% of time spent by people with diabetes with a medical professional in a year

If you have been to a diabetes conference in the past few years, there’s a good chance that you have seen this slide as part of a presentation.

This was a slide I first put together a few years ago, to convey a “back of the envelope” calculation I had done that essentially amounted to the percentage of time that a person with diabetes spends in the company of a medical professional in the course of a year. My estimate had all along been 0.1%. Today, I took the time to validate this looking for hard data from CDC, the American Journal of Managed Care, and other reputable sources, to REALLY back this finding.

I am sad to report that I was wrong: the percentage is even lower! 🙁

So this is what I searched:

Now, the math for the year 2010:

  • Minutes in a year = 24 x 60 x 365 = 525,600
  • Minutes in a year x number of people with diabetes, PWD = 10,932,480,000,000 (10.9 trillion)
  • Minutes in a year spent by PWD in visits to physician offices, hospital outpatient and emergency departments = 37.3 million x 20.7 minutes = 772,110,000
  • Percentage of a year’s time spent by PWD in visits to physician offices, hospital outpatient and emergency departments = 0.00007062532929 = 0.007%!

So I have been GROSSLY overestimating the number all these years! 🙁

What does this mean?
99.993% of the time, a person with diabetes is self-managing their condition on their own. Think about it… most people would call that nearly 100% of the time.

Social networking tools for Health

The Center for Health Leadership at UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health is organizing Thursday, April 15 and Friday, April 16, 2010 a conference titled “2010 Leadership Conference and Workshops: Using New Media & Health Communication Technologies“.

I am humbled to be part of the team of three facilitators at the workshop Social Networking Tools: Using Facebook, Ning, and More for Health at 10:30 am on day 2, along with Courtenay Stewart (from Ning) and Will Brown (from Health Research for Action, UC Berkeley).

If you are participating in the session, we’ll be using the hashtag #SNT4Health. Follow @UCHealthLeaders on Twitter for updates and visit their web site for more details about the conference.

Check out the slides for our session: Social networking tools for Health.