Villagers in Cheyyar Tulak can expect a visit from researchers from Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) and the University of Dundee in Scotland this month, who will screen for diabetes and its complications from a mobile van.
The air-conditioned, telemedicine van, fully equipped to deliver the next-generation of diabetes screening, will travel across 25 villages in the Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu state in southern India, in an effort to help improve outcomes of patients with diabetes.
Dr.V.Mohan, President , MDRF said “ The main objective of the TREND project (Telemedicine Project for Screening Diabetes and its complications in Rural Tamil Nadu) is to implement next generation precision telemedicine in rural India. The project is planned to be conducted in 25 selected villages in Cheyur taluk, which is situated in Kancheepuram district of Tamil Nadu state in southern India. In rural India, telemedicine is a valuable, cost-effective and reliable tool for screening people with diabetes and associated complications.”
Dr Guha Pradeepa, Sr.Scientist and Head of Research Operations at MDRF, said, “We are delighted to get back out on the road to help diagnose those who most need it. We began screening in November 2018 and we are building a vast body of knowledge on the impact of diabetes in the most rural areas in southern India."
Dr.Anjana, Vice President, MDRF added “So far, our mobile clinic has also allowed us to gather vital information on data such as lifestyle, physical activity, demographic characteristics, diet and medical history. We can even genotype whole-genomes with the blood samples collected which means genetic factors leading to diabetes can also be identified early.”
The TREND project, is a sub study of the INSPIRED Project, a £7 million research collaboration between Madras Diabetes Research Foundation (MDRF) in Chennai and the University of Dundee.
As an internationally recognised centre of excellence in diabetes research, the University hosts more than 20 research groups that include some of the world’s most cited scientists.
In 2017 the University of Dundee was awarded funding from the National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) Global Health programme to establish a major new Scotland-India clinical partnership to combat diabetes, twinning its expertise with Dr Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centres and the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation in Chennai, the largest clinical network of diabetes care in India.
Professor Colin Palmer, Director of the NIHR Global Health research team behind the project, said, “With diabetes affecting 1 in 12 in India, it’s crucial that something is done to help prevent it at its earliest stages.
“The mobile clinic has the potential to break the barriers to early diagnosis and we are excited to see the results.”