Despite many important advancements in medical innovation over the last few decades, we continue to face numerous burdens as a global community. Certainly Alzheimer's disease -- especially with a rapidly aging society - has become an amazing burden on many older people and their families. And even with new innovative treatments, cancer continues to claim thousands of lives each year.
Perhaps no disease, however, has the same running start as diabetes. According to the World Diabetes Foundation, an estimated 285 million people -- or more than 6 percent of the global population -- already has diabetes. By 2030, that number is expected to jump to nearly 440 million.
Diabetes has become an overwhelming medical problem for patients, physicians, and payers. It's also become more global in nature, with countries like China and Brazil seeing higher and higher incidences. That's among the many reasons Lilly has opened a diabetes research center in China - a country with, unfortunately, a quickly climbing rate of diabetes. Bei Betty Zhang heads up Lilly's research center in China and, in our final innovation video below, talks about the importance of finding new ways to control this terrible disease.
On Wednesday, by the way, Lilly is sponsoring an important event with Washington Post Live called "Sharing the Responsibility: Non-Communicable Diseases." Diabetes is among the most prevalent non-communicable diseases (more commonly known as NCDs) in the world, and more than a dozen experts will discuss better approaches to tackling NCDs (which kill more people annually than any other disease category). Among the thought leaders participating: Rep. Diana DeGette, chair of the Congressional Diabetes Caucus; Dr. Julio Frank, dean at the Harvard School of Public Health, and Arturo Sarukhan Casamitjana, ambassador from Mexico to the United States. Dr. Ala Alwan, assistant director-general for NCDs and mental health at the World Health Organization, will deliver the keynote address.
We'll chat more about this program later in the week (with plenty of live tweets from the event). Meantime, if you want to follow along via live stream, you can connect Wednesday at Washington Post Live or follow the conversation on Twitter via the hashtag #fightNCDs.