American Diabetes Month Raises Awareness
November is American Diabetes Month, a time to rally individuals, families, and communities in the movement to raise awareness of this growing epidemic.
Recent estimates published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) project that as many as 1 in 3 American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless measures are taken to address this public health problem.
The American Diabetes Association is asking individuals to take a pledge to do something to help. A group of forward-thinking organizations dedicated to healthcare and medical innovation has responded by launching CallingAllTypes.com, an online social health initiative for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
According to Pew Internet and American Life Project, when health consumers participate in organized and well-established online communities, they are better armed with the information they need to enhance interactions with their doctor and other healthcare professionals. “We've seen first-hand, when patients become empowered through online peer interaction, they take control of their conditions and improve their outcomes,” comments Ben Heywood, co-founder of PatientsLikeMe, a free online health community for people with life-changing conditions and supporter of this initiative.
“We have created a one-stop rallying point for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes to tell their stories,” said Bonnie A. Brescia, founding principal of BBK Worldwide, a healthcare communications company, patient advocate organization and sponsor of this initiative. “Awareness is the first step toward social change. And without public and private understanding of the devastating effect of this condition, we are in a weakened position to do anything about it. This makes social media the obvious choice to facilitate this type of change,” continues Brescia.