NHS to give thousands of free wearables to reduce diabetes
The NHS has said that up to 8,000 people at risk of type 2 diabetes will receive wearable tech to monitor their health and exercise.
The programme, rolled out by NHS England NHS and supported by Public Health England and Diabetes UK, will look to reduce the almost four million people in England who have type 2 diabetes.
Those chosen will have access to apps which allow users to access health coaches, peer support group access, and health education.
Wearable devices for fitness tracking have become increasingly popular in the last decade, and the technology is now built in to some smartwatches.
The move comes after pilot schemes saw major increases in referrals to the Diabetes Prevention Programme.
“The success of the pilot’s early findings shows we are breaking new ground to help those most at risk of type 2 diabetes to literally take their health into their own hands at their own time and pace,” said Dr Jennifer Smith, diabetes programme director at Public Health England.
“Many of us use on-the-go digital technology every day and this is a fabulous next step in diabetes prevention.”
Nearly 70 per cent of those at risk, who were referred to digital schemes, took part in The Diabetes Prevention programme, compared with about half of those offered face-to-face support.
The digital offering will be expanded this month and offered to people who are unable to attend face-to-face sessions.
Nikki Joule, policy manager at Diabetes UK, added: “With millions of people in the UK at increased risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, it’s vital that the NHS England Diabetes Prevention Programme is able to reach as many people as possible.
“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.”