The diabetes epidemic in the United States requires innovative solutions, and DreaMed is providing them through its individualized care.
The ancient Egyptians were the first people in history (by at least 3,000 years) to identify diabetes. As of now, 537 million people around the world are suffering from this condition, making it one of the most prevalent chronic diseases. More than 37 million people, or 11% of the total population, have diabetes in the United States. Even though diabetes treatment has come a long way, it is still the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
One reason is that there are not enough endocrinologists to treat the 41,000 people with diabetes in the United States for whom care is urgently needed. As a result, many people avoid going to specialists and instead rely on their general practitioners, even though this can result in subpar care.
Even if one follows a healthy diet and leads a healthy lifestyle, not having access to medical care can turn a treatable illness into a fatal one.
Just what is DreaMed, anyway?
DreaMed Diabetes, based in Israel, is filling the gaps in diabetes care in the United States. Patients who can’t easily visit a diabetes specialist are still able to receive the individualized care that other patients receive from the company.
Eight years ago, at the Schneider Children’s Medical Center in Petah Tikva, Israel, a biomedical engineer, a medical engineer, and a pediatric endocrinologist founded a company to develop the first FDA-approved decision support system.
endo.digital is an AI-based system that analyzes a diabetic patient’s data using an automated insulin delivery algorithm and then recommends the best insulin treatment for that patient right away.
DreaMed, with headquarters just outside of Tel Aviv, has expanded internationally to offer superior care to people with diabetes in the United States.
The University of Florida Diabetes Institute, Texas Children’s Hospital, and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital are just a few of the prestigious facilities that have adopted the company’s technology.
These collaborations between institutions have demonstrated that endo.digital’s treatment recommendation performance is on par with that of diabetes specialists.
The majority of diabetes specialists work in major urban centers, leaving 46 million rural Americans without access to care. The long distances between homes and medical facilities are a major barrier to diabetes care.
Unfortunately, the rural rate of diabetes is higher than the urban rate. DreaMed fills this care gap by reducing the need for patients to physically go to a doctor’s office. Patients can reduce therapeutic inertia, also known as delayed responses, by having quick and easy access to treatment recommendations.
Failure to reach or maintain goal glycemic levels (known as therapeutic inertia) is common when healthcare providers lack the resources (such as medications, supplies, and education) to effectively treat their patients. Therapeutic inertia is common and potentially harmful for patients in rural areas. A patient’s prognosis worsens dramatically if treatment isn’t stepped up.
DreaMed’s AI-based systems make it possible for any doctor’s office to provide the same level of care as a specialist’s, relieving the burden on already-overworked endocrinologists. Since patients can refresh their monitoring data on a daily basis, a doctor can spot a shift in the patient’s condition in a matter of weeks rather than months.
While the United States’ health technology has a long way to go before it can solve every problem with Americans’ healthcare, innovations that improve patients’ access to the best care are a promising start. Companies that bring innovation to inefficient or unfair systems can play a crucial role in fostering health equity and thereby creating healthier societies.
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