In the rising era of non-communicable diseases, India is adverted to be the ‘Diabetes Capital of the World,’ accounting for 17% of diabetes patients worldwide. In 2019, a report by the International Diabetes Federation observed China, India, and the United States of America among the countries with the highest incidence of diabetes, with counts of 116.4 million, 77.0 million, and 31.0 million, respectively. This trend is expected to pick up speed in 2030 and 2045, with India continuing to have the highest burden of diabetes (101.0 and 134.2 million). As per the data and insights supported by the Global Burden of Disease Study, it is reported that the domination of population growth and ageing in the world’s largest countries, such as China and India, is driving the absolute increase in the number of people with diabetes.
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In the Union Budget 2022-23, the Government of India allocated around INR 86,200 CR to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW), which marks a 16.5% increase compared to the previous year. The upcoming budget should focus on preventive healthcare, given the country’s significant rise in non-communicable and lifestyle diseases. A fast-growing country like India with a vibrant middle-aged population needs a considerable investment in healthcare to offer precision treatment to every citizen.
With recent advancements in the health-tech domain, especially in chronic metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes, forums like American Diabetes Association and RSSDI have started to embrace technology-driven solutions. This will soon be a part of the standard of care with scientific evidence proving remission of certain diseases like diabetes, which has been seen as a lifelong progressive disease. However, as these technology-driven solutions involve the regular use of sensors, the affordability of these solutions becomes a considerable challenge. As a result, India and the developing nation have seen an enormous advancement and acceptance in the health tech space.
Further, given the increased reliance on imports of medical equipment, total allocation towards promoting local R&D, manufacturing of healthcare equipment, and supporting the innovative technology-enabled healthcare product will help India become self-reliant. Digital therapeutics could become an essential part of diabetes management. Using Continuous glucose monitoring and smartwatches or activity monitors, endocrinologists across the country are helping diabetes patients reverse the condition. It is also imperative to find a roadmap towards universal healthcare coverage and drive digitization in the healthcare sector and cohesive private and public sector efforts towards building a ‘Healthy and Happy India.’
Dr. Maluk Mohamed,
Founder and VP of Global Research,