Prediabetes & Prehypertension Screening Online With Dr. Alex Wang
Diabetes and hypertension are incredibly common illnesses that millions of Americans deal with every day. Thankfully, there are some online screenings available to detect when you are in the “pre” stages of these illnesses. In this blog post, we are going to discuss the online screening platform, ScreenMe, with information from Dr. Alex Wang, its creator.
Who is Dr. Alex Wang?
Dr. Wang is a recently matched family medicine resident and the co-founder and CEO of ScreenMe. ScreenMe was founded in February of 2020 after Alex attended the American College of Physicians M.I.T. Hackathon in 2019 and decided to move forward with the idea of prediabetes and prehypertension incentivized screening. He created ScreenMe because he wants to raise awareness to people who don't get regular health checkups and are unaware of the devastating effects chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension can have on their lives. He hopes that ScreenMe can be part of a solution to increase preventive screening rates, as well as raising awareness and reducing health care costs.
How Did He Come Up With ScreenMe?
Last year Dr. Wang was attending an American College Physician Conference and became interested when they said that they were offering a hackathon between the American College of Physicians and a mighty hackathon medicine. At this conference, you collaborate with a team doctors, nurses, and software developers together to solve innovative solutions. One of the topics that came up was the topic of diabetes. It was concerning how we can raise awareness and incentivize people to go screen for diabetes. At this conference, the idea of ScreenMe came to be.
Why He Chose Diabetes and Hypertension
Dr. Wang has personal experience with these two illnesses from his clinical rotations. During his third and fourth years, he saw patients who are getting very severe complications from diabetes and hypertension. Unfortunately, he saw people who had to get amputated because of their diabetes. During his surgery rotation and that kind of experience, he became motivated to find a solution to the problem. “There's so much that a doctor can do when you can help out that patient at that point of life. And one thing motivating me was to think of preventative medicine and go all the way back to prevent diabetes,” said Dr. Wang.
What is ScreenMe?
As of right now, ScreenMe is in the beginning stages of their growth. In February they started to build their website. This was very important because the heart of the screamy is their website. Many of their resources can be accessed on their website, so this was a very important first step. “What we've currently built for a ScreenMe is so far it's a resource for a lot of people to go and check, check out and learn about what prediabetes is. They can learn more about diabetes and learn more about prehypertension and high blood pressure,” said Dr. Wang.
With ScreenMe, Dr. Wang hopes to create a fun method of prediabetes and prehypertension education. “What we're trying to do is try to make it visually engaging or make it kind of fun, interactive way to kind of to educate people. For example, Dr. Mike is my idol, and Mike is being able to be kind of that advocate for family medicine because he's also a family medicine doctor. I think through his way of making videos fun, he can really educate the public about pre-diabetes and prehypertension.” This method of education is much less intimidating and fun way to learn.
“We believe in a future where people want to take a proactive and forward-thinking approach to their health. And what we're really targeting are people who don't regularly go see a doctor in terms of regular checkups, because when there are a lot of people who go along with their lives who don't know that they have prediabetes and prehypertension, and these are people we consider asymptomatic, which that means that they feel very healthy, but then they actually have elevated sugar levels. Those are the people we're really targeting because if we get those people like aware and then they can make lifestyle changes, that can be a really game changer and really lower our health care costs,” Dr. Wang said about who ScreenMe targets.
Who is Contributing to ScreenMe?
When it comes to health, it is vital that patients receive credible information. This way, they are only acting on facts when it comes to bettering their health. Dr. Wang is dedicated to being a reliable source for people who want to get educated on illnesses. Including Dr. Wang, they have three doctors providing information. They are the three main doctors that will be involved with providing resources and turning them into a very visually engaging and fun website. They also have college graduates and those who have recently been accepted into medical school working on the website. In addition to their team of doctors and medical students, Dr. Wang has hired some customer experience experts to ensure they have the best website possible.
How Does it Work?
ScreenMe uses a test used by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the American Diabetes Association. When you click on the assessment, it will ask you a series, a couple of questions. These questions will be what is your age, your gender, and your physical activity. Once you answer all of the questions, it will give you a score. If you score five or higher, you are considered at high risk for prediabetes. This means is that you should go see a doctor to get screened by getting blood drawn to check if you have high blood sugar. The test lets you know if you are at high risk of getting high blood sugar. And when it goes over a certain number, it will point you to go see a medical health provider.
The Future of Digital Medicine
With the outbreak of the coronavirus, we have seen the beginnings of telemedicine. Telemedicine is being able to access a doctor, just through video chat or phone call. You don't have to physically go see a doctor at the clinic and wait for hours. You could just make an appointment and talk with the doctor. This is a great timesaver and game-changer for patients. Through apps like the Apple Watch, you can have an EKG and monitor your heart rate. So, there are a lot of exciting things going on with digital medicine as well as gadgets. Gadgets that can really sync up with this data to the cloud and then in a very secure manner can be accessible to a doctor.
Digital medicine is expected to be highly successful for reaching populations with mood disorders such as bipolar disorder and major depressive disorder. Many mood disorders can make it difficult to leave the house for patients, which is why digital medicine is so helpful. Dr. Wang expects ScreenMe to be beneficial for screening clients with mood disorders in the future. The future of ScreenMe and other digital medicine platforms is very exciting.