Like most college students, Camille Gunnell was focused on studying, dating, and balancing life away from home. Then she started having health problems. After visiting the campus physician, she was shocked to be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.
“It was pretty overwhelming having to test my blood sugar, dose insulin, and count carbs every day,” says Camille.
When she learned about the Tech for Type 1 study offered by Intermountain, she was quick to volunteer with 28 other young adults. Participants received a FitBit® and glucose monitor that sync to an app, customized for Intermountain, on their smartphone. These tools help the study participants consistently see how sleep, exercise, and diet affect their diabetes.
The tech tools really help Camille improve her diabetes management. “I love using these tools,” she says. “I quickly learned how important exercise and sleep are to managing my blood sugar. I walk a lot around campus, and the app tracks my steps and my blood sugar so I can see how they relate. I also love to hike, dance, and ski, so it was great to see how these activities affect my diabetes.”
Camille saw improved results immediately. After three months, her A1c (a test that measures average blood sugar) dropped from 10.0 to 7.8, a significant improvement. She also has more energy, feels better, and is more confident about managing her health.
The technology conveniently provides the important data Camille needs to balance the demands of her diabetes and college life. She excels in her studies (double major in communication disorders and special education), works part-time with special needs adults, and enjoys an active lifestyle.
Intermountain continues to explore new technologies that help patients improve their health. For example, another new program called GRAD provides support to teens with chronic health conditions as they move from pediatric to adult care and become more independent.