EUDF - A forum for turning the tide on diabetes in Europe
Diabetes is a rapidly accelerating public health crisis demanding immediate policy attention. It is an emergency hiding in plain sight: in Europe today, estimates show that 1 in 11 adults, or 61 million people, live with diabetes; this is more than the population of Italy. And the epidemic of diabetes does not show any sign of abating. Its prevalence is expected to grow a further 13% in the European region by 2045.
Diabetes remains one of the most undertreated and underestimated of all common medical conditions. Society has no real sense of what living with diabetes means: the sheer scale of the health indicators one must constantly track and trace; the omnipresent threat of complications; the fear and anxiety about the future.
EUDF actions - creation of Strategic Forums
To make the objectives tangible, EUDF established three Strategic Forums over the course of 2021 to generate policy recommendations.
Chairs for each Forum were presented by the member associations of EUDF based on their specific expertise and appointed by the board of EUDF. All member associations and supporting collaborators were then invited to propose experts for each Strategic Forum (approximately 15 per Forum).
Each Strategic Forum defined its work plan and key deliverables, following a ‘Situation–Complication–Resolution’ approach. The Strategic Forums were supported by an independent agency to facilitate the work meetings and ensure the execution of the work plan. All members and chairs worked as volunteers.
Diabetes is one of the greatest health challenges Europe faces today. However, there are reasons to believe we can face up to and overcome this challenge if we deploy the tools available and take the concrete policy actions needed. All major diabetes stakeholders in Europe now come together in the EUDF to generate policy recommendations and ideas for implementation.
Spearheading these solutions in integrated care, registries, and digitalisation and self-care will promote a more data-driven and person-centric approach to healthcare and diabetes management that should pay off in terms of fewer complications, improved quality of life and more efficient use of clinical resources.
The EUDF will continue to serve as an expert partner to promote these efforts, acting as a forum for a collaborative campaign for policy change. Our vision is to achieve better outcomes for people with diabetes and enable healthcare systems to cope with a devastating epidemic that can no longer be swept aside.
The time to act is now.
EUDF policy recommendations
Integrated care is an emergent set of practices that seeks to move away from care that is fragmented, episodic, and service-based, with care that is continuous, coordinated, and outcomes-focused. As the WHO describes it, integrated care is “seamless, smooth, and easy to navigate.”
Diabetes registries, which collect, track, and analyse patient data on parameters ranging from clinical characteristics, risk factor control indicators, diabetes complications, and treatments, can become an essential tool for improving the quality of diabetes care and securing better outcomes for people with diabetes when integrated in the diabetes care system.
Digital technologies are driving significant changes in healthcare, offering new solutions to assist in preventing, diagnosing, and treating chronic diseases. Diabetes is ideally suited to benefit from these types of digital tools, given it is a largely a self-managed condition, and especially data-driven.