Background and aims: The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a rapid growth in the use of telemedicine for delivery of ambulatory diabetes care . This study evaluated the feasibility of remote HbA1c monitoring via dried blood spot (DBS) testing to support assessment of glycemic control for telemedicine visits and examined clinical and demographic characteristics associated with patient completion of DBS testing .
Methods: Providers could place orders for DBS HbA1c 3 weeks prior to telemedicine visits . Feasibility was assessed by examining DBS completion rates, time to completion, and availability of DBS results prior to telemedicine visits . Chi-square tests and Mann Whitney tests were used to assess whether completion rates were associated with participant characteristics .
Results: Of 303 DBS orders placed for telemedicine visits in June 2020 , 162 patients completed the DBS test for a completion rate of (53.4 %). Average time from collection at home to result being reported was 6.9 (3.8) days . The DBS result was available in 67.6% of patients who completed successful DBS, before the telemedicine clinic visit . HbA1c was lower in the DBS completion group as compared to the non-completion group (8.2% vs. 8.9%, p = 0.01). No other clinical or demographic characteristics were significantly different between the two groups . Conclusion: Remote HbA1c monitoring via DBS is feasible and offers an avenue to support assessment of glycemic control for patients seen via telemedicine . Future work should focus on improving clinic and laboratory processes to support remote DBS collection.