Developing a Recommendation-Based Application to Help Endocrinologists Treat Type II Diabetes Mellitus
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Diabetes Mellitus type II is a disease characterized by abnormally high levels of glucose in the bloodstream (hyperglycemia) due to decreased insulin secretion, insulin resistance, or both. It affects approximately 425 million adults worldwide and is the 7th most common chronic condition according to the CDC (Figure 1). Patients with this disease typically have increased urination, increased thirst, and fatigue and can even be vulnerable to many types of infections. Patients with type II diabetes see diabetes specialists and endocrinologists to effectively treat their disease. Currently, however, there is a massive shortage of endocrinologists in the United States due to a growing demand of chronic diseases such as diabetes and osteoporosis. In one study, the majority of endocrinologists surveyed believed the process of treating diabetes is difficult for these four reasons: the shortage of physicians, constantly evolving diabetes research, rapidly changing medication guidelines, and the rate at which medications are being added to the market. Another major problem in the diabetes community is the risk of potentially inappropriate medications (PIMs), which are defined as prescribing medications that have a greater risk of potentially severe adverse effects. 74% of elderly patients with type II diabetes are prescribed at least one PIM when hospitalized. The studies conducted by Healy et al. and Sharma et al. reveal that the process of treating type II diabetes is difficult because of 3 main reasons: The shortage of endocrinologists, rapidly evolving medication recommendations by diabetes associations, and the health risk to elderly diabetic patients due to PIMs. There is a growing need for technology that assists endocrinologists in prescribing medication based on factors that adjust to the evolving recommendations by the American Diabetes Association and uses patient biomarkers along with other factors to recommend appropriate medications for patients.