Announced at the Australasian Diabetes Congress 2020, held virtually this year due to COVID-19, Rahul was recognised for his PhD research into the implementation of networked blood glucose monitoring (NBGM) at the Royal Melbourne Hospital – the first Australian hospital to do so across all wards.
Rahul and RMH researchers, under the supervision of RMH Head of Diabetes & Endocrinology Associate Professor Spiros Fourlanos, explored relationships between the data taken from the NBGM system and adverse outcomes.
The team analysed over 600,000 datapoints on 2,605 patients discharged from RMH between late 2019 to early 2020. They found that patients who had persistent hyperglycaemia (high blood sugar) in hospital were more likely to have adverse consequences, such as in-hospital mortality, strokes, infections, and longer lengths-of-stay.
This occurred in patients with and without diabetes.
Rahul says that the findings will help change the way clinicians view diabetes and hyperglycaemia.
“The research confirms what we always thought – that it’s not necessarily diabetes per se that causes adverse outcomes in hospital but hyperglycaemia, and that inpatient diabetes services such as ours at RMH should focus on these patients specifically in addition to diabetes more generally,” Rahul said.
“It also vindicates the value of the new networked glucose monitoring system we installed last year, which allowed this research to be completed in the first place.”
Rahul, under his supervisors Associate Professor Fourlanos, RMH endocrinologist Professor Peter Colman and Associate Professor Leon Worth, will further explore the benefits of NBGM in avoiding poor health outcomes in a clinical trial next year.
The RMH congratulates Rahul on this award.