mDiabetes: Government of India’s mobile health initiative for the prevention and care of diabetes

Key Messages:

India is home to over 60 million adults with diabetes (7.8% of the population), of which more than 30 million are undiagnosed or untreated, thus increasing the risk of developing complications and premature mortality.

With over a billion mobile subscriptions in India, the use of mobile phones for the delivery of healthcare services is an attractive proposition.

Therefore, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) in collaboration with the WHO Country Office for India and other partners, has launched a mobile health initiative for the prevention and care of diabetes – mDiabetes.

mDiabetes will contribute to improving awareness about diabetes and promoting healthy diets and active lifestyle, which are vital to the prevention of diabetes.

mDiabetes will also enhance health care seeking and early diagnosis, contribute to better adherence to drug or dietary control, self-care, as well as prevention of complications among patients with diabetes.

Similar to the mCessation programme for tobacco cessation, individuals may register for mDiabetes by giving a missed call to 011-22901701. Alternatively, one may register online on the National Health Portal web site.

The web site has a Diabetes Risk calculator based on the Indian Diabetes Risk Score (IDRS) developed by Dr. M V Mohan and colleagues in Chennai, among other useful information.

The IDRS is a simple way to assess risk of developing diabetes among undiagnosed persons, and includes only four parameters- Age, Abdominal obesity, Family history of diabetes, and Physical activity.

A follow-up study by Dr. Mohan and colleagues showed that the IDRS is more effective and less expensive than performing OGTT or genetic phenotyping on the entire population for the detection of diabetes.

Useful Links:

Link to the mDiabetes web site:

Link to the diabetes risk factors page on the mDiabetes web site:

Link to the diabetes risk score page on the mDiabetes web site:

Link to the original article describing the IDRS:

Link to follow-up article comparing screening with IDRS and OGTT or genetic phenotyping for the detection of undiagnosed diabetes:

Link to an article describing various diabetes risk scores:

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