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Managing type 2 diabetes through analytics

November 13, 2013
by Richard R. Rogoski
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The University of North Carolina School of Medicine in Chapel Hill and SAS, a Cary, N.C.-based software company known for its business analytics software, have teamed up to develop an analytics model to assist providers in identifying the best ways to help people manage type 2 diabetes.

The multi-year collaboration announced last week will focus on using software to mine data voluntarily gathered from people with diabetes as a way to access risk and to customize treatment plans based on personal preferences, interests, motivations and lifestyle.

In announcing this team effort, David Rubinow, MD, director, UNC Innovation and Health Care System Transformation, said, "With this new solution, physicians will know how to communicate with and engage patients in a personalized manner based on what is likely to work best for each individual patient. By understanding the preferences and needs of the individual patient–not just his or her health history–the physician can select and provide resources that are best matched for that individual and consequently most likely to be successfully incorporated into patients' efforts to manage their diabetes and their health."

Laura Young, MD, PhD, assistant professor of endocrinology and metabolism in the UNC School of Medicine, explained how this might work: "For diabetes patients, taking prescribed medication is important to achieving and maintaining good health," she said. "If a physician knows that a patient is more likely to take medication if he receives regular text message reminders, for example, this will be extremely helpful. Finding new tools to help physicians help patients improve their health is more important than ever."