Type 2 diabetes is a chronic non-communicable disease that develops over a long period of time. It is nearly impossible to identify the point of onset because of the long latent period during which symptoms are not easily identified. Unfortunately, health care providers typically consider success when an early diagnosis of the disease minimizes damage. This is not an effective way of achieving a positive health outcome. Instead, we must adopt a preemptive approach that seeks to assess diabetes risk in order to perform early intervention and interrupt the development of diabetes and its complications. A preemptive approach aims to personalize care for the patient, taking into consideration their genetic predisposition to the disease. Finally, preemptive medicine values prevention of diabetes and its complications as the optimal health outcome, and seeks to avoid the costly, invasive procedures that result from poor health management.
In order to craft a personalized plan of care, population health management strategies are utilized to support the decision-making of the patient’s healthcare team. Population health management is a proactive approach to healthcare. It aims to improve the health outcome of an entire, defined population. A community of focus can be delineated through general and clinical patient information: diagnoses, age, locality, ethnicity, and many other factors. In general, population health management relies on the aggregation and analysis of patient health data trends to determine improved approaches to care, and prevent the worsening of the incidence of diabetes in a community.
No patient at risk for diabetes should be left without the care they need. Healthcare services in the past were heavily fragmented and counter-productive for a complex disease like diabetes that exhibits numerous functional symptoms. As a result, many patients with diabetes were left undiagnosed and victims of the complications caused by uncontrolled diabetes. With the power of patient data, healthcare providers can determine clear thresholds or trends for diabetes, and preemptively intervene before the development of debilitating complications. Immediate medical intervention becomes less vital, as education, prevention, and health assessments can reach a patient in a timelier fashion.