Fact is that, in the next ten years, one out of every five diabetic person in the world will be an Indian. A whopping 65 million people have been diagnosed with diabetes in India. There are another 77 million with pre-diabetes with whom if we can detect altered glucose levels early, and monitor and manage them, the onset of diabetes can be postponed for several years.
Diabetes treatment is currently very expensive and requires long term medication. The problem in the diabetes space is two pronged. On one side of things there is affordability. Diabetes is alarmingly high in slums while the treatment cost is extremely high. So if in a low income family, one person has diabetes, approximately 25% of the income will be dedicated to him or her, attributing to the medication costs, hospital visits and physician consultation. And on the other side, there is a lack of adherence to diabetes treatment. People’s changing lifestyle, frequent travel, and poverty often come in the way of routine treatment.
How is technology helping to overcome these challenges?
The devices used for administering diabetes medication are currently attached to a huge cost. In addition, we also see that there is an elaborate network of people and processes who forms a whole ecosystem, when it comes to diabetes. There are doctors, patients, counselors and there is routine medication and monitoring. Technology, especially cloud, can have a significant impact by creating a connected ecosystem that enables end-to-end communication, monitoring and adherence to routine.
The need of the hour is an integrated cloud, mobility and call center based eco-system along with enabling the R&D for the device. The SaaS based solution will have web and mobile based applications which will ensure data exchange between the three stakeholders - patients, doctors and counselors. This will enable an end-to-end diabetic care solution for improving patient care through remote monitoring and treatment adherence.
The reason that such a solution will work is because it caters to two core aspects - affordable care and the lack of adherence to medication. More people can buy the device, carry it along with them as they travel. Their medical data will be continuously monitored by the counsellors and immediate access to doctors is made available if necessary. Over and above this, the patient has access to a 24/7 help center to get support on the device or health condition. Adherence will now happen due to a continuous connection between the patients and healthcare providers so that they can ensure that appropriate medication is taken. This initiative does not end at the device. Going ahead, various business and service design models could evolve from this. The advantage of cloud is the flexibility it offers for customization to implement in different markets and while making the access anytime and anywhere.