Barbara Boughton

April 29, 2011

April 29, 2011 (San Diego, California) — A new online resource for information about type 2 diabetes mellitus — aimed at helping patients with diabetes, their caregivers, and their physicians sift through the clutter of information on the Web for reliable up-to-date information and research — will be available in June, according to experts speaking here at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 20th Annual Meeting and Clinical Congress.

"Ninety percent of people get their health information via the Internet and, on a good day, 20% is reliable," said George Grunberger, MD, founder and chair of the Grunberger Diabetes Institute, and clinical professor of internal medicine and of molecular medicine and genetics at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Grunberger is a member of the national board of directors of the AACE, which will be cosponsoring the new online resource with Takeda Pharmaceuticals.

The idea of the new Web site is not to provide new patient information about diabetes, but to direct patients to educational resources on the Web that provide credible information about the disease. "Inaccurate or incomplete information can lead to unnecessary stress or confusion for people living with type 2 diabetes. We need to make it easier for healthcare professionals, patients, and caregivers to access reliable sources of information, which can form a foundation for treatment and care decisions," Dr. Grunberger said.

The new online site will direct patients, caregivers, and health professionals to top-notch sources of information on the Web, vetted by AACE diabetes experts, Dr. Grunberger said. In essence, each Web site will be evaluated for the quality and accuracy of the information it provides to patients and health professionals. As well as providing links to patient education Web sites, the new online resource will direct health professionals to sources of new research and clinical information.

"Think of all the health professionals who take care of diabetes patients," Dr. Grunberger said. "For those who may not be diabetes experts, this Web site will be an invaluable resource."

Unfortunately, because many patients get inaccurate or incomplete information online, addressing patient misconceptions acquired by surfing the Internet can take up valuable health clinician time, Dr. Grunberger noted. But showing a patient how to get accurate and complete information will help inform patients and will streamline visits to healthcare professionals, he said.

"The problem with the Internet is that there's no traffic control," Dr. Grunberger said. The new Web site will direct patients to information that is not only reliable, but also easy to understand, he emphasized. Informational Web sites for health professionals featured on the new online resource will be evaluated on the basis of clinical relevance and accuracy, he said.

To train the thousands of physicians who provide healthcare to people with type 2 diabetes so that they become experts in managing the disease would take an enormous effort, Dr. Grunberger added. But the new online resource will go a long way toward helping heath professionals learn about the most current guidelines for type 2 diabetes treatment and the best methods for establishing individualized care plans for their diabetic patients, he said.

According to Dr. Grunberger, "90% to 95% of diabetics never see a specialist." Providing an informational resource for people with type 2 diabetes and their physicians will not be easy, but the AACE hopes that it will correct patient misinformation and enhance communication between health professionals and their patients. As a result, health clinicians might find that the process of developing appropriate treatment plans for their diabetic patients goes more smoothly.

"It's going to be a big chunk of work, but worthwhile," Dr. Grunberger said.

For more information on the new online compendium of reliable information on type 2 diabetes, watch for updates on www.aace.com.

Dr. Grunberger has disclosed no relevant financial relationships.

American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) 20th Annual Meeting and Clinical Congress. Presented April 15, 2011.

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