5.1.1 A diabetic patient healthcare solution model
To demonstrate how the IoE is improving patient care, we will focus on a patient with type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a disease where a person’s body does not produce insulin, a hormone needed by the body’s cells so that the cells can absorb glucose. The glucose is used by the cells for energy. Without enough insulin, glucose builds up in the blood, and cells starve for glucose. This is known as hyperglycemia. With too much insulin, the body burns too much glucose. This is called hypoglycemia. Very high or very low glucose levels can lead to a diabetic coma, where a patient becomes unconscious, and can die if left untreated. People with type 1 diabetes must diligently monitor the levels of glucose in their bodies. They may need to administer proper amounts of insulin to maintain a healthy level of glucose in their blood.
To illustrate a healthcare solution model we will examine John Doe. John Doe is 55 years old. He was diagnosed with diabetes 5 years ago, and has difficulty maintaining healthy glucose levels. He has a record of hospitalisation and diabetic coma. John has recently begun using a health monitoring company (HMC) to help him avoid diabetic comas and emergency visits to the hospital. He wears a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device and a fitness tracker to monitor his exercise level and respiration. These devices provide the data for the health monitoring company to determine when his state of health moves outside his normal range.
When John’s health data is showing dangerous patterns like those that he has exhibited in the past, the health monitoring company sends John an alert on his smartwatch, smartphone, tablet, and television. The alert tells John to call the health monitoring company so that they can assess his condition. If John still does not change his behavior, and he continues this trend, the health monitoring company will dispatch a mobile patient treatment center (MPTC) to administer urgent care.