Innovation and technology have transformed the lives of patients with diabetes.

Significant opportunities exist to further improve patient care, reduce the impact of the illness and support healthy and active living.

Diabetes was first documented as a condition in 1500 BC, in 1869 Paul Langerhans described the islet cells of the pancreas and in 1921 Frederick Banting and Charles Best discover insulin.

It was not until 1969 that the first portable blood glucose meter was introduced, 1998 for the first insulin pumps to be introduced and 2002 for the continuous glucose monitors to become widely available.

Technology has transformed the lives of diabetics making it possible to manage the condition. Improving connectivity and integrating technologies has the potential to further improve care.

Given the reach of mobile networks and services that are becoming ever more intelligent, there is a unique opportunity to develop new and innovative models for collaborative and integrated care systems that put the patient in the centre and provide a continuum of care.

More specifically, mobile health (mHealth) solutions can help healthcare providers deliver better, more consistent, coordinated and more efficient healthcare, where and how it is needed, increase access to health services to remote or under-served communities, and empower individuals to manage their own health more proactively and effectively.

This will help to make the needed shift from acute, reactive and hospital-based care to long term, proactive and home-based care, integrating both health and social settings - underpinned by health promotion, disease prevention, independent living and integrated health, social, community and self-care.

The mHealth Grand Tour is working with researchers, medical technology companies, mobile operators and people with diabetes to better understand how technology can best be applied to support patients and to demonstrate the value of technology to diabetes healthcare professionals, health regulators and other stakeholders.

What is mHealth?

connected healthcare - reduces costs, increases accessibility

Embedded mHealth solutions can improve the lives of millions of people and help address some of the most significant healthcare challenges in the world today.

One of the biggest challenges facing societies worldwide is how to make high-quality healthcare affordable and accessible for all.

As the population expands in developing countries and ages in developed countries, the world is spending an increasingly high proportion of its gross domestic product on healthcare.

Governments, individuals and private insurers worldwide are urgently seeking more cost-effective ways of preventing and treating chronic diseases and other debilitating conditions.

The widespread use of mobile connectivity in healthcare could significantly cut costs, increase the reach and accessibility of healthcare services and reduce the impact of illness on people's lives.

To accelerate the development and adoption of embedded mHealth devices and solutions, the GSMA is engaging with the wider ecosystem and working with key players to understand their needs and to reduce the barriers to adoption.