GlycoLeap is moving healthcare forward – out of the clinics and hospitals, and into the community and homes.
As a doctor, I often get asked why I left behind a promising career in medicine to join the team that developed GlycoLeap, a smartphone-based coaching program for people with Type 2 diabetes. Compared to a stable job as a practising clinician in the hospital, working in a young company means so much more uncertainty – with job security, financial renumeration, career progression, among others. Thinking rationally, it doesn’t make sense. But I believed in the vision to create a new, better healthcare experience for people living with chronic diseases.
These days, I instead ask them back : “How can I not?”
There are 415 million people in the world living with diabetes today, and the numbers are rising year after year. There’s a lot of great work happening in the clinics, the hospitals, the research centres every day- yet it’s also clear that the way we’ve been practising healthcare all these years is not working well enough.
Living with diabetes can be a lonely journey.
This image from the Diabetes Hands Foundation says it all – the tiny sliver on top represents the amount of time a person with diabetes spends with a medical professional (less than 1%). The rest of the time (>99%) is spent on self-management at home, at work, in the community – often with no one reliable to turn to for advice or help.
Source: Diabetes Hands Foundation
To our diabetes fighters out there:
It can be a struggle to keep your glucose and weight in control, especially when your lives are so busy. Making sustainable lifestyle changes is not easy. Diabetes can be difficult, and on some days, just too challenging. Few people understand exactly what you’re going through.
But we get it. Our team members’ past work with hundreds of patients in the traditional clinic setting inspired us to come out and look for better solutions. Over the past 1.5 years, we’ve spent hundreds, if not thousands, of hours talking to many people living with diabetes in Singapore to understand their real needs and problems, and how we can improve their lives using technology. We had countless discussions on the best way to provide people with the right support whenever they need it, in order to stay healthy and well.
GlycoLeap was born out of all these conversations – and lots of hard work from a talented design and technology team that takes pride in creating beautiful products that people love.
How it works
To plug the gap during that 99% of self-management time, we connect you with a real-life health coach on your phone, who will be your personal advisor and cheerleader on a daily basis. We provide you with a set of smart tools, like a weighing scale and glucometer, which will inspire a new level of self-awareness on your health. And we provide you with data-driven insights and recommendations to keep you headed in the right direction.
Does this approach really work? We don’t have any research-grade data yet. And there are several challenges ahead – convincing people to try a new way of doing things, keeping our users engaged, making sure we protect their data privacy.
But we have a list of stories from our users who share with us how they have managed to improve their HbA1c, achieve a healthier weight and love what we’re doing. This keeps us going, everyday – thank you. We’ve never been more excited about our mission to improve the care and outcomes for people with diabetes.
If you know someone who may benefit from what we’re doing, please help us share this with them.