People with diabetes are at greater risk for negative outcomes from COVID-19. Though this risk is multifactorial, poor glycaemic control before and during admission to hospital for COVID-19 is likely to contribute to the increased risk. The COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions on mobility and interaction can also be expected to impact on daily glucose management of people with diabetes. Telemonitoring of glucose metrics has been widely used during the pandemic in people with diabetes, including adults and children with T1D, allowing an exploration of the impact of COVID-19 inside and outside the hospital setting on glycaemic control. To date, 27 studies including 69,294 individuals with T1D have reported the effect of glycaemic control during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite restricted access to diabetes clinics, glycaemic control has not deteriorated for 25/27 cohorts and improved in 23/27 study groups. Significantly, time in range (TIR) 70–180 mg/dL (3.9–10 mmol/L) increased across 19/27 cohorts with a median 3.3% (− 6.0% to 11.2%) change. Thirty per cent of the cohorts with TIR data reported an average clinically significant TIR improvement of 5% or more, possibly as a consequence of more accurate glucose monitoring and improved connectivity through telemedicine. Periodic consultations using telemedicine enables care of people with diabetes while limiting the need for in-person attendance at diabetes clinics. Reports that sustained hyperglycaemia and early-stage diabetic ketoacidosis may go untreated because of the lockdown and concerns about potential exposure to the risk of infection argue for wider access to glucose telemonitoring. Therefore, in this paper we have critically reviewed reports concerning use of telemonitoring in the acute hospitalized setting as well as during daily diabetes management. Furthermore, we discuss the indications and implications of adopting telemonitoring and telemedicine in the present challenging time, as well as their potential for the future.
- Ambulatory glucose profile
- Continuous glucose monitoring
- Insulin pumps
- Risk management
- Virtual care