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Sanofi joins WHO-backed diabetes mHealth programme

Becomessole pharma partner for Be Healthy, Be Mobile's diabetes arm

Mobile health mHealthSanofi has joined a WHO-backed mobile health programme, becoming the sole pharmaceutical partner for its diabetes arm.

The Be Healthy, Be Mobile initiative covers a number of therapy areas and is led by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in collaboration with the World Health Organization (WHO).

It focuses on ways to use mobile technology to help prevent and treat non-communicable diseases like diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases, in low- and middle-income countries.

ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao said: “With nearly seven billion mobile subscriptions worldwide today, harnessing the potential of mobile devices to address global challenges, such as health care, is now within reach.

“The participation of Sanofi in Be Healthy, Be Mobile highlights the significance of investing in technologies which already sit in people's pockets, empowering them to manage their own health: mHealth is an opportunity to create a continuum of care from prevention advice to disease support.”

The initial phases of Be Healthy, Be Mobile's mDiabetes programme are taking place in Senegal.

Last year a pilot that ran for the month of Ramadan saw some 80,000 SMS messages sent to approximately 3,500 participants to help patients with diabetes manage their disease.

This was followed by an six-week phase that ran until January 2015 and involved further one-way SMS messaging, with texts send approximately once-a-day.

Harnessing mobile technology in diabetes

With Sanofi onboard the next phase of mDiabetes will involve 'two-way' SMS messaging, involving reminders to patients on topics such as their blood glucose levels and food intake.

The company's plan is to launch it next month and it is likely to run for at least three months so that initiative can be more 'clinically ambitious' with the data generated.

Pascale Witz, executive vice president at Sanofi Global Divisions & Strategic Development, said: “Becoming the strategic partner in ITU's m-Diabetes initiative is a natural step in Sanofi's pledge to take a leading role in delivering meaningful advancements for people living with diabetes.

“Together, with governments, policy makers and other private companies at the forefront of global health and innovation, we aim to support the harnessing of mobile and other technologies to enable learning and positive action among people who are affected by diabetes in our increasingly connected world.”

Other partners for the overall Be Healthy, Be Mobile initiative, which was launched in 2012, include Bupa, Verizon, The World Lung Foundation, the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA), the Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) Alliance, Novartis and GSK.

  • See the March issue of PME for an exclusive interview with Pierre Chancel, senior VP at Sanofi Global Diabetes, and Riccardo Perfetti, VP of global medical affairs within Sanofi's diabetes division, on Be Healthy, Be Mobile and the potential impact of mHealth in diabetes

27th February 2015

From: Healthcare

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