Patients with chronic diseases are often burdened with psychological distress. The overwhelming nature of living with a chronic disease can result in stress and other mental health comorbidities that negatively influence disease management. Patients with diabetes, for example, commonly experience depressive symptoms and in turn have difficulty adhering to treatment protocols. These individuals are less likely to engage in regular glucose self-monitoring and are therefore at increased risk of detrimental clinical outcomes, like nephropathy, retinopathy, hospitalization, and death.
Telehealth solutions are commonly used to manage chronic diseases like diabetes, congestive heart failure, asthma, hypertension, and COPD, yet research on using telehealth for digestive diseases is lacking.
Diabetes is a highly prevalent issue in the United States. Over 29 million people in the US suffer from diabetes, with rural populations being particularly affected. Poorly controlled diabetes is accompanied by a wide array of medical complications, in addition to significant financial burden. It is estimated that diabetes and its associated comorbidities account for $245 billion in total annual health expenditures.