The NHS are set to offer wearable technology to over 8,000 patients who are believed to be at risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
The tech will help to monitor the exercise levels of the patients. In addition; they will also have access to apps which allow users to access health coaches and educational content; online peer support groups; and the ability to set and monitor goals electronically.
Dr Jenifer Smith, the diabetes prevention programme director at Public Health England (PHE), said: “Many of us use on-the-go digital technology every day and this is a fabulous next step in diabetes prevention.”
Pilot schemes found that offering access to online advice significantly boosted the numbers taking up the flagship Diabetes Prevention Programme (DPP), a partnership between NHS England (NHSE), which funds it, PHE and Diabetes UK.
Almost seven in 10 people (68%) referred to digital schemes took part, compared with around half of those offered face-to-face support. The difference was particularly striking among younger people.
After the success of the pilot, the scheme will be expanded this month with the first to benefit being those who cannot make face-to-face support sessions, NHSE said.
People who have completed the programme have lost an average of seven and a half pounds.
Nikki Joule, the policy manager at Diabetes UK, said the digital programme should be rolled out more widely. “This could be vital in reaching more of the millions of people at risk of type 2 diabetes, and in helping to reduce the increasing prevalence of the condition.”