1200% rise in the number of diabetes queries since last year: Practo Insights

Most discussed topics include common symptoms and causes, effective treatment options, storage and usage of Insulin, gestational diabetes, and the impact of COVID-19 on diabetic patients

Some of these queries came from non-metro cities that have never consulted on Practo for diabetes before, including Bilaspur, Bhagalpur, Aizawl, and Thanjavur

Practo, India’s leading integrated healthcare company, witnessed a substantial increase of 1200% in the number of diabetes queries since last year. This follows a growing wave of people seeking medical help for diabetes, especially after the disease came under the spotlight since the COVID-19 outbreak. While metro cities witnessed 5x growth in diabetes-related queries in the last one year, the number stood at a staggering 20x growth in non-metro cities for the same time period.  

Amid an ongoing pandemic, various studies have revealed that people with diabetic conditions are at a higher risk of severe clinical outcomes of COVID-19. In fact, 80% of all diabetes-related queries on Practo in the last one year came between March and October, indicating growing awareness of diabetes and its complications after the onset of the pandemic. Some of the most discussed queries include ‘Impact of COVID-19 on diabetic patients’ and ‘Gestational diabetes among pregnant women’, given the lack of clarity on how COVID-19 affects pregnancy.

Furthermore, the queries were from people across age groups, including those above the age of 60. This is an aberration since typically young Indians are known to lead the charter on searching and consulting doctors online.

According to the Practo Health Insights (Nov 2019 – Oct 2020),

  • Online consultation witnessed a 1200% increase from last year in the number of queries for diabetes as compared to 300% the year before
  • 72% of all diabetes-related consults came from men 
  • Amongst women, 40% of the consults were from the age group of 21 – 30 followed by women in the age group of 31-40 (27%) and those aged 60 & above(22%). The most discussed query among women was on gestational diabetes
  • 70% of all diabetes-related queries came from metro cities, recording a growth of 20x since last year
  • 30% of the queries were from non-metro cities, which grew 5x since last year
  • Most of the queries were from Delhi-NCR, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai, Chennai, Pune, and Kolkata 
  • In non-metro cities, most of the queries came from Lucknow, Visakhapatnam, Patna, Bhubaneshwar, Jaipur, and Secunderabad 
  • Top searches include diabetes symptoms and causes, diabetes management, treatment for type 1 and type 2 diabetes, storage and usage of Insulin, gestational diabetes, and the impact of COVID-19 on diabetic patients
  • Around 16% of all diagnostic tests conducted on Practo were for diabetes

Dr. Alexander Kuruvilla, Chief Healthcare Strategy Officer, Practo, said, “Proactiveness, awareness, and empowerment are key factors in diabetes care. Patients, in addition to taking calls on their diet, exercise schedules, insulin doses, and other lifestyle changes, also need to be in control over their doctor appointments, routine tests, and monitoring. Digital healthcare has made it easier and more manageable than ever before for patients to be in control. Patients are now empowered to consult doctors, book tests, order medicines, ask doubts/queries seamlessly, at the click of a button. The growth reflects growth in awareness too, and that’s a key step towards overall health and well-being.” 

Dr. Arpandev Bhattacharyya, consultant endocrinologist at Manipal Hospital, said, “Diabetes is a health concern which requires constant attention at regular intervals. It is important for people to consult specialists online and plan timely check-ups to ensure that it is kept under control. If the levels are under control, proper consultation should be done every three months. If the levels are unstable, then the consultations should be more frequently done as doctor suggestions. Apart from taking the medicines prescribed by the doctors, proper diet and regular exercise is a must. People should realize that diabetes is a lifestyle disease and medicines will work only if they make the much-needed changes in their lifestyle. If we don’t control diabetes, there are high chances that diabetes will end up controlling our whole body”

With one in 11 adults in India living with diabetes, the country is next only to China (17%) in having the largest share of people with diabetic conditions. In fact, the ninth edition of the IDF Diabetes Atlas has estimated that nearly 134 million Indians will be diabetic in the next 25 years. 

The insights report highlights important ailments and consultation related trends in the country.  The information is aggregated, anonymized, and analyzed at scale. We hope these findings better equip our healthcare providers to understand disease patterns and address them effectively and help others become aware of their options when looking to address their healthcare needs.


Practo is on a mission to make quality healthcare affordable and accessible for over a billion+ Indians. India’s leading integrated healthcare company it connects the entire healthcare ecosystem together – including patients, doctors, surgeons, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and diagnostics – to generate exceptional value and service for all, especially the end consumers.

As technology becomes an integral part of healthcare, Practo has also become an essential enabler in helping doctors understand the nuances of managing and securely storing all health data. Practo encrypts all data with 256-bit encryption, uses HIPAA-compliant data centers, and is one of the few healthcare companies to be ISO 27001 certified. Practo is present in 20+ countries, helping over 30 crore patients, by connecting them with 1 lakh+ verified doctor partners.

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