Diabetologist Jim Malone, M.D. knows firsthand the challenges health care professionals face when treating patients with diabetes. As chief medical officer for Bigfoot Biomedical, he knows the burden on both the patients and clinicians is relentless and can be overwhelming. So as part of the team at Bigfoot BiomedicalⓇ, Dr. Malone put tremendous thought into the functionality of the Bigfoot Clinic Hub™, the secure, web portal where data from patients using the Bigfoot Unity™ System is automatically uploaded and available to clinics.
With Bigfoot Unity, HCPs are able to review, on demand, patient data derived from the patient’s prescribed Bigfoot Unity System’s smart insulin pen caps.The Bigfoot Unity System seamlessly integrates with FreeStyle Libre 2, the leading sensor-based glucose monitoring system in the U.S. and worldwide.1
Now, through the Clinic Hub, clinicians can:
- Prescribe the Bigfoot Unity System to their patients with instructions on insulin settings, correction doses and other reminders for patient use
- Review patient glucose and insulin data
- Help the billing office with Remote Physiologic Monitoring (RPM) documentation
- Access Bigfoot Customer Care for questions and support
Here's an interview with Dr. Jim Malone.
How would you describe the current rate of advancements for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes? Is this standard or is there greater momentum in the diabetes space?
This is an exciting time in diabetes research, both on the therapeutic [insulin] level, and technology [device] level. The desire to ease the burden of diabetes treatment is driving this innovation. Much of the recent focus has been on type 1 diabetes, with the development of Automated Insulin Delivery (AID) systems. Now smart connected pen systems are becoming available for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes who are not candidates for the more complex and expensive AID systems.
How are HCPs (health care professionals) currently managing their MDI patient population [those not using Bigfoot Unity]? What are the challenges and gaps?
MDI patients face the challenge of following a manual process of recording and uploading their glucose and insulin data. Most often, this leaves incomplete entries in the paper or digital logbook. The HCP has the challenge of manually accessing patient data individually, often right before or during an office visit. Treatment decisions are often delayed until the office visit when ideally small corrections in insulin dosing instructions between visits can help prevent potential glucose control problems before they become urgent issues.
What sets the Bigfoot Clinic Hub apart from other portals?
First and foremost, Clinic Hub was designed specifically for clinicians. It gives HCPs remote, on-demand access to important insulin therapy data for all their MDI patients using the Bigfoot Unity System, including glucose and insulin dose timing data. Since the data is uploaded automatically and securely, clinicians and staff can review it on their own schedules. Trends can be identified, and treatment recommendations can be made proactively, instead of waiting for quarterly office visits.
How can HCPs leverage the Bigfoot Clinic Hub to support their MDI patients? How does the Bigfoot Clinic Hub address those challenges and gaps?
Bigfoot Clinic Hub supports practices in performing efficient periodic data reviews of all their MDI patients using the Bigfoot Unity System. Currently, practices are typically not being reimbursed for this type of data review. The use of established and specific billing codes for RPM services enables the practice to seek reimbursement.
How do patients benefit from the Bigfoot Clinic Hub?
Patients benefit from receiving insulin adjustment recommendations on a regular proactive basis, without the hassle of manually uploading or sending their data to their HCP. They also have the peace of mind that someone is periodically reviewing their data. That alone is a tremendous relief for many patients.
How does Bigfoot Unity connect HCPs and their patients? How can it impact this relationship, with the goal of better outcomes?
Bigfoot Unity encourages ongoing dialog between the patient and their HCP. After a data review occurs, typically once a month but more often if necessary, the practice will contact the patient with treatment adjustment recommendations. Currently this dialog typically occurs on only a quarterly basis during regular office visits.
How does the Bigfoot Clinic Hub help HCPs spot patterns? Why is this important?
The Clinic Hub provides the HCPs with graphical and tabular data in the form of the Ambulatory Glucose Profile (AGP), a well-established format familiar to Endocrinologists. The timing of both rapid-acting and long-acting insulin doses are displayed on the graph, as well as the glucose values from the CGM, so the clinician can easily view the glucose and insulin administration pattern over a 14-day period, or for each individual day.
What are you hearing from clinicians who are currently using Bigfoot Clinic Hub in their practices?
We’ve had great feedback from clinicians. It can be hard to fully grasp the potential of this program because it really does turn the traditional care model upside down. One physician who has fully embraced the power of Bigfoot Unity is Dr. Bantwal S. Baliga, MD, who oversees East Alabama Endocrinology with offices in Alabama and Georgia: “This technology is a game-changer for me -- I feel I am truly in charge of my patients with diabetes. In just one portal I can look at the CGM readings, look at the daily patterns, identify problematic glucose excursions such as hypos and hyperglycemic periods, verify their compliance, look at their therapeutic regimen and make changes, if necessary, on a daily basis.”
1 Data based on the number of users worldwide for FreeStyle Libre family of personal CGMs compared to the number of users for other leading personal CGM brands and based on CGM sales dollars compared to other leading personal CGM brands.