mDiabetes Wins mBillionth Award

Posted on: August 8th, 2013 by Kelli

We are thrilled to inform you that mDiabetes – our one-million-person diabetes prevention text messaging program being implemented with Nokia in India – has won the prestigious 2013 mBillionth Award for South Asia from the Digital Empowerment Foundation (DEF). We congratulate our partner Nokia and the India team, who made the presentation at DEF and represented our project and our collaboration so well. We are also pleased that Arogya World India was recognized as a finalist in the Mobile4Good Award given by Vodafone Foundation at the same event in Delhi on 18 July.

Accepting the award, Nikhil Narayan, Country Product Lead, Nokia Life (India), said, “It is wonderful to see the many extraordinary ways innovators are using mobile technology to advance health and improve lives.  We are pleased our joint project with Arogya World has been given this recognition.  It inspires us to do our best.”

Dr Sandhya Ramalingam, Head, Program Evaluation, Arogya World, India, who attended the event, said, “We have incredible faith in our scientific approach and are investing a great deal in evaluating the effectiveness of our program.  Once evaluation is complete, we are hopeful mDiabetes will add to the evidence base for the use of mHealth in chronic disease prevention.  We thank our partners, especially Nokia, for supporting us in our quest to make meaningful public health impact.”

mDiabetes is Arogya World’s flagship program, the first and largest such diabetes prevention mHealth program in the world, and an ongoing Clinton Global Initiative commitment.  In partnership with Nokia, and using their innovative Nokia Life platform, text messages in 12 languages have been transmitted to 1 million consumers from around the country.  Other mDiabetes partners include Emory University, Aetna, Johnson & Johnson, Biocon and Ipsos.  The program is in final stages of effectiveness evaluation.  We are on track to report results of mDiabetes effectiveness at CGI’s annual meeting this September.

India has a huge burden of diabetes. 60 plus million live with the disease and 1 million die from it each year. Moreover, Indians get the disease 10 years earlier than Western people, often in their 30s and 40s.  If untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, blindness, amputations and kidney failure. Importantly, the WHO emphasizes that approximately 80% of heart disease and diabetes and 40% of cancers can be prevented through healthy lifestyles such as avoiding tobacco use, eating healthy foods and increasing daily physical activity. Prevention is at the core of all of Arogya World’s work.