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The diabetes challenge

Diabetes: a pandemic that needs tackling

Diabetes mellitus is a chronic, life-long, rising and very broad disease accompanied by many co-morbid conditions, complications and stages. Medical services for diabetes are available in all public and private sectors of healthcare systems, numerous medications have been developed, most importantly the body hormone insulin, and commercial support services back care providers’ efforts with products adapted to the needs of those living with the disease. Diabetes is also intensely researched and subject to health reporting in many industrialised countries, the majority of which also have national diabetes guidelines in place. Diabetes represents worldwide nevertheless an increasing burden on the cost of health care systems and the care offered is far from perfect. Usual care in most regions of Europe reacts to incidents rather than actively managing care. Diabetes care is also far from being fully integrated and further set back by the lack of interoperability across healthcare systems. The quality of many commercial internet-based services remains an issue and the focus on diabetes as a disesease often fails to properly address social aspects in patients‘ lives, such as retirement issues and the compatibility of diabetes and working.