We are delighted to be working with NHS England in a landmark project that is trying to increase adherence in patients with Type 2 Diabetes.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is one of the most prevalent conditions in the England with an estimated 3.7 million people diagnosed with the condition in the UK, and according to Diabetes UK, this is likely to rise to almost 5 million people by 2025. Diabetes is a condition where there is too much glucose in the blood and the body cannot use it properly. This happens because the pancreas produces too much insulin, or not enough, or the insulin it produces is not able to work properly. Insulin is essential for unlocking cells to allow glucose to enter to fuel the cells. If it cannot do that, it builds up in the blood.
There are two main types of Diabetes, although very recent research has identified five different strands. People who cannot produce any insulin have Type 1 and this occurs in about 10% of Diabetics. This is treated mainly by insulin injections. About 90% of people diagnosed with Diabetes have Type 2; this is when the body does not make enough insulin, or for some reason it does not work effectively. Whilst there are some genetic factors that influence this, the main drivers tend to be lifestyle and being overweight.
Why is the NHS so concerned?
The NHS spends over £10 billion pounds a year treating Diabetes, and the cost to the broader economy is even higher; research has estimated this at over £25 billion a year, and this excludes the effect on patients mental well being. For example, people with Diabetes suffer from poor mental health. Type 2 Diabetes can be managed - it is when it is not that serious complications arise such as Heart Diseases, Amputations, Kidney Failure and Neurological disorders, amongst many others. Researchers are still working on these links, but it is clear they do exist. 24,000 people a year die early because they have Diabetes. Clearly there is a problem that needs to be addressed through better care, improved self-awareness more research.
What is the Study about?
The NHS is keen to help patients take their medication as prescribed. There is a large amount of research, including by organisation such as the World Health Organisation and the NHS, that less than 50% of the patients take their medication as prescribed. With advances in technology, the NHS believes that patients can be assisted to improve their adherence, and thereby manage their condition better. If this also saves the NHS money, then all the better.
NHS England selected the YOURmeds product as one of the best ways of helping patients take their medication. YOURmeds is seen as ground breaking in that it uses technology to bring people together, where every person in a patient's support network 'buys-in' to their care. Initial work done by YOURmeds suggests that people who have had a lot of difficulty managing their medication regimes, after a few months on YOURmeds, are taking their medication correctly in more than 7 times in 10. This is seen very positively in the clinical field.
The Study will recruit 156 patients diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes and independently assess them over a three month period. What is being measured is whether their adherence has increased over the period. Public Health England will evaluate the results and assess implications across England as a whole. HRA Approval has been obtained, and patient recruitment will start shortly.
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