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Simply Being Connected Can Keep You Healthier

by Joy Pape, RN BSN CDE WOCN CFCN FAADE

Whether you or your loved one has high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or is taking any medications, staying connected to your health care provider and or your loved can improve your health, and give all of you peace of mind.

As a health care provider, I take care of a lot of people who monitor their blood sugars, blood pressure, and weight at home. Most of my patients don’t like keeping a written record to bring to me. Many of them don’t know the numbers that should concern them, or if the numbers are as they should be. Over the last few months, I have been recommending they use a system from Ambio Health, called Ambio. Ambio is a wireless remote health monitoring system that effortlessly allows you to take readings at home, which then goes to whoever you choose to receive the information. Don’t let the description scare you. It is so simple, you don’t even have to press a button. One of my patients said, “The Ambio set up is pretty slick. Hard to believe everything worked the first time I set it up with no tech intervention required. Impressed!” Here are some examples of people I’ve worked with who have Ambio.

William is a 62-year-old man, who had a stroke three years ago. He has diabetes, high blood pressure, and a family that loves him. Before Ambio, we talked weekly. He wasn’t writing down his blood sugars, he would have to read off every number to me. I was never sure they were correct, and it took a long time to go through them. William was not even checking his blood pressure. Once on Ambio, I got his blood sugar and blood pressure results automatically. The numbers were all high. Ambio gave us a record of all the readings to share with his health care providers. Medication changes were made immediately. One important point here is that William’s blood pressure was only high in the morning, which is the most dangerous time for high blood pressure. A lot of people miss that number if they don’t check at home. Bringing William’s numbers to target range in a timely manner can help him prevent another stroke. He looks forward to his son’s wedding this fall. He, his loved ones, and his health care providers are amazed at the simplicity of this device, and how William’s health can be better cared for.

John, a 35-year-old man was recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He was told to check his blood sugar at least four times a day. He was scared of his numbers going too high and having complications of diabetes. I was concerned about his numbers going too low. It is not unusual for people who have type 1 diabetes to need a larger amount of insulin early on, but then need a lot less. Although high blood sugars can be dangerous, it is the long-term high blood sugars that can cause a problem. On the other hand, low blood sugars can cause more immediate problems, and even death. When we met, I introduced John to Ambio. I started getting his numbers right away. His doctor and I advised him to decrease his insulin, so had avoided any serious low blood sugars. He has been amazed by how easy it is to use, and how it has given him and his family a feeling of safety.

Susan, a 60-year-old patient who has pre-diabetes, thyroid problems, and allergies started using the Ambio system. Since she had not been told she actually has diabetes or high blood pressure, she wasn’t checking her blood sugar or blood pressure. She did know too much thyroid and or her allergy medicine could raise her blood pressure. Once on Ambio, she saw her numbers were rising. She immediately contacted with her health care provider. Together they worked on getting a balance of her medications that worked keep her feeling good and her numbers in her target range.

Patients tell me they are doing better, just knowing someone is watching and someone cares. As a health care provider, I am working towards recommending this simple tool to all of my patients. It’s a relief for all of us: health care providers, caregivers, and most important the patient.

Joy Pape is an internationally known Certified Diabetes Educator in New York City.

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