A worrying rise in undiagnosed diabetes
One of the ‘hidden’ consequences of the Covid pandemic is that GP visits have fallen dramatically. This has led to a number of press reports on the ongoing impact of the pandemic on cancer care and diagnosis. But other life-limiting conditions have not received the same level of publicity.
Type 2 diabetes diagnosis falls 46% in first lockdown
Now a report has estimated that a reduction in GP visits could have resulted in a dramatic rise in the number of people living unknowingly with Type 2 diabetes. So much so that diabetes expert Dr Ian Braithwaite has suggested up to 100,000 people may not be aware that they have the disease. More worryingly, with NHS data showing that four in ten are not seeking help from their GP, this trend is expected to continue.
Type 2 diabetes can lead to life-limiting health conditions including heart disease, deteriorating vision and kidney problems. Early diagnosis is crucial in order to take steps to manage or mitigate the disease. Current diagnostic techniques include blood and urine tests but these do require a GP visit.
The handheld device which is being developed by Occuity can diagnose diabetes, and even pre-diabetes, conditions which show up in our eyes. Because it is non-invasive the device could be used in settings such as pharmacies and care homes; thereby increasing the chances of early detection.