Dr. Richard Sorgnard believes a proactive, technologically-enabled approach to managing chronic diseases can protect lives, help ensure good health, and lower costs.
Healthcare costs always seem to be rising, which strains insurance providers, families, and governments alike. These days, people are living longer than ever before. However, medical treatment is also becoming more expensive, and in some cases, chronic diseases are becoming more widespread. Dr. Richard Sorgnard, a medical technology expert, explains how properly managing chronic diseases can reduce costs.
“Medical costs have generally trended upwards over the years,” Richard Sorgnard notes, “and expenses associated with managing chronic diseases are a big part of those rising costs.”
In fact, according to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Diseases, roughly 75 percent of the $2.2 trillion spent on healthcare in the United States is spent managing and treating chronic diseases. The United States spends more than any other nation on healthcare in the world. With better chronic disease management, however, it may be possible to reduce costs.
“If you catch chronic diseases early and treat them properly from the get-go, you may be able to avoid the worst symptoms and the most evasive treatments,” Richard Sorgnard notes. “This can lead to better health outcomes for patients and help lower costs too.”
Richard Sorgnard Discusses Medical Technology and Chronic Disease Management
Managing chronic disease often requires effort day in and day out. Take diabetes, for example. With diabetes, it’s often vital to constantly and consistently measure blood sugar levels. Doing so can help patients avoid serious complications, such as losing a limb or even suffering a stroke.
“Diabetes is a relatively treatable disease if you put in the time day in and day out to control your blood sugar levels and to use insulin as needed,” Richard Sorgnard points out. “However, if you don’t take care of yourself diligently, the disease can progress quickly.”
The American Diabetes Association estimates that diabetes costs the United States roughly $330 billion in total economic costs per year, as of 2017. Nearly $240 billion was spent in direct healthcare costs, while roughly $90 billion was lost to lowered productivity.
Per person, diabetes costs about $16,750 per year on average to manage.
In the past, monitoring your blood sugar levels often meant pricking yourself repeatedly throughout the day to take blood tests. Then, if you needed insulin, you’d have to get a vile out and use a syringe. Besides being complicated, this often left people feeling sore.
These days, you can use automatic insulin pumps to consistently maintain your insulin levels. The pump is attached to your body and fastened down.
“By automating chronic disease management, whether it’s diabetes or chronic kidney disease or whatever else, we can all but ensure better treatment,” Richard Sorgnard argues. “In the long run, this could mean fewer serious complications and fewer expensive and invasive medical procedures, like surgery.”
Some tools also allow doctors to track their patient’s vital stats remotely. In combination with other medical technologies and proactive chronic disease management on the patient’s part, medical professionals may be able to keep chronic diseases in check.
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