Love and Technology Make Health Management Warmer for Chronic Diseases.

Feb 03, 2023

  In July 2004, the 2-year-old Sinocare launched its first product - the SXT-1 blood glucose meter, of which Li Shaobo, Chairman, still keeps a sample in his office and he will share the story about the birth of the product and the corporate with happiness whenever a friend or business partner visits and notices it.


"I started my business twenty years ago. My friends take me as an entrepreneur, but I am the one selling blood glucose meters. Initially, I just wanted to help popularize blood glucose meters in China, making them affordable and accessible for Chinese diabetics. For now, I am so proud that Sinocare blood glucose meters are welcomed by Chinese users and have been sold to 135 countries and regions worldwide. That is, we have influenced millions of diabetics in the development of the blood glucose industry." said Li Shaobo proudly.


Not far from his office, there is a clock with Sinocare testing products as the time scale in Sinocare Wenxuan Bookstore and Sinocare Health Bookstore. On the milestoned clock, a black instrument with double test strip sockets was put at the 12-clock position, which is the first Sinocare uric acid tester EA-11, and it tells another story for its birth.


“Testing uric acid like blood glucose”


Sinocare uric acid tester was developed as Li Shaobo wished to "enable people to test uric acid just like blood glucose anytime and anywhere." A decade after his startup, Li Shaobo and his team discovered the uric acid testing demand in the Chinese market: As people became affluent, their lifestyle and dietary structure changed, and the population with high uric acid incidence got larger and larger and younger and younger. "People with high uric acid will develop into gout, which attacks people just as its name sounds like, bringing unbearable pain and ache. Some patients describe it as the pain when being bitten. Many people around me have no idea about their uric acid status until the gout attacks. For this reason, I wanted to make a product for uric acid testing at home. That is, uric acid testing can be done in daily life. People can quickly and easily test their uric acid, whether at work, studying, or even after dining out with friends, boiling hot spots and drinking beers to learn their physical condition and care more about their health and family.”


In 2011, Sinocare launched the first licensed uric acid tester EA-11, in which "11" was taken from 2011. For its release, the research and development were started in 2009. Ten years later (in 2019), Sinocare began to develop upgraded uric acid products, and UA-I was launched in August 2022.


"Given that more and more younger people become uric acid users, our newly released uric acid tester has a look with a stronger sense of technology. It is added with "non-inductive Bluetooth" for digital uric acid testing and to provide users with high uric acid health management solutions. Besides, given that about 25% of people with diabetes have high uric acid, our company wants diabetic users to prick their fingers once for blood glucose and uric acid testing. Our company keeps this one-tester-for-two-tests feature to ease people with fewer times for pricking their fingers and less pain.” Peng Xielan, Sinocare product manager, talks about uric acid testers he is in charge of with great familiarity. One tester for both blood glucose and uric acid and with data connection for uric acid health management through the Internet is the feature that Sinocare offers now and will continue to upgrade.


"No liberty is for more freedom"


When it comes to the word "management", many people are prone to resentment, but Li Shaobo takes management as an expression of love. "For example, when we drink and smoke or don't wear more clothes in cold weather, our family members are the ones who give us the most advice and reprimands, which often make us not moved but uncomfortable at first. If we are over-managed, some family conflicts may arise. Likely, everyone wants to eat and drink as they like, but this seemingly free and unfettered lifestyle poses a great challenge to their health. Therefore, we must accept some proper 'management' if we want to live healthy and happy lives.


Li Shaobo also has a lot of experience being "managed" as he has been convinced by Li Xinyi, assistant to the chairman and his daughter, to eat less to keep a low uric acid. For this, he felt cared for at the beginning but later disliked the “gabbling” out of concern after he was reminded too many times. In this regard, he made a self-reflection: "We always leave the worst temper to our most loved in life, including the worsening body, but those things that are easily overlooked are exactly the most precious existence in our life. Therefore, we need to make some proactive changes and develop the habit of self-discipline. We have to learn self-management before bringing in family members to make "management" more interesting, and then it won't be so boring as you are doing interesting things."


Seeing his father's change from resisting to accepting "management", Li Xinyi couldn't help feeling: "It is interesting to do business in the health industry, and it is also very interesting to do health management. You can help yourself, and your family keeps healthy, and I believe this is the thing that everyone cares about."


“The horrible part is knowing nothing."


Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima, former Director-General of the World Health Organization once said: "Many people do not die of diseases but ignorance. As long as preventive measures are taken, the number of deaths can be reduced by half." The importance of "early detection, intervention and treatment" is self-evident. Chronic disease management needs long-term data accumulation. With more concentrated data for accurate analysis, our company can provide more valuable medical advice and even achieve "prevention before disease onset."


For this purpose, Sinocare has also developed a unique digital intelligent management platform for chronic diseases while continuously innovating and developing intelligent testing equipment, which can provide a complete closed loop of management by "collecting data, establishing health records and making excellent monitoring - using health record data for health risk assessment - conducting targeted health guidance interventions based on the health risk assessment - dynamic follow-up and assessment and adjustment based on results therefrom”.


Besides, Sinocare has a professional diabetes-specialized Internet hospital and a team of specialist doctors in Beijing and Changsha - Sinocare Jianheng Diabetes Clinic (Beijing) and Sinocare Health Diabetes Clinic, as well as a health management team of more than 150 people. A "Five-division co-management" of chronic diseases model has been created: Specialists to make the diagnosis, treatment and manage the plan, health managers, nutritionists, exercisers and psychological counselors to help execute the plan under the guidance of doctors, e.g., to provide chronic disease health risk assessment, health education and lifestyle intervention for patients with bad behaviors and follow-up.


Talking about the original intention of developing professional diabetes management services, Li Xinyi shared a short story: one of her relatives was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during a physical examination two years ago. He was very anxious and nervous after learning the diagnosis, but with no motivation to control his blood glucose as he has little awareness of the hazards of diabetes complications. He didn't realize the importance of blood glucose control until he discovered that someone close to him had cardiovascular and cerebrovascular complications due to long-term high blood glucose levels.


"From the very beginning, he taught himself diabetes knowledge and took blood glucose control as "eating less", which led to unstable blood glucose control and worsening conditions; later, he participated in the sugar control training camp organized by Sinocare and systematically learned the knowledge of sugar control and how to use it. Now, he is very satisfied with his blood glucose control. When dining out, he will take pictures of the food to eat being picked up with a dining plate and send them to a Sinocare health manager to ask for dietary guidance. He almost has every meal with professional guidance. It is easy to do in this way and also brings good experience." Li Xinyi was also very happy to see this relative has gradually "controlled" his blood glucose.


Li Xinyi was also very happy to see this relative has gradually "controlled" his blood glucose. From knowing nothing after being diagnosed to staying in "peaceful coexistence" with diabetes, the said patient sighed: "As a matter of fact, getting diabetes is not horrible. It just allows you to choose a healthier lifestyle." Yes, "it's not horrible to get sick, but the horrible part is knowing nothing". The key lies in early detection, early diagnosis, early intervention and early treatment, especially for the management of chronic diseases.


“Every test is about love”

More and more studies have confirmed that lifestyle intervention


is one of the most effective ways to manage chronic diseases. Still, it is also a most difficult thing for people to develop and stick to a healthy lifestyle. "This is what we often say easier said than done, and it is essential to accept "being managed". "Li Shaobo stressed. Therefore, Sinocare is committed to customizing personalized solutions based on users' individual conditions for better compliance, subtly producing positive effects in life and helping users develop self-health management habits. In this way, users can keep stable metabolic indicators such as blood glucose, uric acid, blood pressure, and blood lipids for a long time, with less occurrence of complications and later and even no development of diseases.


To make more users accept "being managed", Sinocare has carried out various live streaming events regularly since 2019, e.g., the themed live streaming on "World Gout Day" on April 20 every year and benefits offering live-streaming in cooperation with Tmall Health and JD Health during the Double 11 promotion (China's biggest shopping festival). What’s more, the "Talking about Sugar by Sinocare" diabetes education platform was established to guide users to pay attention to the learning of diabetes knowledge when they are learning about multi-indicator testing products for chronic diseases.  


It is worth mentioning that Sinocare holds "Closer to Users" activities every year: directors and employees at a higher level join the live streaming, and employees in different positions engage in e-commerce delivery and packaging for logistics. "These activities make our employees closer to our products and understand our terminals and user requirements, and our company improves our products and services through contact with users and their feedback. Similarly, bringing bosses and directors in the live streaming is not to highlight their position, but to accept more trust and needs with the identity and to be closer to users' hearts." Li Xinyi introduced.


Today, chronic diseases have become a major public health issue that seriously affects the health of Chinese residents and the economic and social development of the country. Therefore, it is our responsibility and mission to accelerate the "specialized, standardized, and scientific" management of chronic diseases in China and make contributions to "Healthy China 2030".Just like the slogan "Every test is about love" advocates, Sinocare wants to make products that reassure users and hopes to make the public attach more importance to their health with better awareness of preventing diseases and complications and practice early awareness and early control.


"This is the value of the existence of an enterprise. It is our mission and also every Sinocare people’s direction of work to help patients with diabetes and other chronic diseases to improve their quality of life. Sinocare hopes everyone will care about their health and love themselves, their family, and others. When you are healthy, it is the best love for your family." Li Shaobo wished.


Sinocare Diabetes Foundation once helped a person with type 1 diabetes who grew from a timid and withdrawn girl into a confident woman in a happy marriage because of love. She was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 14 and had been worrying about being discriminated against, even more anxious and fussing over the issue after meeting the boy attractive to her. Fortunately, the boy took the initiative to confess to her when she was still building her courage, comforted and encouraged her, and often helped her with blood glucose testing and the little things for care in blood glucose control in life. As with love, she understands the meaning of "every test is about love": it’s not just the care of her spouse but also her responsibility and sense of contributing to their relationship and family.


Sinocare can't give diabetes friends tender and sweet love like their spouses. Still, our company always stays by their side, protecting their health and providing tools, knowledge, and services for scientific prevention and control of diabetes and other chronic diseases worldwide. "I hope we can enjoy a healthy and happy life with our families when we are 80 or even 100 years old!" Li Shaobo is looking forward to it.


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