India is home to over 60 million adults with diabetes (7.8% of the population), of which more than 30 million are undiagnosed or untreated, thus increasing the risk of developing complications and premature mortality.
Given the challenges in early detection and management of diabetes, it is imperative to seek innovative ways that help to expand the reach of health literacy and services among the general population and high risk groups, while also improving management and quality of life in confirmed diabetics.
One of the most promising new opportunities is afforded by the high penetration of mobile communications in India: the country now has over a billion mobile subscriptions. The delivery of healthcare services through mobile phones has increased worldwide over the past two decades and there is increasing evidence of the efficiency of this harnessing this opportunity. Therefore, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in collaboration with the WHO Country Office for India and other partners, has launched a mobile health initiative for the prevention and care of diabetes – mDiabetes.
mDiabetes will contribute to improving awareness about diabetes and promoting healthy diets and active lifestyle, which are vital to the prevention of diabetes. mDiabetes will also enhance health care seeking and early diagnosis, contribute to better adherence to drug or dietary control, self-care, as well as prevention of complications among patients with diabetes.
mDiabetes is based on proven algorithms for diabetes prevention and care, and builds on previous international experiences in using mobile technologies to deliver these interventions.