Diagnostic monitoring in the comfort of home
Patients suffering from chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and cardiopulmonary diseases, require lifelong treatment with medication and lifestyle changes. The patient’s quality of life is positively affected by the continuous monitoring of their health condition. This will allow them to anticipate potential health problems, prevent complications and adapt their lives accordingly with the help of Seer Medical.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a metabolic disorder caused by either lack or diminished function of insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells. Type 1 DM results from autoimmune destruction of pancreatic beta cells, while type 2 DM develops secondary to other predisposing factors, mainly obesity. Symptoms include frequent urination, increased thirst sensation, and extreme hunger caused by hyperglycemia (high blood glucose level). Hyperglycemia can also lead to serious health problems, such as diabetic coma or cardiovascular diseases. To avoid these complications, patients with DM have to check their glucose level using a blood glucose meter regularly and administer insulin if necessary. The frequency of self-testing varies between once per day and six times per day – more often during illness or stressful situations. People who have diabetes can experience anxiety due to the difficulty of monitoring blood glucose levels at home, which harms their quality of life.
Patients with cardiopulmonary diseases, such as heart failure (HF), coronary artery disease (CAD), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and others, also require continuous care. Patients suffering from HF experience increasing breathlessness upon the physical activity or emotional stress because the ventricles of their heart cannot pump enough blood to all parts of the body. This can lead to hospitalization and even death if left untreated. It is recommended that patients check their weight at home daily and monitor their pulse for 20 minutes three times a day to detect and treat early signs and symptoms of decompensating HF. HF patients can expect a prolonged life expectancy when they monitor themselves according to this protocol. Patients with CAD or angina pectoris experience chest pain when carrying out physical activities because the coronary arteries cannot provide enough oxygen to the heart muscles. It is recommended that people with CAD monitor their level of physical activity to reduce their risk for cardiovascular events.
Self-monitoring chronic diseases (SMD) comprises several components, including self-testing and patient education. Self-monitoring can be performed at home using different devices/tools, such as blood glucose meters (BGM), weighing scales, and pulse oximeters. These devices can facilitate SMD in patients who need continuous monitoring to control their symptoms or manage their disease state effectively. BGM allows the patient to self-test their glucose levels conveniently at home. However, the patient’s quality of life is influenced by the economic cost of BGM devices, technological complexity, and social stigma related to blood glucose checking. It has been reported that more than half of patients with diabetes are not using BGM devices because they are too expensive for them or do not have access to them due to financial restrictions or lack of health insurance. Furthermore, many patients find it difficult to operate these devices without help from medical staff or family members.