An innovative smartphone-based health app pioneered in NSW could help millions of the world’s poorest to access lifesaving diabetes screening and care for the very first time.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian officially launched the ‘IMPACT Diabetes’ program for The George Institute for Global Health in New Delhi on Day 3 of her action-packed trade mission to India.
“In rural India alone, more than 25 million people have diabetes and the number is rising rapidly – providing access to affordable, evidence-based and quality-controlled healthcare is a real game changer for these communities,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“It is inspiring to see NSW know-how helping people all around the world and indeed saving lives.”
IMPACT Diabetes, which is part of The George Institute’s ‘SMARThealth’ program, will see female community health workers trained in the use of a smartphone app that provides wireless point-of-care diagnostics and a series of evidence-based algorithms for the management of patients with, or at high-risk of, diabetes and associated health problems.
The ‘SMARThealth’ program began in 2013 with a NSW Health-funded trial to pilot an electronic decision support tool for improving chronic care for Aboriginal people in NSW.
Since then, The George Institute program has evolved and expanded across India, Indonesia and Thailand to provide screening and care for patients at risk of cardiovascular disease and mental health issues. There are also plans to extend the platform to help women at high risk of developing heart disease during and following pregnancy, as well as kidney disease and HIV care.
“This is a NSW-India partnership that is going global and benefitting people who would otherwise miss out on the kind of lifesaving healthcare that we in NSW take for granted.
“It’s just one small example of the tremendous success of NSW’s $2 billion medical technology industry – and yet it means everything to those it helps,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Professor Vivek Jha, Executive Director of The George Institute for Global Health, India said the research partnership was already improving the lives of many people in India.
“This is innovation at its best. Digital technology coupled with using the experience and knowledge of local health workers. It’s creating a highly trained workforce that is tackling the growing burden of chronic disease in areas that traditionally lack access to world class healthcare,” he said.
“What we are learning here will also be given back to NSW as this digital model of healthcare could work equally well for under-served communities in Australia.”