Having been inspired by the great work being done by DSMA in the USA, and seeing the launch of #OzDoc, the #gbdoc tweet chat was born.

One thing always leads to another, and soon a network of like minded individuals and groups from across the world were getting in touch asking to join in.  #gbdoc had attracted over 600 contributors from 10 countries in the first 3 months.

The goal, the ambition and the purpose of #gbdoc is to be a not for profit, community resource.  Always there, always on and always wiling to help.  Almost without exception, the online community of people with diabetes have welcomed the initiative with open arms – so much so that the appetite for sharing won’t be limited by language or country!

To satisfy the demands, and to stop it becoming a full time job (!), volunteers who subscribe to the founding principles of the #gbdoc have committed to create local language versions of the #gbdoc – and so far, we have Germany, Spain, France, Israel, Italy and Nigeria up and running.  There are also chats in the Netherlands, the USA and South Africa either being set up or already established.

The IDF is working with #gbdoc to enhance and further extend the #doc and help achieve the ambition of creating a free to use, non-profit, community led resource available to any person with diabetes, friend , family, employer or carer  – anywhere and in any language.

Social media can and is making a huge difference to healthcare, to hard to reach communities and in cultures where social stigma is attached to illness of any kind.  Twitter allows for the anonymous participation in health education, advice, peer support and advocacy – as well as research and feedback for both health care professionals, industry and charities.

The diabetes online community (#doc) will only grow and grow.