SMS diabetes scheme off to perfect start

Hospitals in Cornwall have signed 19 people up to a new study which involves sending those at risk of developing diabetes information on preventative measures via text message.

Orchestrated by a research team at Imperial College London, the study is aimed at helping people who are at particular risk of developing type-2 diabetes by using SMS to provide education and support that might not be available in GP surgeries.

The content of the messages will include advice on possible lifestyle changes, relating to both diet and exercise. Among those targeted are people with impaired glucose regulation, reports.

The scheme is being run nationwide, with the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust (RCHT) one of 26 sites across the country to get involved. Launched in February, the RCHT set a target of recruiting ten people, but had signed up 19 by July.

Duncan Browne, a consultant endocrinologist with RCHT, spoke highly of the study: “The high recruitment we have seen in Cornwall reflects the excellence of our research nurses, who have worked with our colleagues in primary care, and the patients in the county who have given up their time to make this study a success.”

In normal circumstances, patients at high risk of diabetes are encouraged to attend a 30-minute interview in which a doctor provides diet and exercise advice with written materials giving more details about the condition. With this new scheme, people will receive similar information via weekly text messages, saving both time and money.