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Wearable technology in the fight against diabetes

King’s Health Partners and Buddi Buddi on wristNujjer collaboration selected to take part in national pilot to test digital technologies for prevention of type 2 diabetes and obesity.

King's Health Partners’ collaboration with British technology company Buddi has been selected as one of five companies to test digital technologies in the fight against type 2 diabetes, as part of the NHS Healthier You: Digital Diabetes Prevention Programme.

It is estimated that one in three of the UK adult population have ‘pre-diabetes’, meaning they are at an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In the UK alone diabetes costs the NHS £1 million per hour.

The King’s Health Partners/Buddi Nujjer programme combines a highly sensitive wristband, which monitors user activity, sleep patterns and eating frequency, with a smartphone application. This collaboration was the first example of a commercial technology company working with the NHS to test prevention of type 2 diabetes using wearable technology in this way.

Buddi appAnother unique aspect of the collaboration is how care of the mind and body is integrated in the programme. The Nujjer app hosts a range of educational sessions that target diet, physical activity and mental resilience. The sessions and messaging have been developed by world-leading psychiatrists and span mental and physical health aspects of diabetes prevention. Evidence shows that by joining up physical and mental healthcare, we can help people manage their conditions more effectively and improve health outcomes.

A clinical trial is currently underway in the London borough of Lambeth to test the effectiveness of the programme in patients with ‘pre-diabetes’. Results from the trial are expected in Spring 2018.

Professor Khalida Ismail, Principal Investigator of the clinical trial and co-creator of the motivational feedback and content, King’s Health Partners, said:

This is exciting news for King's Health Partners Institute of Diabetes, Endocrinology and Obesity. It gives us the opportunity to further collaborate with Buddi on this unique and highly innovative prevention tool.
It is our hope that the programme will be used at a large scale to support prevention of diabetes, obesity and related conditions. Leading to improvements in the wellbeing, and mental and physical health of our local population through a supportive, self-management, and preventative approach.

DSCF7429 crop 34B233 white backgroundJill Lockett, Senior Responsible Officer for King’s Health Partners and the Health Innovation Network’s Diabetes Programmes, said:

We are delighted that NHS England has chosen the Buddi Nujjer programme as a test bed for digital diabetes prevention.  The prototype technology, built in collaboration with Buddi Nujjer with motivational messaging developed by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neurosciences at King’s College London and South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, is being tested by our local patients through general practices in Lambeth.  It is an important step in helping people take charge of their health and wellbeing and avoid type 2 diabetes.

King’s Health Partners and Buddi Nujjer were awarded a grant from Innovate UK, the Government’s innovation agency, part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, to collaborate on the development of this unique technological intervention.

Heathier You: The NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme was officially launched last year to support people who are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes. This new pilot offers support, assistance and guidance through the use of the new digital interventions.