1 in 7 adult Indians have diagnosed Type 2 diabetes thus making us the Diabetes capital of the world. To make things worse, we have a huge population of 1 in 6 adults with prediabetes and 75% of them progress to diabetes in 5 years, if left unchecked.
The problem is urgent and important
Dr Sanjay Kalra, Past-president, Endocrine Society of India, raised the issue – “Currently, people with Diabetes not only spend thousands on their treatment, but are getting affected by productivity and efficiency loss due to fluctuating blood sugar levels. Add to that, the cost of treating problems created due to the effect of high blood sugar on all vital organs of the body.”
This is not just a problem at an individual level – it is a humongous problem at the national level where diabetes is taking up most of the budgeted healthcare spends.
We are at the tipping point
Dr Arbinder Singal, Co-founder & CEO of Fitterfly Healthtech said, “We can slow down the avalanche of diabetes destroying our interests at large, by preventing 11-12 crore Indians progressing to Diabetes every year. The impact can be huge and the time to start is now. New age digital technologies like digital therapeutics can lead to significant behaviour change and help people prevent or delay the progress to diabetes”
The action plan
Though our bodies dutifully give us a warning sign in the form of Prediabetes before progressing to Diabetes, most people go undiagnosed because of lack of symptoms and awareness. There is an urgent need to educate patients, doctors, organisations and policy makers to attack this problem head on.
Secondly, even if people with prediabetes are diagnosed, they are not made aware of the consequences of the condition which could propel them into action. Medical devices and digital therapeutics can help the propulsion by helping people track their progress and keep them motivated.
In a first-of-its-kind initiative to mark ‘World Prediabetes day’ on the 14th of August, Fitterfly Healthtech, a leading Indian Digital Therapeutic company joined hands with top doctors, Roche Diabetes, Lal Path Labs and USV Pharma to launch the initiative on August 14th, with an online event. The partners have come together with a focus of carrying forward the three-fold solution of
(a) Creating sustained mass awareness
(b) Catching prediabetes early
(c) Coming together to solve the problem.
This event also marked the launch of an online Prediabetes Risk Test which is an evidence-based, clinically-validated tool for assessing an individual’s risk of Prediabetes and also provides recommended next steps.
Dr Singal added,” This will be India’s largest campaign against prediabetes. We plan to touch lives of atleast 1 million people with prediabetes from 14th of August till 14th of November, concluding the campaign with Diabetes Day. Already more than 200 doctors, 20 large corporates and 10 start-ups have joined the campaign and we have planned a series of online events for employees and general public till 14th November.”
This is further strengthened by corporate partners who are creating employee awareness via live webinars. The partners also launched the #FightPrediabetes challenge in which 100 people with a high risk of prediabetes get a chance to win a Prediabetes package worth Rs 6000 and reverse their prediabetes in 3 months.