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Dealing with diabetes through data

Developments in data visualisation and mHealth are opening up a new front in the battle with diabetes. A 2,100km cycle ride across five countries is set to provide ground-breaking new insights into a disease which affects over 2.4 million people in England, or about 5.5% of the population. 
On average £24.45 is spent per diabetes patient per month on prescriptions to treat their condition. However this figure can differ from £18 to £31 per month, depending on the region. 
Data obtained from reliable sources such as the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), has enabled visualisations of the data, such as those on the Connected Digital Economy Catapult (CDEC) Open Health Data Platform. Specalist site, Visual.ly also has many diabetes based infographics. 
CDEC’s alpha site was built in just four weeks but it’s planning to add many more open data sets, maps and features to enable innovators, public and private sector data owners to work with open health data in new ways. 
 
Cycling for diabetes
Another exciting development is a ground breaking new mHealth study,  launched last week by the mobile operators organisation, the GMSA. 
Dubbed the mHealth Grand Tour, it’s a cycle ride with a difference. Going from Brussels to Barcelona, in just 13 days, it’s an opportunity to help demonstrate innovative solutions to the challenges of managing diabetes.
The ride, which is organised by the the mobile operators organisation GMSA and its partners, will feature a first-of-its-kind live research study of the effects of multi-day endurance exercise on blood glucose levels for up to 36 volunteer riders. They will also experience breathtaking scenery, quiet country roads and outstanding cultural sights across 2,100km with more than 22,000 meters of climbs through Belgium, Luxemburg, Germany, France and Northern Spain on to Barcelona. 
It’s hoped that the data captured and transmitted wirelessly will shed light on the effect of multi-day exercise on glycaemia and hypoglycaemic levels in elite and sub-elite athletes with Type 1 diabetes, as well as with riders without diabetes. Riders will track statistics on blood glucose and nutrition for two weeks before, during and after the ride, as well as cycling statistics and heart rate during the mHealth Grand Tour.
The riders will each be equipped with a Dexcom G5 continuous glucose monitor, which attaches to the skin and transmits data wirelessly over ANT+. During the ride, they will also use a bio-harness to capture their heart rates and an ANT+ enabled bike computer to monitor cycling statistics. All of these devices will transmit their statistics via ANT+ both to the riders’ smartphones, enabling them to track their health and performance in real time, and to an M2M module.
Network operator, Orange, will integrate the M2M module into a cloud-based, connected medical device PaaS (Platform as a Service) solution that, in a clinical setting, will enable the flow of data from patient to care provider. During the mHealth Grand Tour, the PaaS solution will transmit the data to a dedicated Web portal and process the data for later analysis by Newcastle University’s research team. 
“They key to mHealth is to simply and unobtrusively track physiological data and deliver it to the cloud,” stated Rod Morris, VP ANT Wireless. “When that data is delivered seamlessly to a variety of hubs for analysis, people realise the real benefits. The mHealth Grand Tour is showcasing the power of innovation, connectivity and collaboration where the consumer ultimately wins. That’s what it’s all about.” 
 
Challenges and Opportunities
There are huge challenges and opportunities connected to health and data, which are well publicised and documented. CEBR, for example, estimated that the so-called ‘data equity’ (the unlocked value in data) would be worth £25.1 billion to UK private and public sector businesses in 2011, increasing over the next five years to over £40 billion per year. Its analysis highlights healthcare as being among the biggest beneficiary sectors. In addition, McKinsey reported in May 2013 that a retailer using data ‘to the full’ could increase its operating margin by more than 60% and that governments in developed European countries could save more than €100 billion in operational efficiency improvements by using data effectively.
A recent study commissioned by the GSMA in conjunction with PwC revealed that mHealth adoption could help reduce costs for chronic conditions by 30 to 35 per cent in the European Union through improved treatment compliance and remote patient monitoring. Findings also revealed that mHealth could save almost €100 billion in healthcare costs in the EU by 2017.
Similarly, the challenges and opportunities connected to health and data, are immense. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has  estimated that the so-called ‘data equity’ (the unlocked value in data) was worth £25.1 billion to UK private and public sector businesses in 2011, increasing over the next five years to over £40 billion per year. Its analysis highlights healthcare as being among the biggest beneficiary sectors. In addition, McKinsey reported in May 2013 that a retailer using data ‘to the full’ could increase its operating margin by more than 60% and that governments in developed European countries could save more than €100 billion in operational efficiency improvements by using data effectively.
 
The Grand Tour takes place 5-19 September 2013
 
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[...] Also in mHealth news, watch this inspiring video, shot during last month’s Grand Tour - an epic 13-day, 2,100 km cycling challenge from Brussels to Barcelona, organised by the GMSA to raise... [...] Read More
Posted on 19/10/13 09:50.

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