A NEW pilot scheme aimed at preventing diabetes through using digital technology is to be trialled in East Lancashire.
Lancashire and South Cumbria is one of eight pilot areas selected to test drive a range of apps, gadgets, wristbands and other innovative digital products.
Around 250 people in Lancashire and South Cumbria will take part in the pilot which will involve five companies and eight areas of the country. Users will be able to access health coaches and online support groups as well as set and monitor goals electronically.
Some patients 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.
More than 5,000 people are expected to benefit from the nine-month project, which has seen NHS England, Public Health England and Diabetes UK team up with leading providers from the tech sector.
The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme last year to support people who are at high risk of developing type two diabetes.
Dr Amar Ali, the diabetes lead for NHS Blackburn with Darwen Clinical Commissioning Group said the new digital stream of the diabetes prevention programme would make it more accessible and appealing to thousands of people.
The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme was launched last year to help support people at high risk of developing type II diabetes with face to face, tailored, personalised help including education on lifestyle choices, advice on how to reduce weight and bespoke physical activity programmes.
Dr Amanda Thornton, digital health clinical lead for Lancashire and South Cumbria, said: “There is emerging research demonstrating remote or virtual delivery of lifestyle change conversations can be as effective as face-to-face with your GP or other healthcare provider”.
This national pilot project aims to rigorously test digital as an alternative to clinic based diabetes programmes with a view to making this option available to all.