India’s diabetes epidemic is a growing concern that requires a concerted effort to address. With over 100 million diabetic individuals and another 130 million with prediabetes, India is known as the “diabetes capital of the world.” The prevalence of diabetes in the country is a staggering 9.3%, and if proactive measures are not taken, this number is expected to rise in the coming years.
Dr Arbinder Singal, CEO and co-founder of Fitterfly, emphasizes the importance of adopting lifestyle management as the first line of therapy and adhering to medication. Diabetes is a two-hit disease, with a genetic risk factor that is more pronounced in the Indian race and an unhealthy lifestyle being the second hit. Lifestyle modifications are recommended as the first line of therapy, and modern-day devices and technology systems like digital therapeutics play a crucial role in helping individuals make these changes gradually.
Clinical research has shown that diabetes digital therapeutic programs can lead to diabetes remission (also known as diabetes reversal) in the early stages and arrest the progression of diabetes to complications in later stages. Some clinically proven concepts include CGM devices and personalized glycemic response-based diet plans, structured habit building using nudge theory, personalized graduated exercise plans, and cognitive behavioral therapy for stress and sleep management.
One of the major hurdles in controlling the diabetes crisis in India is the lack of adherence to medication and lifestyle modifications among patients. Many individuals fail to take their prescribed medications regularly or disregard important dietary and exercise guidelines. This lack of adherence can have severe consequences, including diabetic retinopathy, kidney failure, higher risk of heart disease, and neuropathy.
Digital therapeutics technology can play a significant role in helping people adhere to healthy diet plans and exercise routines, monitor blood sugars, manage stress and sleep, and track habits. By utilizing these technologies, individuals with diabetes can receive the necessary tools and support to effectively manage their condition.
India’s diabetes epidemic is not only a significant public health challenge but also has far-reaching socio-economic implications. To combat this crisis effectively, it is crucial to raise awareness, promote adherence to medication and lifestyle modifications, and create an environment where people with diabetes have the necessary tools and support to manage their condition effectively.
Only through a concerted effort can we hope to stem the tide of India’s diabetes epidemic and prevent it from further burdening the nation’s health and economy. It is essential to prioritize the use of technologies such as digital therapeutics for the first-line therapy of diabetes and emphasize the importance of adherence to medication. By addressing these issues, we can work towards a healthier future for India.