We’re Fighting Diabetes in November – and Every Other Month
As we find ourselves firmly in American Diabetes Month® and approach World Diabetes Day on November 14, we’re excited that the world’s attention is once again focused on fighting this disruptive disease.
Diabetes impacts about 10 percent of the entire U.S. population – or about one-third of the country if you count prediabetes. This nationwide epidemic afflicts more than 4,000 new people each and every day, and accounts for almost 15 percent of the country’s total healthcare costs.
As the American Diabetes Association (ADA) – an organization we proudly sponsor – so eloquently puts it, “making healthy choices and taking steps to manage your diabetes can ensure you don’t just live but thrive with diabetes.” We couldn’t agree more.
Helping people thrive has been our goal at DarioHealth since we opened our doors in 2011. We know how hard it is for people with diabetes to manage their condition along with everyday life – it’s a definite balancing act! Depending on what’s going on in a patient’s life, it’s not always easy to make healthy choices, comply with doctors’ orders, track personal health data, and manage stress.
An article in The Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) – “You Get Reminded You’re a Sick Person” – explains the problem:
- Tracking data feels like work for many patients
- Personal medical data is emotionally charged
- Comorbidities, common in people with chronic conditions, negatively impact compliance
- Patients think physicians put less stock in self-tracked data than technologically obtained data, such as lab reports
Breaking Down the Barriers to Success
These barriers to successfully fighting diabetes are why we focus on the one thing we know can work: changing people’s behaviors. We do this with a unique combination of electronic data capture via smartphone, one-on-one personal coaching, and gamification that helps more than 75,000 people thrive on any given day.
Dr. Omar Manejwala, our Chief Medical Officer, likes to say that “to really change behavior, solutions must focus on what matters to people, not just what’s the matter with them.” That’s why personalization is such a key component of our solution.
Our dedicated coaches work hard to help our members adapt to the changes and challenges they face on a daily basis. By understanding each member’s medical conditions as well as their personal and professional lives, our coaches can provide powerful support when a member is dealing with things like aches and pains, time management issues, stress at work, or family and relationship problems.
As Dr. Manejwala puts it, “people who struggle with chronic conditions need support outside of the occasional doctor’s visit, and that’s exactly what our personal coaches deliver.”
The success of our “smart” diabetes management solution supports the conclusions of the JMIR paper:
- Novel technologies need to be intuitive, easy, and reduce the burden of patient work
- Uploadable device data will be perceived as more credible
- Solutions must motivate progress and provide support when patients have negative feelings, through techniques that help patients establish relevant goals and action plans
Like everyone at the ADA, all of us at DarioHealth want people with diabetes to THRIVE. It’s a mission we pursue with focus and enthusiasm every day of the year.