digital: ‘85% Patients Used Digital Tools To Reverse Diabetes’ | Mumbai News – Times of India

MUMBAI: Digital therapeutics could become an essential part of diabetes management. Using smart watches or activity monitors, endocrinologists across the country are helping newly diagnosed diabetes patients reverse the condition.

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On Friday, Mumbai endocrinologist Dr Shashank Joshi presented a paper at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinology in San Diego to show how a digital technology platform developed by an IIT Madras startup helped patients achieve remission of Type 2 diabetes.
“Diabetes remission is now the norm, especially for patients suffering for less than seven years,” said Joshi.
His paper said 141 out of 167 (84.4%) diabetes patients who had used a digital tool achieved remission in less than 180 days. Remission is defined as an HbA1c blood test count below 6.5 three months after stopping medication.
Joshi, who is a member of the state’s Covid task force too, said artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things (IoT) were helping patients with diabetes understand which food caused a surge in blood sugar levels and thereby control fluctuations.
‘Each diabetic may get different treatment in future’
Endocrinologist Shashank Joshi said using digital tools can continuously measure a patient’s blood sugar levels, his or her level of happiness or stress as well as sleep patterns. “It could be a smart watch, for instance,” said the doctor.
In the past five years, digital aids have been helping doctors and researchers tackle diabetes. Consider Navi Mumbai-based pediatric surgeon Arbinder Singhal who, after being diagnosed as pre-diabetic, tied up with a health-tech company to build 24×7 blood sugar monitors.
Embedding the monitors just under the skin helps chart out the patient’s blood sugar levels over the day, showing spikes and drops.
People can then fine-tune their diet to ensure sugar levels are always in the normal range.
“This is about precision medicine. In the future, each patient will have a different treatment,” said Coimbatorebased Dr Suresh Damodaran who is a co-author of the study with Dr Joshi.
“In diabetes, we look at glycemic excursions (glycemic index is a value used to measure how much specific foods increase blood sugar levels). Idlis eaten for breakfast would affect the blood sugar levels of different people differently,” said Dr Damodaran.
Once the machine or programme used by the patient picks up a pattern of the ‘glycemic excursion’, machine learning throws up the graph. “Our programme even tells patients how many idlis they should reduce or increase to get their morning sugars in control,” said Dr Joshi.
India ranks second only to China in the global epidemic of diabetes, with 77 million people with the disease. It is estimated that 12. 1 million people aged under 65 years have diabetes but the number could increase to 27. 5 million by 2045. Diabetes is one of the worst chronic diseases because it increases the patient’s risk for heart attack, stroke and kidney failure, among other conditions.

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