SHELBYVILLE, Ill. (WAND) - Technology is making it easier for rural diabetic patients to get access to the care they need.
HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital and Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate with HSHS Medical Group have created a telehealth system to reach patients in rural communities.
"The only thing I can't do is touch you," said Brenda Michael, FNP, CDE, Joslin Diabetes Center Affiliate with HSHS Medical Group.
Every three to six months patients in the Shelby County area can go to HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital and communicate with doctors like Michael via computer. Joslin is located in Springfield, so Michael believes having a system, like telehealth, is helping patients who aren't able to afford or find the transportation to the appointment.
"It's cost saving for them, they don't have to take off work or a half a day of full day or the gas money."
Twice a month patients are able to connect with their doctor in Springfield. Michael said she talks to patients about their blood sugar and medications.
"Diabetes has so many complications if it's uncontrolled," said Michael. "The goal is to keep people controlled."
Jen Gatton, RN, works at HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital and said diabetes is becoming more common and prevalent in older and middle age populations, so having something like telehealth will help educate those with the disease.
"I think this is what the future is going to look like," said Gatton." I hope we will have more and more doctors doing the telemedicine and then we'll be able to branch out and provide more services."
Diabetes can take a toll on a person's overall health with not controlled. Gatton said there are hidden diagnosis, so she explained things to look out for are excess thirst, dizziness, visual problems and trouble concentrating. Gatton said in some cases people can have tremors.
For more information about Joslin Diabests Center Affiliate with HSHS Medical Group, click here.