India needs more digital public initiatives on diabetes, obesity, and mental health amid COVID-19 era, says GlobalData

In collaboration with the LaparoObeso center, the Indian state of Maharashtra has recently launched a digital campaign to raise awareness of diabetes and obesity. In addition, the Indian state of Delhi’s premier medical institute, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Delhi (AIIMS Delhi), has developed mobile apps for patients with chronic mental illness and their caregivers. However, given the pandemic situation, more digital public initiatives are required on diabetes, obesity, and mental health amid the COVID-19 era, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

Diabetes and obesity are found to increase the mortality rate in COVID-19 infected patients. Therefore, Maharashtra will provide adequate information on the state government’s website to create awareness of these diseases, including healthy diet tips.

Similarly, AIIMS Delhi has developed two mobile apps, ‘Shaksham’ for patients with chronic mental illness and ‘Disha’ for patients who undergo their first such episode of symptoms. The apps will be available free of cost for public use from January 2022.

Venkat Kartheek Vale, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “The latest digital initiatives by Maharashtra are a pioneering step to minimize the risk factors of COVID-19 infection.  Furthermore, AIIMs Delhi’s focus on mental illness, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, will be extremely beneficial to improve the overall mental health to sustain the current situation and prepare for future uncertainties.”

According to GlobalData’s ‘Pharmaceutical Intelligence Center, the number of diagnosed prevalent cases of type 2 diabetes in India is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 3.97%, from 76.2 million in 2021 to 91.7 million in 2028.

Globally, the pandemic has increased the number of people experiencing symptoms of depression and anxiety due to reasons such as grief, isolation due to lockdowns, job loss, and the resulting economic hardships.

Mr. Vale concludes: “Considering the fact that the pandemic will have a long-term impact on people’s mental health, educating people about the effect of these conditions through digital channels and supporting them with necessary tools are the need of the hour.”

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