NHS England has launched new online services to allow people with diabetes to better manage their condition remotely during the coronavirus pandemic.
A range of online videos and training will be available for children and adults, which will include advice on treatment and care and adopting healthy behaviours on diet and exercise, complementing video consultations with GPs.
The new technology is now available for people living with type 1 diabetes, via: Digibete, an app for children and young people with type 1 diabetes and their families offering awareness, education, training and support resources; and MyType1Diabetes, an online service for adults with the condition that includes videos and eLearning courses.
Later this year people with type 2 disease will be able to access Healthy Living for people with Type 2 diabetes, a platform providing skills and knowledge to manage the condition effectively, including advice on emotional and mental wellbeing.
Online appointments, routine discussions with GPs and a dedicated helpline for those treated with insulin are among measures already adopted by the NHS to support diabetes care.
Also, the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme is being delivered remotely using platforms such as Microsoft Teams to continue to help those at risk of Type 2 diabetes to reduce their risk.
The move follows recent findings that people living with type 1 diabetes are at three and a half times the risk, and those with type 2 double the risk of dying in hospital from COVID-19 compared to people without diabetes. However, better management of the condition can help improve control and lead to better outcomes, health chiefs stress.
“Living with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes is a daily challenge for millions of people and knowing they are more at risk if they are infected with coronavirus will be worrying, but the NHS has taken action to help people and keep them safe, including the roll out of these helpful apps,” said Professor Partha Kar, national specialty advisor on diabetes for NHS England and Improvement.
“Access to trusted information and support is key to helping people manage their diabetes and we are delighted to support these tools which will hopefully empower people to look after their own condition and reduce their risk.”