India has the highest number of diabetics in the world, above the likes of China, the United States of America, Brazil and Japan. As per the World Health Organisation, the number of diabetics in India is expected to rise to an incredible 79.4 million by 2030.
With their bodies unable to generate insulin or incapable of utilising the insulin already present in the system, people who have diabetes are at risk of developing a range of health issues including cardiovascular diseases. The ailment is sometimes a result of genetic predisposition, but a significant number of cases in recent times have been brought on due to unhealthy lifestyle habits.
The advent of technology, however, has allowed citizens to tackle the disease better. Earlier this week, the Research Society for the Study of Diabetes in India (RSSDI), which is Asia’s largest organisation dedicated to tackling diabetes, came together with Wellthy Therapeutics, a Mumbai-based startup, to establish an app that would offer patients a 16-week structured diabetes management programme, reported DNA.
The app is expected to undergo clinical trials under the aegis of RSSDI, and outcomes will be measured by HbA1C levels of patients before and after.
The programme in this app offers patients real-time instructions from health coaches, “personalised self-management education” and an AI-powered bot that will answer their queries.
“While the Wellthy app has already demonstrated its efficacy in various pilot studies, this formal clinical trial conducted with the RSSDI will provide the evidence necessary to show that digital therapeutics have the potential to improve the lives of diabetes patients in India and around the world,” said Abhishek Shah, the co-founder and CEO of Wellthy Therapeutics, to DNA.
Officials at the RSSDI are evidently excited about this app. “The Wellthy Diabetes intervention is an innovation born out of India, for Indians and South Asians. This clinical trial holds tremendous potential in terms of changing outcomes for persons living with diabetes by making it easier for them to manage their blood sugar levels and improving their overall quality of life,” said Dr Rajeev Chawla, current president-elect of RSSDI, to DNA.
Treating diabetes, which is a chronic disease, requires not only timely medicines but also significant modifications to one’s lifestyle. Both prevention and treatment come from healthy eating habits and regular physical exercise.
Managing the disease, once you’re diagnosed with it, is a complicated process and patients sometimes commit basic lifestyle errors like not working out enough or forgetting to taking necessary medication. The Wellthy app hopes to change this outcome once and for all.
Despite the notion that people living with diabetes only come from high-income households, recent studies have shown that the disease has also spread among less affluent people. This is a trend which was noted by a recent survey on diabetes conducted by the Indian Council of Medical Research. Diabetes is spreading among lower income groups that cannot necessarily pay for treatment.