NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK have teamed up with leading providers from the tech sector as the battle against Type 2 diabetes goes digital – with around 5,000 people expected to benefit from the launch of a new pilot project, including some from here in Somerset.
Somerset is one of eight pilot areas that has been selected to test drive a range of innovative digital products, apps, gadgets and other online tools, starting this month.
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.
The new pilot offers similar support, assistance and guidance but through the use of digital interventions, including apps, which allow users to access health coaches, online peer support groups and to set and monitor goals electronically. Some patients will also receive wearable technology to help them monitor activity levels and receive motivational messages and prompts.
People accessing the new pilot service in Somerset will receive one of two digital products.
Buddi Nujjer - made up of a highly sensitive wristband which monitors the user's activity, sleep patterns and eating frequency and a smartphone application. People have access to 22 educational sessions via the Nujjer app which targets diet, physical activity and mental resilience. Users receive personalised motivational messages which incorporate motivational interviewing techniques and feedback on their personal data. http://nujjer.com/
Oviva - an eight-week intensive lifestyle intervention with an experienced dietitian providing personalised advice and support. Users get one-to-one coaching through a combination of a smartphone app and phone calls.
The programme is supported by videos and podcasts covering useful topics on how people can improve their nutritional health and lower their risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
After the initial eight weeks, there is ongoing access to a dietitian and monthly follow-up calls up to 12 months to ensure new healthy habits are maintained long-term. https://oviva.com/uk/
Six GP practices from across Somerset will start offering the service from late November 2017 with more following in January 2018. A face-to-face diabetes prevention programme will start in Somerset from spring 2018.
Dr Rosie Benneyworth, GP and Director of Strategic Clinical Services Transformation at Somerset CCG, said: “This is an important piece of work which will inform how digital technology is used for diabetes prevention nationally. It is a fantastic opportunity for people in Somerset to reduce their risk of developing diabetes by taking part in this project.”
Rachael Rowe, Diabetes Programme Lead at Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This project will bring some of the latest innovations in diabetes prevention to Somerset. It gives people who are too busy to attend a course during the day the opportunity to reduce their risk of diabetes at a time convenient to them.”
Adrian Lowes, Practice Manager at Penn Hill Surgery, Yeovil, said: ““Any prevention programme that empowers or motivates patients to change their lifestyle for the better through the use of different technologies presents a challenge and an opportunity. Penn Hill Surgery are excited about taking part in this programme and see potential in changing long term health conditions for those patients on the cusp of developing diabetes. Alongside changes in our model of care for diabetes, this project has provided us with another tool to engage our patients and the potential to make a difference. Our team will be assisted by our patient group, they have been keen to run support groups and assist with the technology used in the programme.”
Lucy Diamond, Clinical Lead Dietitian for Diabetes at Oviva, said: "Oviva is delighted to be able to support people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes across Somerset to improve their health. Our programme combines professional support from a dietitian with online learning and a smartphone app for self-monitoring to help people lose weight, feel healthier and lower their risk of Type 2 diabetes".
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, National Clinical Director for Obesity and Diabetessaid: “Tackling obesity and the rising prevalence of Type 2 diabetes are the major public health challenges of our time. By April next year we will be providing the diabetes prevention programme to the whole of England - an evidence-based face-to-face programme that prevents or delays onset of Type 2 diabetes in those at high risk. Through this initiative, we have the potential to establish the effectiveness of digital interventions to do the same, so that the reach of the programme will be even greater."
Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive at Public Health England said: “This breaks new ground to help those at risk of Type 2 diabetes quite literally take their health into their own hands. Many of us use on-the-go digital technology every day and this is a logical next step in diabetes prevention.”