This week, Patricell attended the Diabetes Innovation Exchange, which was organised and hosted by East Midlands Academic Health Science Network in partnership with Leicester Diabetes Centre and Medilink East Midlands, with the aim to pool together knowledge and expertise to target the growing challenge Diabetes holds.

Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases characterised by hyperglycaemia resulting from defects in insulin secretion, action or both. The chronic hyperglycaemia of diabetes is associated with long-term damage, dysfunction and organ failure in particular the eyes, kidneys and heart. Long term complications, retinopathy, nephropathy leading to renal failure, peripheral neuropathy leading to amputations and autonomic neuropathy leading to gastrointestinal and cardiovascular symptoms, highlight the potential severity of the disease.

In 2010, NHS England reported approximately 3.1 million people ages 16 or over with diabetes in England. By 2030, this figure is expected to rise to 4.6 million, with 90% of those having type 2 diabetes. In addition, the charity Diabetes UK estimates that around 850,000 people remain undiagnosed.

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, the National Clinical Director for Obesity and Diabetes for NHS England outlined the national perspective on Diabetes treatment and prevention and the healthcare challenges the NHS faces. This was followed by a collective of individuals outlining the outlook from their respective field, Professor Azhar Farooqi (General Practitioner, East Leicester Medical Practive) gave the commissioner’s perspective, Pete Shorrick (Midlands Diabetes UK Regional Manager) provided the third-sector perspective and Rashmi Joshi (Outreach Development Worker at Savera Resource Centre, Radio Presenter) gave the patient’s perspective.

Coupled with short presentations by industry representatives on novel products and streamed workshops, the Diabetes Innovation exchange highlighted key areas of high potential for development and innovation, which would target and reduce the growing impact of Diabetes on the UK population.