General Session Calls on Diabetes Educators to Assume Active Role in Digital Health

Chris Bergstrom, MBA

Chris Bergstrom, MBA

This morning’s general session speaker hopes that diabetes educators will answer his call to help the digital healthcare industry improve digital devices and strategies and share their experiences as they navigate this new way of delivering diabetes education and care to their patients.

Chris Bergstrom, MBA, Digital Health Lead, Boston Consulting Group, will bring to life the dramatic digital changes in our world. He will also bring to the stage the can’t miss ‘voices’ of educators to share their digital health experiences in this morning’s “Let’s Get Digital” presentation at 7:30 am in Exhibit Hall F.

“We’ve always had tools to deliver better care, and we use those tools whether they be stethoscopes, needles, meters,” he said. “Today and going forward, we have new tools, but they require different things like typing and swiping and sharing and analyzing data. These tools will allow educators to really practice at the peak of their game, and to reach more patients.”

With more than 30 million people with diabetes and another 84 million with prediabetes in the United States alone, the ability to scale education and treatment to the widest possible audience is critical. Reaching people in underserved or remote areas can be challenging without the new digital methods available and under development.

“By putting new tools in the same hands, we can scale the skills of educators to empower self-management for millions of people with diabetes – on-going support superhuman style!” said Bergstrom.

That next wave of science, as he calls it, is perfectly aligned with the role of the diabetes educator because as medical and behavioral scientists they practice in the real world and are uniquely qualified to help build the body of evidence for digital health delivery.

“We only have a small body of evidence behind the science so far. Some of that evidence has some really bright lights of showing there is high potential. It’s time we scale that research and understand and demonstrate what it is like in the hands of those who will recommend and use this for patient care,” he said.

He noted that much of the current digital delivery methodology is still not perfect, and it falls to the diabetes educator to help by trying out the digital methods and sharing their results with researchers, manufacturers and their peers.

“I hope that we can inspire them to embrace, tackle, challenge and learn from digital health. Use it in your practice, learn and experiment and then share those results with others,” he said. “It is still so early stage that we need as many people as possible learning, experiencing and sharing what they’ve come across.”

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