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by Dominic Tyer
My Diabetes My Way also offers patients a range of educational tools, resources and games
Diabetes patients in Scotland are being offered the chance to self-monitor their condition online through a unique web-based service.
A partnership between the Scottish government and patient group Diabetes UK, My Diabetes My Way offers a range of educational tools, resources and games to help patients manage their diabetes more effectively.
It will also allow diabetes patients to view their personal up-to-date clinic results, treatments and advice, in what the partners say is a world first in diabetes self-management.
Public Health Minister Michael Matheson said: "Diabetes is a growing problem for Scotland – around £300m of hospital expenditure relates to diabetes treatment and the management of its complications.
"Now, everyone living with diabetes in Scotland has the opportunity to view their own clinical diabetes data online. And by having access to the right information, people can be supported to self manage and radically reduce the risk of developing complications and serious health problems.
"I would strongly encourage people living with diabetes to sign up and see for themselves how this valuable resource can support them to self manage their condition. Not only will this mean they can live longer, healthier lives it will also protect NHS resources."
The number of people with diabetes in Scotland currently stands at more than 247,000, or nearly 5 per cent of the country's population. But new figures published this week in the annual Scottish Diabetes Survey show that number is increasing by around 10,000 each year.
The majority of those people - 217,500, or 88 per cent - have type 2 diabetes which can often be caused by unhealthy lifestyle choices and is also more common in older people.
Chief medical officer Sir Harry Burns said: "The Scottish Diabetes Survey highlights the increasing number of people with diabetes that is directly related to the ageing of the population and unhealthy lifestyle factors such as obesity.
"We also need to maintain focus on preventing diabetes by tackling the underlying risk factors. Stopping smoking, eating better and taking regular exercise is something we can all do to make sure we are as healthy as possible."