Fri, 01 Dec 2023



PRNewswire

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], November 14: In a groundbreaking move towards pediatric healthcare, Fitterfly - India's leading digital therapeutic company, announced its success with managing diabetes in children with Type 2 diabetes with personalised lifestyle interventions using its platform.

Once considered an adult condition, Type 2 diabetes is now on the rise among Indian children, especially around puberty. Factors like junk food, lack of an active lifestyle, high stress levels and addiction to screens are leading to obesity, PCOD in girls, prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. If treated at the right time with lifestyle modifications and a doctor's guidance, it is possible to manage it well without the need for lifelong medication.

While the key lies in achieving weight loss of around 10% with nutrition, fitness, stress and sleep management interventions, it is challenging to get children to stick to good habits. Especially post Covid-19 when children are now used to sedentary lifestyles with online classes and junk food ordering on various apps. That is where Fitterfly's psychological interventions with a focus on time management, habit building and goal setting personalised for their age comes to the fore.

Akshay (name changed), a 14-year-old from Mumbai was diagnosed to have Type 2 Diabetes and a learning disability. He was referred by a doctor for the Fitterfly diabetes program before starting any medication. Sensing lifestyle to be the primary cause, the team of Fitterfly coaches and proven technology onboarded him into the App based program. Along with Akshay and his mother's dedication, the team helped him reduce his HbA1c from 8.9% to 6.1% (prediabetic levels). His fasting blood sugar levels reduced from 144 mg/dl to 110 mg/dl, and post-prandial blood sugar levels from 239 mg/dl to 131 mg/dl. The combination of nutrition, fitness and psychology interventions via the Fitterfly App helped him eat better, know how to keep junk food away mindfully, engage in active exercise, manage school-related stress and consciously reduce screen time. His healthier choices also helped him concentrate better, allowing him to write 10th standard board exams independently and score well.

This is just one of the many such cases where Fitterfly has successfully modified its interventions to be age-appropriate, engaging and effective considering childhood challenges including changing hormonal levels. A total of 26 children enrolled into the Fitterfly Diabetes program in the last 2 years and of them 11 had type 2 diabetes while 15 had type 1 diabetes. Out of 11 children with type 2 diabetes, 7 finished the program and all of them have reduced HbA1c. The reduction was an average of 1.9 points which is equivalent or better than a combination diabetes oral therapy. In the same time frame, another 25 kids who enrolled in the Fitterfly weight loss program lost 4.1kg in 3 months signifying effectiveness of digitally led programs.

Dr Sanjay Kalra, an eminent endocrinologist and current President of South Asian Federation of Endocrine Societies remarked, "Diabetes no longer respects age. Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common in children and adolescents. These children and their families need hand holding. Digital therapeutics is a good means of supporting and strengthening their support system. 1.9 points reduction in HbA1c speaks for the efficacy and efficiency of Fitterfly digital therapeutics in young persons with diabetes."

Speaking on the issue, Dr Arbinder Singal, Co-Founder and CEO, Fitterfly said, "While technology has been the bane for the health of children leading to rising diabetes incidence, we have successfully shown use of technology to help in overcoming diabetes as well. Witnessing the successful management of numerous pediatric diabetes cases through our innovative blend of personalized lifestyle interventions and cutting-edge technology is truly gratifying. With the right strategies, commitment, and technology, we can indeed reverse the tide of pediatric diabetes and pave the way for a brighter and healthier tomorrow."

Parents play a pivotal role in influencing their children's lifestyles, and it is crucial for them to recognize the importance of improving their own habits. Recognizing the need for weight management at the right time and in the right way is essential. Doctors, too, play a significant role in making patients with diabetes aware of the risks their children face in developing Type 2 diabetes. It is also important that schools run education programs promoting home made food, calorie tracking and daily exercise for all kids to fight this epidemic.

This Diabetes and Children's day, let's work towards safeguarding India's future and demographic dividend by raising healthier and happier children. Leveraging data-driven insights and personalized approaches, Fitterfly remains committed to shaping a healthier future for children and young adults in India and worldwide.

About Fitterfly:

Fitterfly is a healthtech start-up working in the area of metabolic health offering outcome focussed digital therapeutic programs for conditions like diabetes, obesity and heart disease. Founded in 2016 by Dr Arbinder Singal and Shailesh Gupta, Fitterfly has over 300 employees and is headquartered in Mumbai. The Fitterfly management team comprises senior doctors, nutritionists, fitness experts, psychologists, management experts and technologists working together with the sole aim of preventing, reversing and managing metabolic health conditions such as prediabetes, diabetes, obesity, hypertension and heart disease thereby increasing quality of life and health for people.

Fitterfly has presented and published more than 50+ abstracts and papers on outcomes and impact of technology in disease management. Apart from path breaking research, Fitterfly has won several coveted awards in startup and healthcare arena such as Economic Times Healthtech startup of the years 2022, Zee News healthtech startup of the year 2022, Global Digital Health award 2022, RSSDI award for innovation in diabetes 2021, Medix Healthtech challenge 2021 and Healthtech Startup of the Year 2021 by Entrepreneur. Fitterfly has so far raised a total of $16.6 million from marquee investors. The last funding round of 12 Mn USD was led by Amazon with participation from existing investors - Fireside Ventures, 9 Unicorns, and venture catalysts.

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