Sometimes it takes a village; other times, a whole lot more. A massive test of Type I and Type II diabetes management is launching in the U.K. The bottom line is that a smartphone coaching app will help patients stay informed about and self-manage their disease, inform caregivers, and aggregate collected data to find out what techniques and behaviors make the most difference.
An estimated 2.9 million people in the U.K. were diagnosed with Type I or Type II diabetes in 2013. National Health Service officials estimate 1 in 20 people in England have either diagnosed or undiagnosed diabetes, and the incidence is rising.
The test is termed massive” because it involves a group of eleven Health Tech companies, all the healthcare provider groups under the National Health Service in the West of England Academic Health Science Network. The study encompasses a population of 2.4 million patients in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, Gloucestershire, North Somerset, South Gloucestershire, Swindon, and Wiltshire. According to the NHS, “Necessary lifestyle changes, as well as the complexities and possible side effects of therapy, make patient education and self-management important aspects of diabetes care. Indeed, 99% of diabetes care falls to self-management.”
The technology groups, the caregivers, and the patients are going to test the Diabetes Digital Coach in order to “enable every citizen to self-care in their own way to the benefit of their health, both physical and mental.” A major focus of the test is experimenting with and evaluating the various technologies and methodologies from the tech partners. The technologies include wearable sensors, monitoring devices, and supporting software. Another focus will be on increasing the awareness of healthcare providers of the advantage of using the data from the technology to improve patient care.
There was no information of a stopping point for the test, which could be an ongoing project. The hoped for results are improved information about “doing the right thing at the right time” to best manage diabetes.