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New Study Will Evaluate a Virtual Clinic Model for Diabetes Care

By Lucy Masto, Eliza Skoler, and Katie Mahoney

A new study provides CGM training, insulin dosing support, and mental health services through a fully virtual model to see if virtual specialty care can effectively help people with diabetes

Trial name: Virtual Diabetes Specialty Clinic (VDiSC) study

Diabetes type: Type 1 and Type 2

What is this trial testing?

The Helmsley Charitable Trust is funding the Jaeb Center for Health Research Foundation for a study on whether access to virtual specialty care – including an introduction to continuous glucose monitors (CGM) outside of a clinical setting – can improve clinical and psychological outcomes for people with diabetes. The trial will also provide insulin dosing support and mental health services.

What is the trial measuring? 

This study will measure CGM use, health outcomes, use and cost of healthcare services and decision support tools, and the effect of mental health services. The partnership seeks to determine whether access to virtual specialty care and advanced diabetes technology can improve diabetes health, regardless of where people live.

The virtual clinic team will help participants learn how to use their CGM. The care team will include Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialists (CDCES) to provide insulin dosing advice. In addition, licensed psychologists and behavioral health coaches will offer mental health support to people experiencing diabetes-related challenges.

Why is this new or important?

During COVID-19, this study is especially relevant, as clinics and hospitals have had to reduce services and find alternative ways to provide care virtually and through telemedicine. This study is promising for the long-term use of virtual clinics and technology training, especially since virtual clinics may improve access to diabetes technology and care in rural areas.

The study expands on a 2019 pilot study that also looked at whether CGM could successfully be introduced and used outside of a clinical setting. The smaller study found that the 34 participants used their new CGM for the full three-month trial and, with personal support, improved their blood glucose management and quality of life.

Trial length: Six months

Trial location: The study will enroll people across the US. This study is not currently available to the public.

Participant eligibility criteria: The study will enroll 300 people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes who are new to CGM.

As we learn more details about this exciting study – if the Jaeb Center is looking for participants or has shared results – we will keep you updated.

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