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J Med Internet Res ; 22(8): e21609, 2020 08 28.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-750813


The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has presented unique challenges for people with diabetes, in addition to their high-risk stratification for infection. Supporting people with diabetes to self-care has been critical to reduce their risk of severe infection. This global pandemic has presented an opportunity to digitalize diabetes care and rapidly implement virtual diabetes clinics, with the aim of optimizing diabetes management and well-being, while keeping patients safe. We performed a rapid review of the literature to evaluate the feasibility and effectiveness of virtual clinics in diabetes care before and during the COVID-19 pandemic and have combined these findings with our own reflections in practice. We identified examples demonstrating safety and feasibility of virtual diabetes clinics, which aligns with our own clinical experience during the pandemic. The advantages of virtual clinics include reduced treatment burden, improved therapeutic alliances, societal and psychological benefits, and in our experience, innovative solutions to overcome the challenges presented by the transition from in-person to virtual care. We have provided three infographics to illustrate lessons learned and key recommendations, including steps to establish a virtual diabetes clinic, a checklist guide for health care professionals conducting virtual clinics, and a patient guide for making the most out of the virtual clinic. It is important to continue adapting to this pandemic and to make technology a sustainable option for the future of diabetes care.

Betacoronavirus/pathogenicity , Coronavirus Infections/physiopathology , Coronavirus/pathogenicity , Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2/complications , Pneumonia, Viral/physiopathology , Telemedicine/methods , COVID-19 , Humans , Pandemics , SARS-CoV-2 , United Kingdom