Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Holmusk smart coach tackles type-two diabetes

Steve Rogerson
October 11, 2016



Holmusk, a Singapore-based digital health and data analytics company, has launched a smart coach for type-two diabetes. Called GlycoLeap, it delivers human coaching via a mobile app and integrates connected health tracking tools.
 
"GlycoLeap is transformative for people with diabetes, especially in the way it brings diabetes care out of the clinics and hospitals and into people's every day lives," said Nawal Roy, CEO and founder of Holmusk. "We want to contribute towards revolutionising the healthcare experience for people living with chronic disease."
 
Diabetes affects more than 415 million people worldwide – a number that continues to rise each year. A 2015 study by the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) found that Singapore had the second-highest proportion of people with diabetes among all developed nations, with more than ten per cent of people aged 20 to 79. Three out of every ten patients with diabetes develop the condition before the age of 40.
 
Available for iOS and Android, GlycoLeap uses concepts from behavioural science to drive positive health outcomes for people with diabetes. Through small and sustainable lifestyle changes, users can achieve moderate weight loss and improve glucose control (as measured by HbA1c) within six months of the GlycoLeap programme.
 
As part of the programme, users take photographs of their meals with the Glyco app. A coaching team of qualified dieticians rate the meals and provide daily feedback and support. Users are also provided smart devices, including a wireless scale, glucometer and fitness band to track weight, blood glucose and physical activity. This gives the coaching team a full view of each user's behaviour, allowing them to provide the right feedback and support at the right time.
 
"After using GlycoLeap for six months, my HbA1c was reduced from 8.7 to 6.2 per cent," said Singapore user Wen Shi. "The feedback provided by the dieticians on food rating has helped me realise what types of food are good at controlling my glucose."
 
Healthcare costs associated with diabetes continue to be a major concern worldwide. Diabetes-related complications are a major cause of hospitalisation. According to a 2016 article in the BMC Public Health journal, Singapore's healthcare spending for diabetes rose above $1bn in 2010, and is expected to soar beyond $2.5bn by 2050.
 
The high costs of diabetes – both for the individual and the healthcare system – and the personal nature of diabetes management present an opportunity for technologies that can provide scalability and engagement for better diabetes management. GlycoLeap has the potential to fill this need.
 
Plans are in the works to develop tailored programmes for people with pre-diabetes, as well as other chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol, in the next six months.
 
GlycoLeap is available in Singapore, and expected to become available in the USA, Malaysia and Hong Kong early next year.