Digital Health and Care Institutes: Scottish Diabetes Policy and Market Report

Ciarán Morrison

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In Scotland, the number of people with diabetes has steadily grown over the last 15 years. According to the Scottish Diabetes Survey the number of people with diabetes has risen from 103,835 in 2002 to approximately 298,504 people at the end of 2017, accounting for roughly 5.5% of the national population. Lanarkshire has seen a significant increase in the number of people with diabetes, the figure rising from 16,358 in 2002 to 38,671 in 2017, accounting for around 5.9% of Lanarkshire’s overall population. Within this diabetic population 88.2% have type 2 diabetes and 10.5% have type 1 diabetes [1].
It is important to note that these numbers only represent those who are registered as having diabetes, in 2015 it was estimated that a further 45,500 people in Scotland could be living with type 2 diabetes unaware of their condition in Scotland [2]. Simultaneously, approximately 500,000 people have an elevated risk of developing diabetes. This number also increases annually. Projections estimate that by 2035 over 480,000 people will be living with diabetes in Scotland, an increase of 60.8% from 2016. In 2012, 10% of Scotland’s NHS budget was being spent on diabetes, approximately £1 billion - 80% of which was being spent on treating avoidable complications. In 2007 the collective personal costs of diabetes for individual patients in Scotland was estimated to be approximately £50 million a year. This costing was based upon the combination of missed work hours, travel costs, loss of employment and early retirement due to poor health [3,4]. In 2015, diabetes was costing social services £23 million a year, as 1 in 20 diabetics required some form of assistance [5]. As mentioned above, the prevalence of diabetes in Scotland is growing and as of 2012 (see figure 1) the incidence of diabetes in Scotland overtook that of coronary heart disease. If this pattern continues, the costs, both economic and social, may become too great of a burden to bear. The purpose of this report is to lay out the current state of diabetes policy in Scotland and analyse the current and emerging digital health technology market for diabetes care. This report has been produced by the Digital Health and Care Institute. DHI is a collaboration between the Glasgow School of Art and the University of Strathclyde. This report is for informative purposes only and in no way sets out to make recommendations for further development of diabetes care provision in NHS Lanarkshire.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationGlasgow
PublisherUniversity of Strathclyde
Number of pages35
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 2019


  • diabetes
  • National Health Service
  • Scotland
  • Scottish Diabetes Framework
  • health care


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