During this COVID pandemic, the worst affected are people with comorbidities such as diabetes.
Diabetes not only increases the risk of developing serious complications from COVID but also slows down recovery from its effects. The stress, medications and steroids further make the blood sugar control go completely haywire. In addition, about 14 per cent of people while recovering from COVID are developing new-onset diabetes.
With the COVID numbers at 4 lakhs per day and above in the month of May, we will see a huge number of post-COVID patients requiring rehabilitation. This will be especially true of people with diabetes as they are dealt with a double setback due to COVID with a higher risk of complications, slower recovery and bad sugar fluctuations.
People with Diabetes who have recently recovered from COVID-19 infection after being treated with steroids are also at the risk of contracting Mucormycosis or the Black Fungus infection. Unpublished medical studies have reported over 80 per cent of Black Fungus infections is seen mostly in people with Diabetes.
Fitterfly – as Digital COVID warriors – have contributed by upgrading their Diabefly Digital Therapeutics platform to include an integrated ‘Post COVID Recovery’ module for the first few weeks of the program. This enhanced program was launched as the Diabefly-PCR program (Post COVID Recovery) in May 2021. It is India’s first such program for people with Diabetes which takes care of all the health aspects affected due to COVID – respiratory, musculoskeletal, nutritional and psychological. People can take advantage of the program from the comfort of their home via calls, chat, virtual group sessions and webinars.
The program has been designed by top doctors, nutritionists, physiotherapists and psychologists. Top Endocrinologists like Dr Sanjay Kalra and Dr Tejal Lathia have contributed as advisors to the structure and contents of the program.
What does the 3-month program cover?
1. Dedicated Psychologist consults for overcoming stress, fear, anxiety
2. Certified Physiotherapist consults for regaining muscle strength, reducing pain, improving mobility and lung capacity.
3. Personalised Nutrition plans geared towards diabetes control as well as immunity, taking into consideration challenges like loss of taste and smell.
4. Focus on Diabetes control for the rest of the program after complete COVID recovery.
5. Group therapy and respiratory exercise sessions under expert guidance to foster peer support
6. Full access to the Fitterfly wellness app and the COVID/ Diabetes knowledge bank, recipes and resources.
Dr Sanjay Kalra, eminent Endocrinologist and ex-President of Endocrine Society of India said, “People with diabetes need special care post-COVID to get their sugars under control faster as well as recover from the aftermath of COVID. The current healthcare system and doctors are burdened and cannot offer the all-round care which these people need. Digital Therapeutic initiatives are welcome to help people recover faster and will go a long way”.
“People with post-COVID diabetes need help managing stress, fear and anxiety besides focussing on their glycemic control and lifestyle modifications. This needs a multidisciplinary planned approach that cannot be provided by a single doctor. Using a Digital therapeutics program can help people in these difficult times. And the wonderful part is that they don’t have to step out of their homes. Digital therapeutics ticks the top 2 boxes in patient-centred care – holistic approach and ease of access,” said Dr Tejal Lathia, Senior Endocrinologist at Apollo Hospitals, Navi Mumbai.
“COVID has derailed glycemic control for people with diabetes and we are looking at a tsunami of new-onset diabetes as some of the people from the peak of the second wave of the pandemic go into the recovery phase. There is an urgent need to help these people. Else they are at risk of fungal infections, damage to kidneys, eyes and nerves and would become a difficult issue for their families. In our Diabefly program, we added features like extra consultations with psychologists, nutritionists and physiotherapists to provide support in these difficult times,” added Dr Arbinder Singal, Cofounder and CEO of Fitterfly, himself a super-specialist surgeon.