SDG
UNLEASH

Solution catalogue

Healthy.me

The prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the adult population in India stands at 8.8%, with nearly 1 million Indians dying due to diabetes every year. Since diabetes has no symptoms while it develops, people are often unmotivated to take preventive action until it is too late. Moreover, as there is no structured medical follow up procedure in place, people tend to not follow their caregiver's instructions and do not make the required lifestyle changes, which include maintaining a healthy diet, exercise, and attending doctor 's appointments. Thus, if healthcare professionals would provide clear instructions regarding nutrition, exercise, and medical check-ups and tests, and conduct a consistent follow-up with their patients, people in India would be more likely to lead a healthier lifestyle, which will eventually decrease the overall rate of diabetic people among the Indian population. This could be solved using Healthy.me, a mobile nudge-based behavioral change platform, best suited to treat patients who have been identified by their healthcare provider as being at high-risk for diabetes. The platform aims to improve the adherence of patients to therapy by creating push notification reminders of the advised medical checkups, habits changes of diet or exercise, and mutual feedback, and provides incentives for patients to follow their caregiver's instructions.

Problem

According to the World Health Organization, 415 million people globally suffer from diabetes, the majority of them are in developing countries. In India alone, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the adult population stands at 8.8%, with over 72,946,400 cases of diabetes in 2017, and with nearly 1 million Indians die due to diabetes every year. Since diabetes has no symptoms while it develops, people are often unmotivated to take preventive action until it is too late. Moreover, as there is no structured medical follow up procedure in place, people tend to not follow their caregiver’s instructions and do not make the required lifestyle changes, which include maintaining a healthy diet, exercise, and attending doctor’s appointments. In 2018 the Indian government has established a nationwide health reform, Ayushman Bharat, covering half a billion people by 2020. The program is providing coverage up to 5 lakh rupees ($7,100) per family per year, with care that can be received at any private or public hospital that has joined the scheme. Due to the high diabetes prevalence in the country, which keeps on rising as India develops, policymakers, healthcare providers and health insurers are now concerned, as the trend is adding to the financial burden.

Solution

Healthy.me, a mobile nudge-based behavioral change platform, is best suited to treat patients who have been identified by their healthcare provider as being at high-risk for diabetes or at a pre-diabetic stage. The platform aims to improve the adherence of patients to therapy by creating reminders of the advised medical checkups, habits changes of diet or exercise, and mutual feedback, and provides incentives for patients to follow their caregiver’s instructions. As this is a learning platform, creating a personalized follow-up experience with digital intelligent interventions, it eventually provides a unique wellness and treatment program for each patient. The platform will support people who are at-risk for diabetes in India in their effort to lead a healthier lifestyle.
As the Indian government is the healthcare insurer, it has even a stronger motivation to keep people from getting ill with diabetes, which makes them a suitable client for Helathy.me. Moreover, as the regulator, the government has the power to obligate hospitals and care-givers to comply to new health procedures, such as using Healthy.me on a regular basis. This, while the end users of the platform are healthcare providers and patients.

Innovation

Other diet and workout mobile apps and medical devices that track the activity of both healthy people and people with diabetes exist in the market, and have seen broad adoption in developed countries. Such platforms mainly focus in measuring the user’s glucose levels in the blood and their physical activity (by measuring steps or heart beats). They also create personalized experience by using big data. However, the uniqueness of our product is incorporating data extracted from different data sources (different diet and exercise trackers) to create a personalized tracking and feedback platform that connects patients with their health professionals. It serves as a unified platform in which doctors, nutritionists and physical trainers set goals for their patient and track the patients’ progress, allowing healthcare professionals a simple way to communicate with the patients and give them real time feedback in case they do not meet their monthly goals.

Impact

SDG3, goal 3.3.4, sets a goal of reducing premature mortality from non-communicable diseases by one third by 2030, through prevention and treatment and promote well-being. Helathy.me platform is designed to help achieve this objective. As the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in the adult population stands at 8.8%, with over 72,946,400 cases of diabetes in 2017, the impact of Healthy.me platform could be significant. This can be measured against different KPIs, including the percentage of users (doctors and patients) that are using the platform, the frequency of the usage per user, and the diabetes morbidity among the intervention group compared to a control group.

Next Steps

After UNLEASH we intend to develop an MVP and test it in a specific territory in India. The MVP will be assessed against different KPIs (see above). After the initial assessment we will gather conclusions, and continue to the next stage of development. Future scalability will include merging the platform with medical devices, such as diabetes Blood glucose measurer as well as connecting the results to a history tracker data base that stores the readings of the patient’s blood sugar levels over long and varying intervals. This, to identify change and to aid early detection as well as providing large sums of data that helps health organizations to better identify their targets and understand the trend of the lifecycle for prediabetes. In order to protect the data, we will use Blockchain to make sure the medical is safety stored.

Immediate Requests

1. Grant making organization in the field of NCDs or healthcare in India: in order to get the initial funds for developing the MVP.
2. Partners from Tamil Nadu’s state government: in order to design and establish a pilot.
3. Partners from a local hospital in Tamil Nadu: to design and initiate a pilot.

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