The Hankey Grant
The Hankey Grant
Over the past 20 plus years our diabetes group has made many contributions to the care and treatment of people with diabetes. We are not a large team compared to most diabetes center around the country but we have managed to create a national and international presence in the field. Much of the reason for this is due to your support, without which we could never have been so successful.
Recently we received a generous donation from the Hankey Foundation which will make a huge difference in terms of what we can do moving forward. While pharmaceutical and devices companies have funded studies in drug and device use it is foundations, individual donors and the NIH who have allowed our most meaningful research to occur. These projects involve being allowed to ask and answer questions that directly impact the lives of people with diabetes, from the impact of lifestyle changes as a treatment for type 2 diabetes to how to best educate our underserved patients with type 1 diabetes.
The Hankey grant will go towards trying to find a better way to treat our underserved patients with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Prior efforts to improve their outcomes have not been successful. But those approaches all used the “traditional” model for healthcare, meaning that patients interact with their providers either at routinely scheduled appointments or for emergency care in between. Healthcare itself doesn’t come to the patient when the patient needs it. However, through use of continuous glucose monitors that stream data back to a clinic dashboard we can watch over our patients remotely and identify those who need help. Our team can outreach to those individuals via telemedicine, at times that suit the patient, such as in the evenings or weekends. We don’t want patients to have to miss work to take three buses to come to a clinic appointment.
This is a different model for medicine in which providers are paid to see patients at appointments, not for remote monitoring. But increasingly we can do this sort of follow up whether it is for cardiac disease or diabetes. If it works better than what we have done it the past it could be a way to reduce healthcare disparities—everyone can be remotely monitored if needed, based on their clinical needs and situation. And it may not be the answer for everyone, but if it can help us guide therapeutic dose adjustments to improve glucose control it will be a big step forward. And it may help change the model for healthcare delivery in people with diabetes.