07. Oct 2021

Diabetes Compass: Five new partners on board

Diabetes Compass: Five new partners on board

Gwendolyn Carleton
The five organisations are experts in their fields, bringing competencies within diabetes care, digital solutions, and research to the Diabetes Compass initiative.
A healthcare provider in Sri Lanka uses a wireless device to collect anthropometric measurements. Photo by Jesper Westley.

A major new initiative from the World Diabetes Foundation – The Diabetes Compass – kicked off in late spring 2021 with the ambition to support health workers in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) delivering the right diabetes care at the right time. 

In essence, the Diabetes Compass aims to empower frontline healthcare professionals by facilitating knowledge, insights and digital tools required for delivering quality care in LMICs. With the use of technology, the digital solution will be tailored to the unique environments of healthcare professionals, empowering them to effectively navigate the diabetes care journey and improve patient outcomes.

The Diabetes Compass initiative has now onboarded five highly skilled partners with specialised skill sets. They are:

•    Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen, a world-renowned centre of excellence for diabetes; 
•    Manyone, a strategy-design hybrid; 
•    Dalberg, a mission-driven consultancy; 
•    RTI, an international research institute and 
•    Benshi.ai a non-profit using behavioural machine learning to provide more equitable healthcare. 

Together with WDF, these partners will cooperate closely with in-country NCD experts, Ministries of Health and health organisations to build pilot cases in selected countries. Currently, the Diabetes Compass is planning pilot projects in four countries and will work closely with partners with a local presence and country-specific insights in these areas. The pilot countries and in-country partners are currently being identified.

Michael Calopietro, Head of Digital Health Solutions with WDF, says: “We are very excited about the opportunity to partner with these five different organisations that are all global experts in their respective fields. The partnerships create a strong foundation for developing a solution that meets the unmet needs in diabetes care. The next important step now is to find the best partners in the pilot countries that can co-develop the solution with us, help us tailor it to local needs, and drive the implementation in selected countries.”

The aim of the Diabetes Compass is to generate a global reference solution that is global in scale but enables customisation to fit the specific needs of different healthcare systems. In this way, the Diabetes Compass will be both local and global in its nature, aiming to create both local impact and global scalability. The five established partnerships are an important step towards this aim. 

The next step will be to cooperate closely with patients and practitioners to build the pilots, create strong in-country partnerships and understand the specific needs and realities in these settings: looking for the places along the diabetes pathway where vulnerabilities exists. This work is already under way.