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NSW MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY SAVING LIVES IN INDIA

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An innovative smartphone-based health app pioneered in NSW could help millions of people in India to access lifesaving diabetes screening and care for the very first time.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian officially launched the ‘IMPACT Diabetes’ program for The George Institute for Global Health in New Delhi on day three of her trade mission to India.

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“In rural India alone, more than 25 million people have diabetes and the number is rising rapidly,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Providing access to affordable, evidence-based and quality-controlled healthcare is a real game changer for these communities and I am so pleased to see our technology helping save lives across the world.”

IMPACT Diabetes, which is part of The George Institute’s ‘SMARThealth’ program, will train female community health workers in the use of a smartphone app that provides wireless point-of-care diagnostics for the management of patients with, or at high-risk of, diabetes and associated health problems.

The ‘SMARThealth’ program began in 2013 with a NSW Health-funded trial to pilot an electronic decision support tool for improving chronic care for Aboriginal people in NSW.

Since then, The George Institute program has evolved and expanded across India, Indonesia and Thailand to provide screening and care for patients at risk of cardiovascular disease and mental health issues.

There are also plans to extend the platform to help women at high risk of developing heart disease during and following pregnancy, as well as kidney disease and HIV care.

“This is a NSW-India partnership that is going global and benefitting people who would otherwise miss out on the kind of lifesaving healthcare that we in NSW take for granted,” Ms Berejiklian said.

Vivek Jha, executive director of The George Institute for Global Health, India said the research partnership was already improving the lives of many people in India.

“This is innovation at its best,” Professor Jha said.

“Digital technology coupled with using the experience and knowledge of local health workers. It’s creating a highly trained workforce that is tackling the growing burden of chronic disease in areas that traditionally lack access to world class healthcare.

“What we are learning in India will also be given back to NSW as this digital model of healthcare could work equally well for remote and low social-economic communities in Australia.”

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