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$1.6 million study to validate new diabetes programme

15 March 2017
$1.6 million study to validate new diabetes prevention programme

The New Zealand Health Research Council (NZHRC) has injected $1.6 million into a research project to study an innovative self-management programme for people with pre-diabetes and diabetes.

The programme, known as BetaMe, was developed by software company Melon Health. Pinnacle Midlands Health Network collaborated with Melon Health to pilot the programme in the Waikato in 2015.

Ultimately, BetaMe was designed to equip people with pre-diabetes with the tools, support, education and confidence to take control of their own health and prevent diabetes.

The programme is delivered to participants online through a website and Android and iOS apps, and includes a health coach, peer and clinical support, as well as tracking and personalised interventions.

Pinnacle Midlands Health Network long term conditions management programme lead Sally Newell says the NZHRC has awarded the $1.6million research grant to validate BetaMe’s innovative use of technology and its potential to ease the burden diabetes places on New Zealand’s health system.

“The initial pilot was an overwhelming success. Results demonstrated that BetaMe is a cost-effective pre-diabetes intervention that increases self-efficacy and health literacy,” Newell said.

117 patients across NorthCare Pukete Road Hamilton, Te Awamutu Medical Centre and Mahoe Medical Centre took part in the initial pilot.

To meet the eligibility criteria they had to be aged between 18-75 years, have an HbA1c in the 45-49 mmol/mol range and have no prior diabetes diagnosis.

HbA1C, BMI, blood pressure and waist measurements were taken and a target weight loss of either five or 10 per cent of the patient’s total weight was set based on the patient’s general health and BMI.

At the end of the pilot, 78 per cent of participants who completed the programme no longer met the clinical criteria for pre-diabetes, and a staggering 91 per cent of participants had a reduced HbA1C.

ends

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