Diabetes care transformed by SA’s award-winning
chatbot offering personalised support
Johannesburg – Wednesday, 29 March 2023: South African diabetes technology company Guidepost has developed an innovative chatbot that is already transforming the lives of thousands of South Africans with diabetes. By connecting them to a personal diabetes nurse educator, Guidepost’s advanced technology is bridging the gap in diabetes care and enabling individuals to manage their chronic disease significantly more effectively.
The chatbot has already attracted accolades from prestigious global programs like WhatsApp-sponsored Chat for Impact and International Finance Corporation’s Global Innovation Showcase. The pioneering chatbot is set to redefine diabetes management in South Africa and beyond.
With one in nine adults affected, South Africa has the highest prevalence of diabetes in Africa, according to the International Diabetes Federation. In this country, it is the number one killer of women and the second highest cause of death. Those with uncontrolled diabetes have significantly higher rates of medical complications.
Guidepost’s new WhatsApp chatbot connects people with diabetes to their own personal educator free of charge for those whose medical aid offers this benefit. Currently medical aids offering this benefit include Discovery Health, Bankmed and over a dozen other schemes.
This initiative closes the gap in diabetes care for people living with diabetes. They can access an expert educator to help them manage their chronic disease through self-management education and support. The consultation is paid from prescribed minimum benefits, meaning the medical scheme foots the bill for qualifying patients.
Diabetes educators critical for diabetes management
Prof. David Segal, Chief Medical Officer of Guidepost, explains, “A diabetes educator is integral to the diabetes care team. To curb the devastating consequences, daily self-management is critical for those with diabetes. Yet many South Africans still struggle daily to cope with their illness.”
One of the Guidepost educators, Sr. Nontsikelelo Nkomo said, “I am very happy to be part of this wonderful program. The patients are keen to learn, they speak freely about their condition and they engage with me and ask me a lot of questions which I am happy to answer.”
Angela Reddy commented on her recent nurse session saying: “The educator was very good, and was helpful and friendly too. She educated me on my insulin and medication. She advised me on food, what to eat and what to avoid, and also taught me about my blood sugar readings.”
Professional recognition for diabetes nurse educators
Guidepost CEO Graham Rowe explains that diabetes nursing is a specialised skill that until now has not had adequate recognition. “This network means that nurses can develop themselves professionally while dedicating themselves to diabetes care. Having a benefit such as the Diabetes Educator Consultation made available can make the world of difference if the patient understands their type of diabetes and how to manage the risks, progression of disease and possible complications.”
“The complexity of diabetes makes it difficult to manage, even with access to the best drugs, devices and advice. We have shown that with personalised coaching that uses a relationship approach to inspire the person with diabetes to improve their self-management in sustainable ways, their quality of life improves. Nurse by nurse and patient by patient: this is how we win the diabetes battle.”
Accessing new diabetes education benefits
Many doctors and patients don’t yet know how to access these diabetes education benefits. Guidepost has made it easy and free to connect via WhatsApp chatbot in a few minutes.
If you have diabetes, join Guidepost’s free Education to Protect Tomorrow (EPTO) programme. You will be guided through the process. Guidepost engages via WhatsApp chatbot and telephonically to check eligibility, assign an educator and set up a free nursing consultation. Sign up free of charge via WhatsApp by sending Join on Whatsapp to 087 551 7928 or clicking this link https://qrco.de/bcrq3r
Winning the diabetes battle, one patient at a time
Prof Segal concludes, “In partnership with thousands of doctors in our network, we continue to build a network of professional nurses trained as diabetes educators to give patients the tools and information they need to manage their diabetes daily. We are empowering those with diabetes to make sure they get the help and support that they deserve.”