Fitness trackers to be trialled by NHS in drive to prevent diabetes

Digital technology 'a logical step' in type 2 diabetes prevention.

Digital technology 'a logical step' in type 2 diabetes prevention

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Thousands of people are to be given gadgets to help them track how active they are as the NHS hopes to reduce rising levels of type 2 diabetes.

More than 5,000 people will test apps, gadgets and wristbands similar to Fitbits that will track their activity levels and sleep as part of a 12-month trial.

Public Health England said the pilot scheme, which will run in eight areas of the country, is a logical step in diabetes prevention.

A mixed approach

The technology being used includes a Buddi Nujjer device – which monitors activity, sleep and eating and has an app that can help with diet – while people will also be given educational software and personal coaching.

NHS England national clinical director for obesity and diabetes Jonathan Valabhji said: 'Tackling obesity and the rising prevalence of type 2 diabetes are the major public health challenges of our time.

'Through this initiative, we have the potential to establish the effectiveness of digital interventions to do the same, so that the reach of the programme will be even greater.'

Some 2.9 million people in England have a type 2 diabetes diagnosis, with obesity seen as a key cause. Figures suggest that type 2 diabetes leads to 22,000 early deaths every year and costs the NHS around £8.8 billion.

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