Impact Of Diabetes
Every seven seconds, 1 person in the world dies of Diabetes. 1 in every 9 USD related to healthcare in the world is spent on diabetes. India alone has 60+ Million diagnosed diabetics, however there is almost an equal number that is presently undiagnosed. If not kept under control, diabetes has serious consequences such as blindness, foot amputation, heart disease, kidney and liver dysfunctions are all outcomes of diabetes related complications.
Case Study and Management
Having personally suffered at the hand of diabetes, we have embarked on a journey to educate diabetics regarding possible risks and complications, besides working closely with them to become compliant and in control. We do this through use of our free mobile app, BeatO that educates and enables the user in balancing their nutrition and activity. It also allows users to connect to their diabetes educators who can guide them through various queries they may have.
In the last few months, we have come to realize the importance of making people understand the seriousness of diabetes as most don’t take action until it is too late. We are glad that there is now an effort by Prime Minister Modi himself to address this concern. Imposing the Sugar tax on aerated beverages, chocolates etc is a step in the right direction, however certainly not the foundation to control the diabetes monster.
The average age of a person becoming a diabetic is 10 years younger in India compared to Europe, and this speaks volumes of not only our food habits but also the sedentary and stressful nature of our daily routine. To bring awareness about the importance of a holistic balance in our daily routine is an important step we as a society need to undertake.
Hence, whilst there are several short term steps that the government will have to take, we shouldn’t lose sight of structural changes we will have to make as a society. At the micro level, few such initiatives may include a) getting kids involved in sports and physical activity from a young age, b)making them understand consequences of not having a proper lifestyle balance, c)easy to understand nutrition labelling on local food products and proper signage/food indicators to make people understand the foodand ingredients they consume to name a few.
On a macro level, the government and society needs to join hands to improve the quality of staple foods and develop culturally appropriate interventions that would improve our regional diets. In addition, various participants of the healthcare ecosystem be it thehealthcare providers, insurance companies, pharma companies or large diagnostic chainswill have to join hands to provide holistic, convenient and affordable diabetes care with education at its core. This brings us to the role that the Health Coach or Diabetes Educators will have to assume in this ecosystem. Whilst a patient may meet a doctor for 5 minutes only 2 times a year, this individual will need to spend a lot more time engaging with their diabetes educator. Hence, the diabetes educators will have to assume centre stage instead of being on the periphery of the current system. This will require proper training and education of the educators themselves, and presently the government is taking some important steps in this direction.
India incurs close to USD 10 Billion on diabetes related expenses. I believe that use of mobile solutions and assisted technology will ensure fast and convenient dissemination of diabetes related education andincrease in engagement with providers/educators to in turn drive up compliance and prevent or delay complications. This will reduce the huge cost burden diabetes brings on our nation. This is where BeatO is committed to this cause and we are working hard to ensure we bring about high quality diabetes related educational content and deliver comprehensive diabetes care that is convenient and affordable!