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King’s Health Partners estimates that one in three adults in the U.K. currently prediabetic. These people are at a greater than average risk of developing Type II diabetes. The group totals about 15.4 million people. Today in the U.K. Type II diabetes results in 22,000 early deaths per year at a cost to the National Heath Service of 1 million British pounds per hour. Preventing the development of Type II diabetes could improve and save many lives as well as reduce the financial burden.

In many, if not most cases, lifestyle changes can delay or prevent the start of diabetes. Avoiding diabetes means not having to take medication for the rest of one’s life. Other substantial benefits come from avoiding other health complications associated with diabetes including blindness, the loss of extremities, and early death. King’s Health Partners believes that rapid intervention with prediabetics to promote healthy lifestyle changes can make a difference.To that end, the group partnered with technology company Buddi to use the Buddi wearable with person-centric apps and messages.

Starting in September the two companies will begin a year-long randomized trial with a control group in two boroughs of London with 200 patients. The study will use the Buddi wearable and a smartphone app with personalized motivational information with the aim of increasing physical activity and reducing weight. Excess weight and inadequate exercise rank as the two highest diabetes risk factors. Subjects in the study will be encouraged to change their behaviors based on data about their activity, eating, and their feelings about diabetes management.

Sara Murray, Chief Executive and founder of Buddi, said “The NHS spends almost 10% of hospital expenditure on treating diabetes and diabetes-related complications. We are helping to develop a solution to enable healthcare professionals to shift their focus from reactive treatment to preventative measures. This has the potential to provide an option for prevention and a sustained approach to lifestyle behavior change, which is clearly needed by the NHS and patients alike.”