Life today is a fantastic thing. We live, love, procreate, fall, get up and keep on moving. It’s a marvel, really.
So what's going on?Diabetes sucks, that’s established beyond doubt. Sadly, in many countries, the social systems we have built and enjoy are set up to fail. In Germany, around 4,000 specialized physicians care for the roughly 6 million1 people with diabetes. In 10 years, 50% of the currently practicing physicians will be in retirement2. And the number of newly minted docs is dropping year by year – rumor has it there's an even steeper drop in diabetes specialists. At the same time, the number of people with diabetes is increasing. The amount of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 in children has been predicted to increase by nearly 30% by 20263. The number of people with type 2 diabetes in Germany alone is predicted to increase by 17% by 20404. Oh and we're all living longer, too, so the increase of our actual numbers will be even higher.
What does this lead to?By 2030, in Germany, we’ll be about twice as many patients per doc compared to now. This is pretty bad news. The model of how docs take care of us who live with diabetes works, from a therapy standpoint; but not as a system. Yet we tend to hold on to this system we built, even if we know it will fall flat in just a few years. Those who will pay that bill, are the very same ones the system is built to protect: us patients. So here comes the rhetorical question I mentioned above: Are we as a society moving fast enough to solve this? Observant readers might have guessed it already: No. We are not. Unless we start to think and act in a different way, as a society, we will be in serious trouble.
Move faster. Or modern technology <3 psychologyAt its core, successful diabetes therapy requires the right tools, the right knowledge, and the right attitude. If one is missing, all fails. Thanks to Gary Scheiner for teaching us this. To change this system swiftly we need to apply psychology to the methodology and therapy, then make it scalable using technology. This approach worked kinda well in communications, media, logistics, banking… the list goes on. Several years ago this is what we set out to do:
- Change the philosophy of diabetes therapy
- Equip us patients with superpowers, enabling us to act on our own, by moving diabetes therapy to the digital space
- Prove that it works
- Make the solution available to a LOT of people
- Create value for industry partners, making life easier for our users by tapping into therapy data streams
- Enable our users to get help when they need it - anytime and anywhere
- Then, launch the service into the healthcare system together with insurance companies. That's what we'll do in June of 2017.
- DiabeteDE, Diabetes in Zahlen, accessed on 1.6.2017
- Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, accessed on May 3, 2017
- Ehehalt, S., Dietz, K., Willasch, A.M., Neu A. Epidemiological Perspectives on Type 1 Diabetes in Childhood and Adolescence in Germany. Diabetes Care. 2010;33(2):338-340. doi:10.2337/dc09-1503.
- Zhou B, Lu Y, Hajifathalian K, et al. Worldwide trends in diabetes since 1980: A pooled analysis of 751 population-based studies with 4.4 million participants. Lancet. 2016;387(10027):1513-1530. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(16)00618-8.