In the last 20 years the number diagnosed with diabetes in the UK has risen from 1.4 million to 3.5 million! It is predicted that just over half a million people in UK have diabetes that has not yet been diagnosed, so really there are over 4 million people in the UK living with diabetes.
That is 6% of the UK population = 1 in 16 people.
The increase is due to a higher number of type 2 diabetes, linked to an increase in obesity. The figure is still set to rise.
Earlier this year, a company called One Drop has launched a Blood Glucose Monitoring Kit for iPhone Users on Apple.com for approximately £100. The NHS currently spends £1.5m an hour on diabetes, and obesity care cost the NHS £4 billion a year which is expected to rise to £6.3 billing by 2020.
The glucose meter claims to produce results in 5 seconds, sending the data to the connected iPhone to be viewed through the One Drop App. The device can be customised to each individual for the correct pressure to obtain a perfect drop of blood every time.
If the NHS distributed a device to all their patients it would cost £400, 000, 000 as a one off cost. Patients would then be able to monitor their own health at home more accurately. This could potentially reduce the amount of treatment costs for the NHS yearly, and free up hospital and doctors time.
Alternatively, the NHS can pay half and the patient pays half, this would shift half of patient costs away from the NHS and on to the patient. But it is fair to make patients pay for their own healthcare?