The NHS has announced plans to hand fitness trackers to thousands of people at risk of type 2 diabetes.
During pilot schemes it found that access to tracking devices and coaching significantly increased the likelihood of patients taking steps to prevent the condition developing.
Alongside the devices, the users will also be given access to apps that offer health coaching and educational content, alongside online peer support groups to discuss the program. The NHS spends more than £6 billion on fighting diabetes each year, so the cost of the scheme is likely to be a drop in the bucket from a budget point of view.
We reported on a similar device-handout scheme by the NHS back in 2017, so it looks like this has been something in the works for some time. It appears the NHS is finding that younger people are far more likely to take up digital solutions compared to face-to-face appointments.
“The success of this pilot should lead to the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme’s digital offering being rolled out more widely,” said Nikki Joule, policy manager at Diabetes UK.
There's no confirmation as yet which apps or wearables are going to be handed out as part of the scheme. The likes of Apple and Fitbit have been very active in offering better support for diabetics using its devices in conjunction with third party devices and apps from the likes of Dexcom, Cardiogram and Livingo.
We wouldn't be all that surprised if some of those major wearable tech players will want to be involved in this potentially life-changing programme.
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