Digital Therapeutics: The No-Pill Solution for Newly Diagnosed Diabetes
Type 2 Diabetes has traditionally been considered to be a lifelong condition where one can only hope for better blood sugar control. But modern-age diabetes care and treatment is challenging this long held belief, especially for those who are newly diagnosed with diabetes. Advancements in medical technologies have made diabetes care and management personalised and patient-centric, helping one to reverse the condition without being dependent on pills. Diabetes reversal means maintaining HbA1c of less than 6.5% without medications for at least 3 months. Though the layman term is diabetes reversal, this process scientifically is also called Diabetes Remission.
But before we talk about diabetes remission in detail, let’s get the basics right first.
Diabetes reversal is not for everyone. The four factors that predict higher chances of diabetes reversal are:
The time of diagnosis: Your chance of reversing diabetes is relatively high within the first 5 years of its onset (and in some cases, up to 10 years).
Your BMI: People who have a BMI (Body Mass Index) of higher than 25 have a good chance of diabetes reversal.
Dependency on medications: People on just one or two medications have higher chances of diabetes reversal than people who are on multiple medications or injections for blood sugar control.
Motivation to reverse diabetes: Diabetes reversal is a journey, and it requires motivation and commitment.
At Fitterfly, we have created a diabetes reversal calculator to help patients with Type 2 Diabetes to understand if they are eligible to aim for diabetes reversal or not. It takes just two minutes to get your report: https://www.fitterfly.com/diabetes-reversal-calculator
What can you do to reverse diabetes?
The new age diabetes care and management call for modern and scientifically driven solutions, and digital therapeutics could be the answer for the same. Digital Therapeutics (DTx) are evidence-based therapeutic interventions driven by high-quality software programs to prevent, manage, or treat a medical disorder. In the recent years, DTx has shown commendable outcomes in diabetes management and is now increasingly being adopted for diabetes reversal.
The three critical aspects of diabetes management are:
Precision nutrition with personalized diet plans
Continuous physical fitness support
Proper psychological counselling to stay motivated
How can digital therapeutics help?
DTx programs help to bring down blood sugar levels using highly personalized data and advanced technology. At Fitterfly, we run two kinds of Diabetes DTx programs:
Diabefly Reverse: Diabefly Reverse is an intense 6 month program aimed at diabetes reversal and/or remission. Diabefly Reverse aims to help diabetes patients attain freedom from medications and regain complete metabolic health with a multidisciplinary regimented approach over six months. This is meant for a subset of patients who qualify for diabetes reversal based on our diabetes reversal calculator. More information is available at www.fitterfly.com/diabefly-reverse
Diabefly: Diabefly is designed to provide 360-degree care to people with diabetes by providing expert-led solutions, while ensuring adherence to the treatment prescribed by clinicians for better outcomes. This is indicated for patients who are not looking for diabetes reversal or are ineligible for reversal. The Diabefly program can help these patients to better manage their diabetes and to decrease the future risk of complications. More information is available at www.fitterfly.com/diabefly
A DTx program like Diabefly Reverse rests on three main pillars:
Personalised nutrition: The Diabefly program comes with a Continuous Glucose Monitoring System (CGMS) or Ambulatory Glucose Monitoring (AGM) device that painlessly monitors the patient’s blood sugar levels for 14 days in response to food, activity, sleep patterns and mood swings. It takes around 1300 such readings, which are mapped with the food intake and the activities of the patient through specialized software. This helps experts and coaches to draft a nutrition plan that helps with better blood sugar control. In addition, the data collected through specialized software provides an understanding of one’s unique glycemic response (ie. how a person’s blood sugars increase in response to a particular food). Since no two people have the same glycemic response to the same food, this is an essential aspect of Diabefly’s diabetes care and management plan, in providing personalized nutrition.
Planned fitness regimen: A team of physiotherapists will conduct a personalised assessment to provide an exercise regimen and workout schedule to suit the patient’s body type. These exercises promise results and minimise the chances of injury. In addition, these exercises are designed to achieve fat loss, by helping one to fight abdominal obesity and to bring the BMI into a healthy range, i.e., less than 23. The exercises also help to fight insulin resistance, which is a hallmark of diabetes. By overcoming this insulin resistance, the patient’s sugar levels are lowered to the normal range.
Psychological counselling: Wondering why? The diagnosis of a condition like diabetes brings with it some shock and distress, which can make it slightly challenging for patients to stay motivated enough on their journey of diabetes reversal. Lifestyle changes are not easy; it requires a lot of effort to stay healthy and to make the right choices. Psychological counselling helps one in this regard.
The remote nature of such interventions makes DTx an accessible and easy-to-use tool for diabetes reversal. Studies have shown that diabetes patients on DTx-based programs usually show a massive improvement in their glycemic control with more than 1 point reduction in their HbA1c. Our latest outcomes from our Diabefly program show that 95% of the patients achieve better blood sugar control, and 30% of patients even reduced their medications.
ARTICLE WRITTEN BY: DR. ARBINDEDR SINGAL
Dr. Arbinder Singal is the Co-founder & CEO of Fitterfly.
Fitterfly is part of our Batch 1 Startup Creasphere APAC program in Singapore.