There are almost 4.05 million people who have been diagnosed with diabetes in the UK – of these, 90% have type 2 diabetes and according to research conducted by Diabetes UK, more than 5 million people are predicted to have diabetes by 2025.
Specialist support service RedArc Nurses have teamed up with Mapmydiabetes to set up a pilot scheme to improve support for those with the condition. Mapmydiabetes is a NICE-endorsed online programme designed to support diabetes self-management education. The ground-breaking pilot scheme helps people with type 2 diabetes to manage their condition better by combining the two services. Mapmydiabetes provide the technological support, and RedArc back this up with the ‘human touch’, client led support for which the company is known.
About the pilot
The pilot, combining the technology with RedArc’s long-term personal nurse support, started in March and will run for three months with eight patients from RedArc who have type 2 diabetes. Results will be analysed to measure improvements in the individuals’ diabetic control.
Why is diabetic self-management important?
Self-management is critical to both manage diabetes and to stop the development of complications and other serious conditions.
Despite this, many people don’t self-manage their condition adequately. 10% of the NHS budget, £14 billion* a year, is spent on treating diabetes and its complications. Complications include:
- Heart disease and a higher risk for heart attack and stroke
- eye and vision problems, including blindness.
- Kidney disease that can lead to kidney failure.
- Neuropathy (nerve damage) that can cause tingling and pain the hands and feet.
- Infections & dental problems
- Amputations due to infections in the feet.
Diabetes self-management education is recommended by NICE to help people stay healthy and prevent complications. People who play an active role in their own healthcare achieve a better health outcome.
Structured support on average reduces HbA1c** (glycated haemoglobin, which is measured to show average blood sugar levels over a period of time) by 1 – 1.5% with newly diagnosed patients***. A 1% reduction significantly reduces the risk of diabetes-related complications, including a 21% reduction in diabetes-related deaths, a 37% reduction in microvascular complications and a 12% reduction in strokes.
What support is currently available?
Once diagnosed, while most GPs offer clinics, these can be as infrequent as 6 monthly, leaving patients to manage their own condition in between appointments. Many of these patients will live life as normal and continue to work full time, but their colleagues may be unaware. Living with Diabetes in a non-diabetic world can make self management a challenge, as it is an ‘invisible’ condition.
At present few people attend structured support. On average people with diabetes spend three hours a year with a healthcare professional, for the remaining 8,757 hours they manage their diabetes themselves*.
How does the pilot scheme work?
Mapmydiabetes, combined with the long-term support of the RedArc Nurse is a powerful combination designed to provide support in a way that encourages people to self-manage diabetes. The technology can be accessed anywhere and at any time – cutting down travelling costs and time, and can be delivered in a way that suits the individual.
The results of this pilot could mean a significant increase in the effectiveness of support for diabetes and consequent outcomes for patients.
About the Mapmydiabetes technology
Mapmydiabetes is a NICE-endorsed online education and self-management programme for people with type 2 diabetes.
It includes a sophisticated user interface providing access to comprehensive information on all aspects of diabetes, possible complications, medication side-effects, eating plans and exercise.
The patient is able to input core information such as blood pressure, weight, blood glucose and any individual targets. Through secure electronic communication, the registered RedArc Nurse has access to this information, enabling them to understand the individual’s specific needs and provide tailored support accordingly.
About the support from RedArc
RedArc’s Personal Nurse Advisers provide the personal support alongside Mapmydiabetes, encouraging patients to engage with the technology. They discuss the individual’s results with them, such as blood pressure, blood-glucose levels and what this means.
They help the individual monitor their condition, make and meet personal smart goals and encourage positive lifestyle choices. Goals can include weight loss, blood glucose control and increased exercise.
The ongoing nurse support also keeps up the motivation to maintain personal goals: of particular importance, as this is a lifelong condition.
Christine Husbands, managing director of RedArc Nurses, said:
“The potential of this pilot is huge. There’s no doubt that technology has an increasingly important role to play in encouraging better health behaviours. Combining this with the support of a registered nurse takes this to a whole other level. Insurers are investing seriously in technology and we’ll be excited to share the results of this pilot to demonstrate the difference it makes when combined with the support of our nurses. Reduction in claims is one potential outcome, but that’s just one aspect. As insurers look to offer a more holistic service, this helps them do just that, and with measurable outcomes.”
Iain Brogan, Chief Executive Officer of Mapmyhealth, said:
“Mapmydiabetes already provides access to self-management education support in a way that allows people to take control of their own health. Every day we see the difference that our online technology makes to people living with this serious condition. By combining this approach with access to a registered nurse, this takes diabetes self-management support to the next level and offers a truly holistic service. We are extremely excited about this collaboration with RedArc, not only is it a great differentiator in the market, it makes a real difference to people’s lives.”