Diabetes mellitus is a civilization disease with vast consequences, for both patients and society and one of the most rapidly increasing diseases in the world.
Diabetes mellitus is associated with a multitude of pathological processes and conditions which arise in numerous tissues and organs, including the eye, the kidney, blood vessels and nerve tissues. Severe complications as blindness, amputation of extremities, kidney failure requiring dialysis menace diabetic patients. The probability to develop diabetes-induced complications is already given in the pre-diabetic stage of insulin resistance.
The disease is part of the so-called “deadly quartet” metabolic syndrome of hypertension, obesity, insulin resistance (or full-blown diabetes), and hypertriglyceridemia. 

During the last years, an overwhelming escalation in the incidence of diabetes was observed and results in significant challenges for public health, healthcare practitioners, health systems and insurances.The epidemic increases in this lifestyle disease require the replacement of current reactive and often isolated treatment strategies by an integrated and personalized diabetes management approach.

Baltic Diabetes Cluster is a special interest group, consisting of, practices, hospitals health tourism facilities as hotels and rehabilitation clinics, SMEs and representatives of academia and administration from Germany, Poland, and Lithuania (project partners in the EU South Baltic Region project Eco4Life), collaborating with institutions from the Northern Baltic Sea.
The aim of Baltic Diabetes Cluster is to develop a common transregional approach for integrated and personalized diabetes management in the whole Baltic Sea Region, according to the policy of the ScanBalt flagship project "Baltic Sea Health Region" as part of the EU Baltic Sea Strategy. ScanBalt is a leading network of clusters, universities, companies and public authorities working within life sciences to promote the Baltic Sea Region as a globally competitive Green valley and Health region.
At the 10th ScanBalt Forum 2011, the Baltic Diabetes Cluster was founded to foster cross-sectoral and cross-border collaboration in the Baltic Sea Region.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern as Center of Competence for Diabetes mellitus in Germany is supposed to become pilot region for the Baltic Diabetes Cluster, with BioConValley® as central contact for life science and health economy in North Eastern Germany and coordinator of the initiative.
The federal state is closely linked to emerging health economies in Poland and the Baltics, as well as to the dynamic Medtech region in the North of the Baltic Sea.

Within the initiative, research institutions and SMEs intend to develop system solutions for the integrated and personalized diabetes management as well as for the diagnostics and treatment of diabetes-related complications (diabetic eye, diabetic foot). By bridging the gap between studies for innovations and health services research the impact of the new system solutions on the real-life situation of the patients and on the health care system will be established.