How often have you stepped out of town without your diabetes papers and fretted about having to consult a new doctor? Here comes Diabeto, an app that tracks blood sugar levels, stores the data on cloud, and even lets patients video-consult their favourite docs.
Diabeto is being formally launched globally on World Diabetes Day tomorrow, but it’s already available for downloading on Android phones.
With over 350 million people affected by diabetes across the world – India alone accounts for an estimated 65.1 million diabetics – the app has come none too soon.
It has been created by Diabeto, a Mumbai- and New Jersey-based startup by the same name, founded by Amir Shaikh, Shreekant Pawar, and Hemanshu Jain in 2012. The trio came up with the idea after they found many family members grappling with the disease.
“All of us are directly or indirectly related to people suffering from the disease. My parents have lived with it for over 20 years,” Shreekant told Tech In Asia.
What Diabeto does
Diabeto is coming up with a bird-shaped device that can be plugged into a wide range of glucometers. It then wirelessly beams data and readings to the mobile app. While this device will be launched next year, for now patients can manually feed in their data into the app.
The app uploads and stores diabetes data on cloud. Besides patients themselves, their caretakers or family members living far away can also monitor this data if granted access to it by the patients.
What’s more, the app allows users to access a doctor of their choice from the comfort of their homes. That’s a boon for the elderly as well as frequent travellers.
Patients on outstation trips often find it difficult to travel with all their medical papers. Besides, they are unable to consult the same doctor every time. The Diabeto app addresses both these issues by maintaining a patient’s data on cloud and giving a doctor access to it.
A diabetes patient can tele-consult any of the doctors available on the app by paying a consultation feel of INR 650.
Endocrinologist. Gaurav Beswal, one of the doctors on the Diabeto panel, says, “Keeping a log of self-monitored blood glucose is quite cumbersome, and an intrusion for people with diabetes. The Diabeto app will solve this by providing a handy and convenient way to log one’s blood glucose.”
According to the International Diabetes Federation, India’s economic boom has been accompanied by a meteoric increase in the number of people with diabetes – and those at risk for the disease. Prevalence rates are up to 20 percent in some cities, and recent figures show increased rates in rural areas too.
Nutrition, lifestyle, and demographic transitions, increasingly faulty diets and physical inactivity, along with genetic predisposition, are causing a growing number of South Asians to fall prey to obesity.
It is predicted that by 2030, diabetes mellitus may afflict up to 79.4 million people in India, while the figures for China could be around 42.3 million and for the United States 30.3 million.
Across Europe, the WHO believes there are “about 60 million people with diabetes in the European Region.” It adds that high blood glucose kills about 3.4 million people annually around the world.
Earlier this year, HealthPlix raised INR16 million (US$241,000) in an angel round of funding from two senior executives of global corporations and a high net worth individual based in Bangalore.
Diabeto itself had raised US$18,945 through a crowdfunding campaign this year.
After founding the company in 2012, Diabeto has spent the intervening time getting its app ready for use in the US and Europe, building a cloud-based back-end and manufacturing the hardware.
The Diabeto team plans to launch a compact, portable Diabeto device that will enable remote updation of information from glucometers directly to the app by the end of the year. Watch this space.
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