A new program including the use of telehealth enables the University of Virginia (UVA) Health System https://uvahealth.com to team up with primary care providers in the Appalachian region of Virginia with the goal to improve lung disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.
Residents of the Appalachian region of Virginia have significantly higher than average rates of lung cancer and COPD as well as some of the highest death rates nationally for black lung disease.
However, because of the location, most residents do not have easy access to large medical centers. Subspecialty physicians including those that care for ling disease, is 28 percent lower than the national average. As a result, the region’s residents mainly rely on primary care providers to help them manage lung diseases.
To enable primary care providers to prevent, diagnose, and treat lung diseases, UVA pulmonary care experts will provide ten education sessions through the Karen S. Rheuben Center for Telehealth at UVA https://uvahealth.com/services/telemedicine.
Topics are determined through a survey of local primary care providers based on their needs. Topics many range from smoking cessation efforts and lung cancer screening to sleep apnea and pulmonary rehabilitation.
In addition, UVA is using state-of-the-art technology and medications to better control diabetes. The UVA Center for Diabetes Technology https://med.virginia.edu/diabetes-technology has opened an expanded outpatient clinic to help patients with type 1 diabetes.
The Center for Diabetes Technology has developed an artificial pancreas able to automatically monitor and regulate blood sugar levels in people with type 1 diabetes. The device is now undergoing its final round of clinical trials. If approved, the artificial pancreas will also be available through UVA’s Advanced Diabetes Management Clinic.
The Center is also home to the Virginia Precision Individualized Medicine for Diabetes project. This project received $16.9 million from the Strategic Investment Fund https://sif.virginia.edu to develop ways to screen, control, and monitor type 1 diabetes in the state.
The project goals include doing genetic risk screening for all children in Virginia under age five, developing customized monitoring and treatment plans developed through computerized approaches, and providing newly planned immunotherapies that could restore the body’s ability to make insulin.