The Remote Monitoring System for People with Diabetes was unveiled today at the Ernesto Roma School of Diabetes Studies in Lisbon. This innovative system has been developed by the Vodafone Portugal Foundation in partnership with the Portuguese Diabetics Association (APDP) and enables people with diabetes and healthcare professionals to manage diabetes remotely, so increasing the quality of monitoring of the disease.
The solution, developed from scratch by the Vodafone Portugal Foundation, is integrated with APDP’s computerised information system and enables continuous and more efficient liaison between users and the APDP’s healthcare professionals, in particular in recording insulin doses and blood glucose measurements by allowing the user to log them via a voice call, SMS or email.
With the introduction of the Remote Monitoring System for People with Diabetes, users gain access to a platform that stores their personal data and, without the need to visit APDP, can quickly contact their doctor and/or a body nurses who now have access to the user’s record of insulin doses and blood glucose measurements.
In addition, the clinical body will be able to continuously monitor the parameters provided by the user and check the record of therapies applied from any location via the internet. The system thereby contributes to the systematic and integrated availability of information about each individual with diabetes, so increasing the quality of the advice and information provided to APDP users.
Among other features, the system also makes it possible to set notifications and alarms to users, doctors and nurses via SMS or email to call attention to any abnormal situation which needs immediate intervention.
The implementation of the Remote Monitoring System for People with Diabetes is now being extended to the entire base of APDP users, following the success of the testing phase in with a group of patients with insulin pumps during the past year.
Diabetes is a chronic disease which is growing rapidly around the world. According to figures from the International Diabetes Federation (IDF), diabetes affects over 371 million people worldwide, 8.3% of the world’s population, and is increasing in all countries. In over 50% of these people, diabetes has not yet been diagnosed and is continuing its silent progression. Diabetes is a chronic disease that has serious cardiovascular implications and is the leading cause of kidney failure, amputations and blindness. The disease is now the fourth leading cause of death in developed countries according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). A person dies from the disease every 10 seconds. Also according to WHO figures, this condition may lead to a reduction in life expectancy for the first time in 200 years. In 2012 diabetes killed 4.8 million people, half of whom were under 60. It is estimated that in 2030 the number of people with diabetes worldwide will reach 552 million, an increase of 49% in the population affected by the disease.
Diabetes in Portugal
Portugal is among the European countries with the highest prevalence rates of diabetes. According to the National Diabetes Observatory, in the last ten years the number of new cases has jumped: in 2000 there were 377 new cases per 100,000 individuals and in 2011 there were 652. The figures are worrying when we realise that the increase in the incidence of diabetes in the last 10 years was 80%. The prevalence of the disease in 2011 was 12.7% of the population aged between 19 and 79 – around 1 million people in total.
Founded in 1926, the APDP is the oldest patients’ association in the world. With around 50,000 diabetics in its membership, it is active in the battle against diabetes and in supporting people with the disease, with the aim of enabling people with diabetes to play an active role in society. The APDP has been a pioneer in education about and prevention of diabetes. Better understanding of the disease and exploring new forms of treatment are its main objectives, together with the creation of structures to respond to the range of problems surrounding diabetes.
About the Vodafone Portugal Foundation
Established in April 2001, the Vodafone Portugal Foundation is a not-for-profit institution with its own funds, established to contribute to the development of the Information Society, combat info-exclusion and disseminate mobile telecommunications technologies. During the 12 years of its existence, the Foundation has supported over 60 projects in areas such as Health, Education, Safety, the Information Society and the Environment, with Agriculture and Marine Resources as additional areas of concern. It operates as a key tool of Vodafone Portugal’s Social Responsibility strategy. Rather than simply making a financial contribution, the support provided by the Vodafone Portugal Foundation is given in the form of help with planning, implementing and publicising projects in order to ensure their effectiveness and success, in all cases in cooperation with recognised civil society organisations, NGOs and public bodies.