People living with diabetes in Somerset are to be the first in England to test a new, digital solution to improving the day-to-day management of the condition.
“My Diabetes My Way” is the name given to a new, interactive web site and smartphone app designed to support anyone in Somerset living with diabetes. (https://somerset.mydiabetes.com/).
As well as offering helpful advice and information about managing blood glucose levels, eating sensibly and staying well – all essential parts of effectively managing the condition - the new web site and app will also offer registered patients secure access to their own personal medical record.
Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), NHS England, Yeovil District Hospital, Taunton’s Musgrove Park Hospital and local GPs hope to sign-up as many as 3,000 people to the new pilot scheme by October this year.
Dr Alex Bickerton, a consultant in Diabetes with Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said:
“This exciting pilot scheme in Somerset is leading the way in the development of a new and potentially revolutionary way to help people with diabetes manage their health. This will be the first time patients with diabetes will be able to register and securely access their own medical records. The support and system is completely free to users and this is just the start.
“In the near future the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence will offer registered patients even more information about their health. In the same way as smart phone technology is able to continuously monitor people’s physical activity and give the user ‘real time’ monitoring of their vital signs, so we hope to link the My Diabetes My Way digital programme with smartphone and other wearable or portable devices. Personal messages to patients will also remind them whether their diabetes is on track.
“Our aspiration is for people with diabetes to have their clinical data monitored and analysed in a way that will accurately predict when issues such as high or low blood sugar levels could be risking their health ensuring given them plenty of time to remedy the situation”.
Dr Henk Bruggers, a Mendip GP and Diabetes Lead for Somerset CCG, explained:
“Somerset is seeing alarming rise in the numbers of people now being diagnosed with diabetes each year. Diabetes is a serious condition which can be brought in remission (especially in the early stages) or it's progression can be slowed down by lifestyle changes. Self-management of diabetes is vital and this requires the right information and the necessary motivation.
“My Diabetes My Way will be an opportunity for the Somerset patients to help test this new and digital approach to managing their diabetes. It’s a programme which personalises their care and offers people secure access to their own medical record. The damage caused to health when the condition is not well managed is not only serious for those affected, it is also costing almost 10% of the health service budget treating conditions, like heart disease, kidney damage, sight loss and even amputation of limbs.
“A local survey of patients showed people really want to access online information about their diabetes, so they can improve their knowledge, receive reminders for medication and communicate with health professionals. The possibilities of this new digital approach to managing diabetes are enormous and Somerset has an opportunity to test a system which could transform the lives of four million people living in Britain with diabetes.”
Anyone living in Somerset with diabetes is able to register with the My Diabetes My Way digital scheme. This can be done by contacting their GP Practice or registering online at: https://somerset.mydiabetes.com/.
My Diabetes My Way Somerset has received grant funding from the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) - https://sbri.innovateuk.org/