Research shows Healum’s mobile app aids patient self management, reducing pressure on the primary care workforce
Research conducted as part of UKRIs digital health technology catalyst sponsored by Healum in partnership with Vernova Healthcare CIC, demonstrates that the use of Healum’s mobile app, connected to its care planning software and patient management system for healthcare professionals in primary care, has helped to improve health outcomes, health engagement, and quality of life for people living with type 2 diabetes.
The Healum care planning software and patient-facing app enables multi-disciplinary teams of healthcare professionals working in primary care settings to create personalised digital plans of care and support as part of a shared decision-making process with patients who have type 2 diabetes.
The care plan connects patients with supportive resources, education, and local services, aiding them to manage their diabetes in a personalised way on their mobile phones.
This technology has been trialled across 15 GP practices in Eastern Cheshire that are part of Vernova Healthcare CIC over the past 18 months, as part of a UKRI-funded randomised control study that provides a level of evidence that satisfies the NICE Evidence Standards Framework for Digital Health Technologies in demonstrating effectiveness.
A key challenge in long-term condition management is to motivate and support patients to make healthy choices and understand how to best manage their diabetes in a way that means something to them
And the study results reveal that patients who received a digital plan of care had better outcomes than those who did not.
On average, patients who used the digital care plans through their app were able to lower their blood glucose levels (Hb1Ac) by an average of 7.37%, compared with an increase of 2.05% for the control group who received standard care over the six months.
In addition, patients that used the Healum app saw an improvement in quality of life measured by changes in their pre to post-trial EQ VAS score of 8.2%.
Alongside these results, the study has also revealed that using the Healum app had a positive impact on patients engaging in the management of their diabetes.
Patients in the study made 6,797 measurable healthy choices, completed 343 goals, read over 2,200 health education resources, and tracked their health 2,430 times.
The ultimate aim of using Healum is to reduce the burden on the NHS workforce by promoting patient self management.
The software integrates with the EMIS electronic patient record, and has been designed for ease and speed of use.
It is important that when we aid our frontline teams with digital care and support planning software and patient-facing apps
During the study, multidisciplinary teams of healthcare professionals working in primary care networks were able to create a joined-up personalised plan of care and support for each of their patients in a fraction of the time it would normally take them, with over 5,000 self management resources and 280 personal health objectives being set and shared as part of a personalised care plan.
Healum is now inviting GP practices to be involved in a follow-on real-world study.
Dr Adrian Heald, consultant physician in diabetes and endocrinology, and chief investigator on the study, said: “A key challenge in long-term condition management is to motivate and support patients to make healthy choices and understand how to best manage their diabetes in a way that means something to them.
“It is important that when we aid our frontline teams with digital care and support planning software and patient-facing apps that we have thoroughly investigated their usage and impact in a way that looks at both the health outcomes, how the technology can be used to improve the pathway of care, and how it enhances the experience of the patient and the healthcare professional.”
Jonathan Abraham, chief executive at Healum, added: “We wanted to enable healthcare professionals to provide personalised care and support to people living with type 2 diabetes, and it has been great to see the positive impact it has had on health outcomes at this stage of the study.
“We have placed a lot of value in evaluating the efficacy of our software and apps in improving care and are grateful for all the support that Vernova CIC, Innovate UK, and the NIHR have provided in enabling us to sponsor this research.
“We look forward to sharing the results among the academic and clinical community that have a special interest in type 2 diabetes.”