian Galloway


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To see how doctors are tackling the challenges of rural healthcare for diabetes patients in the U.S. click here