NHS hands out fitness trackers in bid to cut diabetes

More than 5,000 people will be given a wearable wristband device called Buddi Nujjer in a 12-month trial designed to ultimately cut down on rates of diabetes in the UK.

The new trial will encompass the use of apps, gadgets and wristbands to track sleep and activities over the period.

Public Health England said the pilot scheme – which will run in eight areas of the country – is “the next logical step in diabetes prevention”.

Buddi Nujjer devices are used to monitor activity, sleep and eating and link up to an app that can help with diet.

Those on the trial will also be given educational software and personal coaching sessions.

Professor Jonathan Valabhji, national clinical director for obesity and diabetes, 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.”

Simon Stevens, CEO of NHS England, said: “So much else in our lives is now about online social connection and support, and that now needs to be true too for the modern NHS.

“This new programme is the latest example of how the NHS is now getting practical and getting serious about new ways of supporting people stay healthy.”

Some 2.9 million people in England are already diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, with obesity seen as a key driver.

Figures suggest that Type 2 diabetes leads to 22,000 early deaths every year and costs the NHS around £8.8bn.

The NHS is experimenting with a variety of new technologies designed to make the service more efficient.

Last week a new app was launched called ‘GP at Hand’ that lets patients set up video calls with a GP in order to diagnose medical issues remotely.

In September, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt announced an that an NHS app will launch next year that will allow patients to seek health advice, book a GP appointment and read their medical records.

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