Mhealth for diabetes management
In the first part of this article I focused on the global impact of mhealth on chronic disease management. Let’s now turn on one specific disease: diabetes.
When considering diabetes on its own, the disease represents a severe risk to the quality of life and productivity of patients. Due to their illness, diabetics have higher-than-average unpaid absenteeism and often are required to retire earlier than non-sufferers. According PwC, by 2017, diabetes could represent for up to 70 million chronic patients, representing an economic impact of up to 60 billion work hours!
Yet 60% of potential diabetics can avoid Type 2 diabetes by eating healthy and exercising. Similarily, 31% of Type 2 diabetics can improve their condition through a combination of a healthy diet and exercise.
With only 3% of healthcare expenses in the EU being allocated to prevention, there is clearly room to invest more in the prevention of chronic diseases in order to reduce the costs these diseases generate if they are not treated early.
mobile health can help save 5,200 diabetics’ lives!
In its recent report, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) estimates that around 77% of people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes could better manage their weight or hypertension by using mhealth solutions regularly. In addition, up to 35% of sufferers in the same category could successfully reduce the risk of developing diabetes.
The reduced incidence and severity of diabetes could lower the burden on healthcare facilities by reducing hospitalization stays by 129,000 days. Patients at risk of developing chronic diseases and those suffering from it could collectively live 151,000 years longer. This represents a significant impact!
To summarize, when considering just diabetes, mHealth solutions in Europe can potentially:
- help 5 million at-risk individuals from developing diabetes by 2017
- prevent about 161,000 new cases of diabetes
- save the lives of 5,200 diabetics
- save up to EUR13 billion in wages by reducing absenteeism and up to EUR5.3billionby addressing premature, or early retirement
raising diabetes awareness with the Mhealth Grand Tour
These impressive figures are behind our involvement in the mHealth Grand Tour in September, organized by the GSMA in conjunction with the International Diabetes Federation.
Both organizations decided to raise awareness around this disease, which affects more than 371 million people across the world. As shown in the PwC report, both believe mHealth represents a tremendous opportunity to improve the management of the disease.
The Tour will feature a first-of-its-kind, live diabetes research study, the results of which will complement the PwC report with clinical information on and analysis of the relevance of telehealth for diabetes patients.
image © Pavel Ignatov - Fotolia.com
April 19, 2014Sneha Gupta
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