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JDRF International is soliciting Letters of Intent (LOI’s) from investigators across behavioral health and psychology to advance the understanding of the efficacy and utility of telehealth in type 1 diabetes (T1D) care. Interventions with behavioral and psychological emphasis are of particular interest. The aim is to gain insights into the application of telehealth and to identify and address the barriers associated with virtual care delivery. The incomplete knowledge of telehealth efficacy in T1D care, how to utilize telehealth in behavioral/psychological care delivery, and how to effectively communicate practice insights to health professional communities remain a challenge towards advancing this form of care delivery. The purpose of this call is to invite innovative ideas that address these needs in novel ways that drive progress.
Telehealth has been explored for more than 30 years by clinicians, health services researchers, and others with the aim of improving health and health care delivery. In recent years, studies have shown the efficacy of telehealth in pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and transitioning teens with type 1 diabetes, but much is still under-investigated. Much can also be gleaned from work in other telehealth areas such as rural health delivery, military health delivery, telehealth uses in follow up care, and remote patient monitoring.
The spectrum of telehealth delivery ranges broadly from telephone and the use of radio to link emergency medical personnel, to largely experimental, highly specialized innovations such as telesurgery. In between these two ends of the spectrum lie an array of video, audio, and data transmission technologies and applications.
The use of common, handheld technology and the integration of such technology into T1D practice and psychology has been limited and has demonstrated varying degrees of success. Telehealth is infrequently used in T1D clinical practice and there is little published evidence about specific psychology use. Some success has been demonstrated by text and online group interventions, but these have not been adopted broadly in clinical practice.