Innovative New Mobile App for Chronic Disease Prevention Undergoing Testing in Clinical Study
MUMBAI, India–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, Arogya World announced that myArogya, its new chronic disease prevention mobile App for working Indians, is now available on Android and iOS phones. A formal year-long clinical study in several workplaces is in progress to determine the App’s effectiveness in preventing Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) like diabetes. The first working Indians began to use the App this month, as part of the effectiveness study.
Developed with sole funding from the Cigna Foundation, myArogya includes rich content on awareness and prevention of chronic diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, and other complications of diabetes.
“We’re excited to see the launch of myArogya, and will be closely following the results. With diabetes claiming the lives of one million Indians a year, we want to do all we can to begin to reverse this trend and alleviate human suffering,” said David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation.
Meaning “my Health” in Sanskrit, myArogya is the first-of-its kind chronic disease prevention mobile app designed to help working Indians lead healthier lives. The myArogya App also has food and activity trackers to help people make healthy lifestyle changes. Many other features including a smoking cessation mHealth program, healthy recipe videos, nutritional icons for India, and additional trackers are planned for later phases.
“We believe that the use of mobile technology in the workplace setting is a powerful scalable solution for chronic disease prevention. We can’t wait to see the results of our study and determine if myArogya, which has been designed to help with behavior change, can prevent diabetes among working Indians,” said Nalini Saligram, Founder & CEO, Arogya World.
Arogya World is using a multi-sectoral collaborative approach for this project. The myArogya App was developed in partnership with ClickMedix. Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) is serving as the clinical study lead. Quest Diagnostics is doing the biological testing. Emory University crafted the message content for the smart phone App. Arogya World adapted the content for India with feedback from employees at Quinnox and other Healthy Workplace companies. Arogya World is also responsible for behavior change analysis during the year-long study.
A few thousand working professionals from multinational corporations and India-based companies like Quinnox, Cyient,Cognizant —many being Arogya World’s Healthy Workplaces—are participating in the study, which will measure both behavior change and physiological markers at three time points over the course of one year.
Non-Communicable Diseases, NCDs, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic lung diseases, are a huge burden in India. About 20 percent of the people are estimated to have at least one chronic condition. Some 60 million Indians live with diabetes and one million die from it each year. And Indians get type 2 diabetes about 10 years earlier that most Westerners, making the public health burden in the country truly alarming.
Yet, these diseases are largely preventable. According to the World Health Organization, 80 percent heart disease, 80 percent type 2 diabetes and 40 percent of cancers are preventable with lifestyle changes including avoiding tobacco, eating healthy foods, and increasing physical activity. Workplaces, where working people spend so much of their day, are regarded as an effective NCD prevention platform.
“It is smart to study whether mobile technology can help people lead healthy lives in India where mobile phone use is widespread – some 900 million cell phones are said to be in use,” Saligram said. Arogya World’s first mHealth effort in India, the groundbreaking one-million person text messaging program called mDiabetes, a Clinton Global Initiative Commitment, was implemented with Nokia and showed promising behavior change. Building on that evidence base, Arogya World developed myArogya, as a smart phone App for working professionals.