Practo launches TRANSFORM – Its flagship digital diabetes management and remission program
India, July 19, 2023: 71% of doctors believe that diabetes remission (DR) is possible, i.e. bringing blood sugars back into the normal range without the aid of medications – revealed a survey conducted by Practo, India’s leading digital healthcare company. The survey was conducted to understand the attitudes of the healthcare community towards managing India’s rising diabetes burden. With over 100 million people with diabetes(PWD) in India and an estimation of it doubling by 2045, there is an urgent need to revisit diabetes management strategies in the country.
In addition to shedding light on the positive attitudes of Healthcare professionals (HCPs) towards diabetes remission, the survey also highlighted several barriers to implementing diabetes remission in their patients. While healthcare professionals believed that nearly 40% of their patients were eligible for diabetes remission, only half of the healthcare professionals (52%) had access to a dietician (either in-house or externally) or a structured diabetes remission program, with the remaining having to single-handedly play many roles in a time-constrained environment.
Some commonly reported barriers by doctors to successfully achieving remission in their patients were:
- Difficulty in adherence to diet and fitness plans by the patient – 86%
- Lack of family support – 43%
- Lack of resources to closely follow up on patient’s progress – 29%
In summary, the doctor’s survey not only highlighted a growing predisposition towards diabetes remission among healthcare professionals but also identified a crucial gap in diabetes care delivery: the need for a structured support system for healthcare professionals to enable the successful delivery of a diabetes remission plan to their patients.
‘Transform’, Practo’s recently launched diabetes remission program, aims to bridge this gap in delivering quality diabetes remission care. It is a 6-month program aimed at helping type 2 diabetes patients reduce their reliance on medication and achieve diabetes remission through healthy eating and activity. It was developed with the help of medical experts from the NHS, U.K, using the evidence from the landmark DIRECT trial adapted to the Indian population. It combines technology with a multidisciplinary team (MDT) approach with a focus on sustained habit and behaviour change. Its patient-centric model offers multiple benefits, including:
- 100% digital delivery via WhatsApp, video, and audio calls
- High touch point service – a daily doctor and dietician input
- Daily customised fitness and yoga sessions at different time schedules to suit busy working professionals
- Daily live feedback from a dietician for all meals
- Regular doctor follow-up of glucose patterns
- A personal mentor
- All disciplines on one platform – multidisciplinary team care
Early results of Practo Transform show over 250+ patients with Type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes reduced their diabetes burden with reduced or no medications. With an average age of 44, an HbA1c level of 8.4levels, and an average duration of diabetes of over 6 years, the results showcased:
- >88% reduced or stopped medications over the course of 6 months
- On average, patients experienced a 1.7-point reduction in HbA1c levels (8.4 to 6.6)
- On average, weight loss of 7.2kgs in a 6-month duration
Commenting on the launch, Dr. Hema Venkataraman, Medical Advisor, Practo Transform, said, “ Diabetes in Indians is a unique and complex condition that poses great challenges in management. With as high as 1 in 5 people with diabetes in some cities, there is an urgent need for the rollout of widespread prevention and remission programs. This survey highlights that while India’s healthcare community recognizes the importance of diabetes remission, there is also an unmet need for a support system to help HCPs implement DR. Practo’s Transform is a unique model that brings together a multidisciplinary team (MDT) of dieticians, and fitness experts, who work closely with the HCPs, providing continuity of care between doctor appointments and enabling sustainable behaviour changes to enable Diabetes Remission, achieve weight loss, and significantly reduce Cardiovascular risk.”
Talking about remission, Dr. Anusha N D, Consultant, Endocrinologist, Shanta Centre for Diabetes & Endocrinology said, “Diabetes can’t be reversed but it is definitely possible to put it into remission with weight loss. Diabetes is common among young people nowadays because of their lifestyle and increased obesity. So if one loses weight by concentrating on diet and exercise, remission is possible. However, remission might not happen to everyone. But weight loss definitely comes with a lot of benefits, for instance, one can decrease the dose of diabetic and hypertensive medications, and the lipid profile will be better. Overall there will be fewer complications and better health. And the Practo Transform programme will help improve patients’ lifestyle, reduce weight and overall well being.”
The survey was conducted in April 2023, among 260 diabetologists with a 50-50 split between tier I cities ( Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune) and tier II & III cities.