Hypoglycemia, characterized by a sudden drop in blood sugar, is a serious potential side effect for patients with diabetes who are just starting basal insulin, and can present a major barrier to continuing with insulin therapy. A multinational pharmaceuticals company collaborated with Accenture to determine if those who experience hypoglycemia soon after starting on basal insulin are at greater risk of discontinuing the therapy and what their common characteristics were.
The team used Accenture’s Predictive Health Intelligence to combine and analyze a number of different data sets, including hospital and electronic medical records patient data from 20 integrated delivery networks, involving more than 325 hospitals and 300,000 providers (including some of the largest integrated delivery networks in the United States). The program identified over two million adult patients with Type 2 diabetes and analyzed 94 patient attributes (including age, lab values, other medications and medical conditions) to understand the common characteristics of patients who experienced insulin-induced hypoglycemia within the first six months of initiating basal insulin. The findings revealed that patients who experienced hypoglycemia had almost twice the risk of discontinuing their basal insulin therapy over a 12-month period.
Armed with this knowledge, payers, doctors and clinicians can look for patients who fit the higher risk profile for developing hypoglycemia and create a different treatment plan to help improve their health outcomes. This is a ground-breaking insight in treating diabetes patients that is invaluable in informing Type 2 diabetes treatment and care in the future.