Type 2 prevention programme digital trial to start
More than 5,000 people are set to trial digital access to a major type 2 diabetes prevention programme, NHS England has announced.
The pilot will see five companies and eight areas of the country test drive a range of apps, gadgets, wristbands and other innovative digital products as part of the Healthier You: The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme (NHS DPP).
Users will be able to access health coaches and online support groups as well as set and monitor goals electronically. Some people 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.
The NHS DPP 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. It is hoped introducing digital stream it will encourage more people to take part and engage those who find attending the programme in person challenging.
Simon Stevens, chief executive officer of NHS England, said: “So much else in our lives is now about online social connection and support, and that now needs to be true too for the modern NHS. This new programme is the latest example of how the NHS is now getting practical and getting serious about new ways of supporting people stay healthy.”
People will be recruited over a six month period and they will be given access to the digital products for up to 12 months.
Professor Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director for obesity and diabetes, said: “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.”
Diabetes.co.uk, the world’s largest diabetes forum, has already shown how effective digital intervention can be by the popularity of its Low Carb Program. More 250,000 have signed up and taken part in the initiative, which is reinventing structured education and redefining type 2 diabetes on an international stage. Results show it reduced HbA1c by 1.17 per cent, people on average lost 7.4kg, 37 per cent reduced their medication dependency and 50 per cent of participants reserved or put their type 2 diabetes into remission.