Supporting Diabetes Awareness Week
One in every fourteen people in the UK currently lives with a diagnosis of diabetes.
As if that statistic is not startling enough, it is estimated that a further million individuals may well have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes, and millions more may well be pre-diabetic. This has led Diabetes UK to warn that by 2030, ten per cent of the population may have been diagnosed with diabetes.
But, why does this matter?
Quite simply, diabetes comes at a cost to lives and quality of living, affecting individuals, families and carers, and the country as a whole. One in six hospital inpatients has diabetes, with the NHS spending ten per cent of its entire budget in treating diabetic conditions.
If you don’t know someone who is living with diabetes, you might only have a vague idea of the condition, perhaps seeing it purely in terms of the need to eat properly in order to balance blood sugar or insulin levels. And on a basic level, you may be right; but the effect of diabetes runs far beyond the need for carefully balanced eating or insulin injections. High blood sugar levels can result in damage right across the body.
On average, every week in the UK, there are 185 leg, toe or foot amputations due to diabetic complications.  Diabetes is also known to double the risk of heart attacks and strokes  as well as being one of the major contributing factors of preventable sight loss, with 1700 people every year losing their sight due to diabetes.
All is not lost. The earlier that diabetes is diagnosed and the swifter that treatment plans are put in place, the greater the chance of mitigating potential complications from the disease. That’s why at Occuity, we plan to use our innovative optical technology platform to develop a non-invasive disease screening device which could help to diagnose both diabetes and pre-diabetes. As our technology is non-invasive, it would make it easier for screening to take place in non-clinical settings such as pharmacies, opticians or care homes, increasing the opportunity to identify diabetes at an earlier stage.
The need for greater awareness is one reason why ‘Diabetes Week’ is so important. The week, which runs from the 13th to the 19th of June, is designed not only to raise awareness but also to celebrate those who either live with diabetes or care for those who do on a daily basis.
The Diabetes UK website has plenty of tips and information about diabetes, but it also includes details of events which are being held during the week. The more that people are aware of and understand the challenges of diabetes, the better chance there is of finding ways to identify, prevent or mitigate the condition, thereby helping to improve the quality of life for millions of individuals.
The sheer scale of the healthcare challenges of Diabetes is the reason why we're developing technology that can be used for the screening and monitoring of the disease that affects millions of people worldwide. To discover our novel, innovative technology click here.