Chief Executive Officer, Healum
Dr Adrian Heald
Consultant Diabetologist, Salford Royal Hospital
Personalised plans of care and support, created as part of a shared decision-making process with healthcare professionals have been shown to improve outcomes and empower people with type 2 diabetes in a recently published innovative new study.
Proactive personalised care is about enabling people to understand the set of health choices that are available to them and empowering them to make those choices. This is true whether we are talking about medication, medical services, community-based services, healthy food options or lifestyle choices.
The NHS Long Term Plan’s ambition is to make personalised care and support planning ‘business as usual’.
There are however significant financial, organisational and time barriers amongst disparate teams of healthcare professionals, to provide joined-up care, support and education to people living with type 2 diabetes.
The role of technology
Well-designed care and support planning software can enable healthcare professionals working across primary, secondary and community settings to create digital plans of care in partnership with patients who are living with type 2 diabetes that can be accessed at any time through a mobile app. This is a convenient and secure way for patients to track and monitor their health and to access support, education and advice from their GP surgery to manage their diabetes.
A key challenge in diabetes management is to motivate and support individuals with diabetes to make healthy choices.
Evaluating the benefits
A study was funded by Innovate UK and supported by the NIHR involving 250 people with type 2 diabetes across 12 GP surgeries who were trained to use the Healum app and care-planning software. The project has so far been a great success, with clear benefits for both patients and clinicians.
“A key challenge in diabetes management is to motivate and support individuals with diabetes to make healthy choices, positive lifestyle decisions and to understand how to best manage their diabetes in a way that means something to them,” says Dr Adrian Heald, Consultant Diabetologist at Salford Royal and Chief Investigator of the study in Eastern Cheshire.
Health outcomes so far
The preliminary results of an 18-month trial presented at the Diabetes UK Annual Professional Conference in March 2022 showed that people who used it had an average 9.5% reduction in the HbA1c blood glucose average control measure compared with a 2% reduction in the comparable control group.
These promising outcomes bode well for the future, as more people living with type 2 diabetes find the path to a healthier future.
Healum has just launched a research network with the aim of providing people living with type 2 diabetes choice and control over how they share their health information with healthcare professionals and researchers who are seeking to improve personalised care.