Joslin Diabetes Center Collaborates with Cecelia Health to Improve Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) Adoption Among Older Adults with Diabetes

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Study funded by the Helmsley Charitable Trust expected to improve device adoption and health outcomes for older adults with diabetes

Cecelia Health and Joslin Diabetes Center today announced a collaborative program to address and overcome barriers to the initiation and use of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) in older adults with diabetes on complex insulin regimens. The study, building on Joslin Diabetes Center’s previous work with this patient population, is funded by a grant from The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust.

Over the last few decades, the number of people with diabetes age 65 or over requiring multiple daily insulin injections or insulin pump therapy has increased due to longer life expectancy and diabetes disease state progression. In addition, research has shown that this population is at higher risk of dangerous drops in blood sugar (hypoglycemia), has less hypoglycemia awareness, and may have difficulties reporting hypoglycemia due to cognitive and physical decline. These factors have influenced the medical community to consider new technologies and novel approaches to better serve the health needs of this population.

One of the tools shown to improve glycemic control and reduce risk of hypoglycemia when used appropriately is real-time CGM. However, in spite of expanded insurance coverage of CGM in recent years, its use in the older population has been limited, with the leading barrier to adoption being a lack of technology familiarity and competency.

“We are excited to participate in this important study and contribute to finding better ways to help seniors use technology to better manage their diabetes,” says Dr. Ruth Weinstock, Distinguished Service Professor, Upstate Medical University and American Diabetes Association 2021 President of Medicine and Science.

This project is a collaboration between the Joslin Diabetes Center teams in Boston, Massachusetts and Syracuse, New York, and Cecelia Health’s national remote care team. It will use the REST (Readiness, Education, and Sustainability of Technology) model to provide holistic and integrated care within the Geriatric and Endocrine practices. Cecelia Health will deliver patient-centered virtual support to encourage device adoption, address barriers, provide disease state education, and help establish a framework to promote long-term diabetes technology adoption and persistence at scale.

“Continuous glucose monitoring plays a critical role in helping people manage their diabetes and reduce the risk of hypoglycemia and its complications, yet its uptake is still low in older people with diabetes,” said Dr. Elena Toschi, Research Associate and Staff Physician at Joslin Diabetes Center and Assistant Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. “We are looking forward to starting this study to further identify barriers and find ways to address them and in doing so, increase the usage of CGM in older persons on complex insulin regimens to effect better health and quality of life.”

The results of this study aim to demonstrate that remote diabetes support and monitoring is a critical component of a broader strategy to overcome barriers in CGM adoption in a vulnerable older population. Increased adoption of CGM technology in older adults on complex insulin regimens is critical in lowering hypoglycemia and mitigating its consequences on health and health care costs. Data from this study will be shared upon completion.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to partner with Joslin Diabetes Center to support this vulnerable population of older adults on complex diabetes regimens and (potentially) establish a new standard in remote diabetes care. Cecelia Health is looking forward to helping these patients utilize CGM technology to better manage their diabetes and avoid the dangers of hypoglycemia. We are also hopeful this study will prove the tremendous value this technology can bring to these patients and help to develop a financially sustainable model for the provision of these services,” said Dr. Arnold Saperstein, Chief Medical Officer, Cecelia Health.

The Helmsley Charitable Trust is the largest private funder dedicated to helping the T1D community around the world live safer, better, and more fulfilling lives today while funding advancements in research and technology for a better tomorrow.

“The challenges that older adults face in adopting diabetes technologies are often neglected. It is important to ensure that all members of the T1D community have the support and care they need to thrive,” said Deniz Dalton, Program Officer of Helmsley’s T1D Program. “At Helmsley, we believe that CGM, when combined with the personalized support and integrated care that helps individuals fully benefit from this technology, can change lives for people living with T1D and their families. All three of these elements are present in this Joslin-Cecelia program, which has the potential to help transform what diabetes care looks like for older adults.”

Cecelia Health Media Contact: Misty Greficz,

About Cecelia Health

Cecelia Health is a virtual-first provider organization delivering integrated care to patients across all chronic disease risk profiles. We address critical care gaps, reduce variability in care, and improve medication and device adherence. Our virtual specialty care solution delivers the optimal mix of clinical interventions with digital touchpoints. We offer a comprehensive suite of synchronous and asynchronous disease management capabilities including remote clinical support, device training, remote patient monitoring, and telemedicine delivered via a national network of specialty providers. We complement our virtual care capabilities with robust data and analytics that deliver meaningful insights to our partners.

About the Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston MA

Located in the Longwood Medical Area (LMA) of Boston, Massachusetts, Joslin Diabetes Center is the world's leading diabetes research, clinical care and education organization dedicated to the prevention, treatment and research towards a cure for diabetes. A part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, Joslin is a non-profit institution affiliated with Harvard Medical School.

About the Joslin Diabetes Center at Upstate Medical University

The Joslin Diabetes Center affiliate at SUNY Upstate Medical University, located in Syracuse NY, provides Central NYS communities excellence in patient care, education and research in diabetes. It is the ambulatory practice and teaching site for faculty specializing in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. Research is focused on diabetes prevention and improving diabetes management to reduce complications and enhance quality of life.

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Misty Greficz
Cecelia Health
866-411-0254 x707
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