China is facing a diabetes crisis, with more than one in 10 people living with the condition. The Chinese government, however, is fighting back with ambitious plans to deploy the latest technology to bring the epidemic under control, as our CEO Lars Fruergaard Jørgensen saw for himself during a recent visit.
China is also striving to streamline diabetes treatment. One initiative I find particularly impressive is the standardised care model developed by the National Metabolic Disease Management Center, which has already been rolled out to around 600 hospitals. The medical data generated by this system allow for dynamic, big-data analyses of diabetes epidemiology, prevention, diagnosis and treatment – and can even be linked to large-scale clinical trial programmes.
We're also working closely with the Chinese government to strengthen the healthcare system and build capacity by training doctors in hospitals and primary care centres. Furthermore, in our research centre in Beijing, our scientists are reaching out to Chinese biotech start-ups and incubators.
However, we also know that unless China improves prevention, the burden of diabetes could become unsustainable. So it's significant that six Chinese cities – Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Xiamen and Chongqing – have joined our Cities Changing Diabete partnership, addressing the social and cultural factors linked to urban living that can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. With 80% of Chinese people expected to be living in cities by 2050, up from just 20% in 1980, the need for action is urgent – and our role in developing innovative solutions for patients has never been more important.
For more information, contact Chris Moss, Senior Editor.