diabetes care, pocket medic, Kimberley Littlemore, Type 2 diabetes



pilot service-evaluation

study undertaken by

Swansea University has

shown that watching

short health information

films online helps people living with Type

2 diabetes reduce their HbA1c.

The report which is due to be published

in the May issue of the international journal

Primary Care Diabetes, shows a clinically

significant improvement in HbA1c

among those patients who watched one

or more of PocketMedic's Living with

Diabetes films on their computer, tablet

or smartphone. A strong correlation was

observed between the number of films

watched and the amount of reduction in

HbA1c levels, with no reduction in HbA1c

observed in a group of non-watchers.

Swansea University's Professor

Jeffrey W Stephens, one of the report's

authors, says of the results: "The overall

improvement in HbA1c indicates that

those who watched the films were more

informed, motivated and committed to

change their behaviour. This small-scale

but real-world study suggests that the

prescription of an online health information

film, alongside standard treatment, can

afford significant benefits to the growing

number of people who live with one or

more chronic condition."

A total of 11 films in the PocketMedic

Living with Diabetes were in the series,

including: What is diabetes? What can

I eat? Diabetes and weight, Looking

after your feet, Stopping smoking, and

Medication and monitoring. Two Primary

Care practices identified 68 patients newly

diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and were

'prescribed' watching the films, alongside

standard treatments. A routine blood test

was repeated after a three-month period

to monitor health outcomes.

Swansea University's Dr Sam Rice,

another of the report's authors, explains:

"Digital prescriptions encourage people

to access expert health information,

practical advice and emotional support

from the comfort of their own home.

Each motivational film can be watched

by patients and carers as many times as

required and, crucially, at a time when

someone faces a new health challenge."

The study showed that 28% of the

patients watched at least one film within

three months of being 'prescribed' the

film-watching. Rice adds: "With patient

self-management widely recognised as

an increasingly important treatment it

is encouraging to see that this low cost


Digital delivery success for diabetes

and scalable solution is reaching many

more patients than would otherwise be

the case. Through further research, we

may even find that the success of the

film-watching becomes a stepping-stone

to facilitate and encourage people living

with a chronic disease to attend more

structured educational programmes."

Made in Swansea

Self-management skills are widely

recognised as an increasingly important

treatment that can have a major effect on

an individual's quality of life. Through being

better informed, people learn to make

small adjustments that, potentially, help

prevent health complications associated

with their condition.

The bite-sized, self-management

films were produced by eHealth Digital

Media in partnership with the report

authors, Professor Stephens and Dr

Rice*. Each film was reviewed by expert

patients, clinicians and frontline healthcare

professionals before distribution.

The relaxed and homely approach

of the films is designed to encourage

people to become aware of symptoms,

understand causes and recognise risks.

The highly visual and engaging content

features high-quality health information from

clinicians alongside the personal and real-life

experiences of people living with diabetes or

other chronic disease. Kimberley Littlemore,

co-founder and creative director of eHealth

Digital Media which produced the series

of films, says: "With a growing number

of people living with a long-term, chronic

condition, the PocketMedic films provide

a simple and cost-effective way of helping

people become more expert in managing

their health."

"This is an exciting time for the

PocketMedic team, says Joanna Lewis,

An example of a message

sent to a mobile, with a

clickable link to view a film

in the Pocket Media series on

prescription from GPs.


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