Abu Dhabi: Patients should use technology to their advantage and avoid relying on their own memory, health care professionals said at a conference on Tuesday.

During Tuesday's final day of the Arabian Public Health Forum 2010, patients were advised to keep well-informed on care area focuses such as preventive education and chronic illness management, through simple technology such as mobile phones.

Speaking about the importance of technology during his presentation, Dr Saif Al Jaibeji, Medical Director at the Green Crescent Insurance Company, explained the importance of using a glucometer equipped with a two-way communication between patients and caregivers and a system of medical alerts and reminders. The reading goes directly from the glucometer to the health care provider via mobile phone.

Diabetics can be supervised in a better way with the help of a glucometer, which performs the action of measuring glucose in the patient's blood. One may choose to buy these instruments from a pharmacy or online.

"The initial part of our consultation involves a nurse educator, training patients for 30 minutes on how to use the bluetooth-enabled glucometer provided to diabetic patients. The second part of the consultation provides patients with a thorough explanation of the proper use of the medication, before or after eating. After the visit, a continuous patient support involves patient health educator relationship through mobile alerts and reminders," explained Al Jaibeji.


According to 2010 International Diabetes Federation figures, 18.7 per cent of the UAE population between the ages 20 and 79 are diabetic. A percentage that has placed the UAE as the second most affected country in the world with the prevalence of the disease.

In her five years of experience as Medical and Research Director at the Imperial College London Diabetes Centre, Dr Maha Barakat found effective intervention to be the most efficient tool to use to help remind diabetics of their appointments, medication's, and exercise schedules.

"Without effective intervention, patients take reminders and exercise seriously for just the first three to six months, and then simply stop showing interest," said Maha.