Telcare Diabetes Awareness Index Reveals National Knowledge Gap for the Common and Deadly Disease

While Misconceptions and Myths Pervade for Both General Public and People Living With Diabetes, Technology and Millennial Attitudes Fuel New Approach to Disease Management

June 10, 2015 8:00 AM EDT

BETHESDA, MD -- (Marketwired) -- 06/10/15 -- Telcare today unveiled its first National Diabetes Awareness Index spotlighting a striking knowledge gap among both the general public and those living with diabetes about the causes, impact, costs and treatment options for one of America's most prevalent chronic diseases. While nearly one in 10 Americans (29.1 million) suffer from the disease, 57 percent of the U.S. population isn't aware that diabetes can cause other major health issues, including heart disease. Sixty three percent don't know the difference between Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, or that Type 2 is preventable and curable for the 27.85 million Americans living with the disease. Despite this knowledge gap, technology is opening up undiscovered possibilities for diabetes management and education as adoption of new tools for healthcare is on the rise. Telcare's index was launched to assess the general awareness of diabetes in the United States and the effects on individuals, families, friends, the general public and the economy as a whole.

"Diabetes will be greatly impacted by the rise of mobile medical apps, but significant education around the facts of the disease and how technology can help manage it is the first step towards progress. The index clearly shows the striking knowledge gap among both the general public and those living with diabetes, and the serious need for increased public awareness and advocacy for additional funding research," said Andy Flanagan, Telcare CEO. "What is needed is a different approach to disease management, one that creates meaningful data that medical professionals can use to help provide the level of personalized care consumers demand."

Telcare, provider of the world's first cellular-enabled blood glucometer, diabetes mobile application, and comprehensive HIPAA compliant cloud platform, developed the Index to measure consumer awareness about Diabetes and attitudes towards the use of technology in healthcare.

What You Don't Know Could Cost and Kill You Diabetes is the seventh deadliest disease, yet the Index revealed that the knowledge gap is just as severe among people living with diabetes as the general public.

  • The Gateway Disease: Despite 64 percent of people knowing someone living with diabetes, many were unaware that the disease can lead to other health complications such as kidney failure, lower limb amputations and blindness.
  • Patient does not mean Proficient: Even those living with the disease are unaware of the magnitude of national cost -- on average respondents underestimated it by $195 billion. In 2012, the U.S. spent a total of $245 billion in direct medical costs and reduced productivity. This price increased by 41 percent compared to four years prior.
  • Type 1, Type 2, Type Who?: 63 percent of people don't know the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

New Technology, New Hope While the cost of diabetes has gone up, technology is being used to help transform disease management, monitor blood glucose levels and track diet. For people living with diabetes, gaining a clear view of glucose levels and habits can reveal patterns, resulting in tailored treatment to help combat problems that could lead to other life-threatening health complications.

  • Need for New Tools: The majority of people living with Diabetes (58 percent) want to use technology to track their diets and 36 percent trust technology to manage their chronic disease.
  • Tech Trust at a Tipping Point: More than half of Americans (52 percent) say they trust technology, with that number going up slightly (57 percent) when paired with the expertise of medical professionals.
  • Three's Company -- You, your doctor and technology: People living with diabetes are two times more likely to connect with doctors because of health apps. 65 percent of people want doctors to incorporate technology into their health plans with 71 percent reporting they would use technology to proactively monitor their fitness goals.
  • Caretakers More Critical: 85 percent of people living with diabetes are more trusting of technology than people who identify themselves as caretakers of diabetes patients (76 percent)
  • Give me the Data Download for my Disease: 88 percent of people want access to real-time data when managing their chronic diseases.

"Technology is fueling a new approach to disease management. People are embracing the industry's move to digital health as their trust in the value of using technology to monitor and manage health has increased," said Connie Chitwood-Vu, Telcare certified diabetes educator.

Millennials, the Digital Health Generation Out of all generations polled, those between the ages of 18 and 34 trust technology the most, and also serve as the largest group of care providers (46 percent) for those living with Diabetes. Millennials are also the most invested in using apps for their health. Fifty-five percent of millennials who live with diabetes stated they would trust a health app over a health professional for advice, and the same number stated they are connecting with their doctors more frequently because of health apps.

  • Forget Orange, Tech Savvy is the New Black: 77 percent of millennials are interested in using technology to track their family's health and fitness, at least 10 percent more than older generations
  • Trust me, I'm an App: 55 percent of millennials living with diabetes would trust a health app over a health professional alone for advice. 55 percent of millennials living with diabetes connect with their doctors more frequently because of health apps
  • Smart Young Things: 43 percent of millennials understand the difference between Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, 10 percent more than any other generation

About Telcare Survey The Telcare-SurveyMonkey survey was conducted online among a national sample of 2,535 adults ages 18 and over. Results have an estimated error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

About Telcare Telcare is a leading digital-health company whose pioneering work includes development of the first FDA-cleared cellular blood glucometer. Headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, Telcare is a privately held company funded by Norwest Venture Partners, The Qualcomm Life Fund, Sequoia Capital, Mosaic Health Solutions and other founding investors. For more information, visit

Media Contact
Morgan Mathis
Highwire PR for Telcare
415-963-4174 x37
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Source: Telcare

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