• 17Nov

    Digital initiatives to address diabetes and obesity

    NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK have teamed up with leading companies from the tech sector as the battle against obesity and Type 2 diabetes goes digital.

    More than 5,000 people are expected to benefit from a pilot project which will see five companies and eight areas of the country test drive a range of apps, gadgets, wristbands and other innovative digital products, which starts this month.

    Users will be able to access health coaches and online support groups as well as set and monitor goals electronically. Some patients will also receive wearable technology to help them monitor activity levels and receive motivational messages and prompts, which is being made available on the NHS for the first time.

    Heathier You: The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme was officially launched last year to support people who are at high risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Those referred on to the face-to-face programme get tailored, personalised help, this includes; education on lifestyle choices, advice on how to reduce weight through healthier eating and bespoke physical activity programmes, which together have been proven to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

    This new pilot offers similar support, assistance and guidance but through the use of the new digital interventions.

    Patients will be recruited over a six month period and they will be given access to the digital products for up to 12 months. The technology being trailed and evaluated includes:

    • Hitachi – The Smart Digital Diabetes Prevention solution helps people at risk to make a sustained lifestyle change to prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes through personalised lifestyle goals. It combines an online portal – available through a smartphone or a desktop computer – which supports self-assessment, monitoring and management with a professional health advisor who provides regular advice and coaching.
    • OurPath – A six week mobile and desktop digital programme with structured education on healthy eating, sleep, exercise and stress management. Patients also get a set of smart weighing scales, a wearable activity tracker, access to a social support network and a health mentor. After six weeks, users move onto OurPath’s ‘Sustain’ programme, which aims to keep people on track with their health goals for the long term. Individuals can continue to chat to their support group and health mentor, as well as access evidence-based education articles.

    You can find full details on the NHS England website.