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Using Diabetes Therapy Management Software to Support Behavior Change—A Case-based Approach

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Published Online: May 16th 2012 US Endocrinology, 2012;8(1):17-21 DOI:
Authors: George Grunberger
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The management of diabetes is complex and requires a team approach for optimal outcomes. This team is comprised of the patient, numerous healthcare providers, and various technologies to elicit the behavioral changes needed in the ongoing care of the disease. This paper uses a case-based approach to demonstrate the patient–healthcare provider relationship and the use of various technologies when managing diabetes. The use of diabetes therapy management software demonstrates enhanced patient–healthcare provider communication, provides data showing that behavioral changes can improve outcomes, and allows the patient to enact positive self-management practices.


Type 1 diabetes, hypoglycemia, insulin pump therapy (IPT), continuous subcutaneous insulin infusion (CSII), diabetes therapy management software, sensor-augmented pump therapy (SATP)


Diabetes outcomes are determined largely by self-management of complex behaviors.1 People who use intensive insulin regimens, for example, are taught that healthy blood glucose levels depend on balancing the amount of energy in the food they absorb with the amount of energy they expend while adapting their insulin dose to both.

Diabetes outcomes are determined largely by self-management of complex behaviors.1 People who use intensive insulin regimens, for example, are taught that healthy blood glucose levels depend on balancing the amount of energy in the food they absorb with the amount of energy they expend while adapting their insulin dose to both. This involves multiple interrelated actions—e.g., carbohydrate counting, adjusting the timing and/or dosing of insulin administration, and altering the frequency or method of blood glucose monitoring—which are, in turn, subject to emotional, cultural, and social influences. Today’s healthcare environment rarely allows time to sort out these intertwining issues, making effective, long-term behavior change difficult for patients and practitioners alike.2,3

Diabetes technologies—namely, blood glucose meters, insulin pumps, and continuous glucose monitors—have evolved in response to this challenge. When used with compatible web-based therapy management software, data from these devices may be downloaded to personal or office computers for a quick, comprehensive view of how insulin timing or dosage, food choices and portions, exercise, and other behavioral factors interact to affect glucose control.4 This visual feedback from customized reports can serve as a “road-map” during consultation for pinpointing barriers to effective self-care and eliciting practical solutions at the level of the individual patient. Therapy management software for personal and professional use has benefits that may include:

  • expediting data interpretation;
  • enhancing patient–healthcare provider communication;
  • motivating behavior change in real-world situations;
  • showing the versatility of this clinical tool; and
  • increasing patient and provider confidence in their ability to enact or induce positive self-management practices.

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Article Information:

George Grunberger, MD, FACP, FACE, has received consultancy fees from Medtronic Diabetes.


George Grunberger, MD, FACP, FACE, Grunberger Diabetes Institute, 43494 Woodward Ave, Ste 208, Bloomfield Hills, MI 48302-5054, US. E:


The publication of this article was funded by Medtronic Diabetes. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of Medtronic Diabetes.




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