I’m pleased to be part of the team working on the Diabetes Digital Coach, which aims to help people with diabetes self-manage their condition more effectively and seamlessly using remote monitoring and coaching technology. This is delivered via a software platform offering single sign-on a menu of digital tools for self-management education, dietitian support, optimising physical activity, insulin and glucose management, and a personal health record.
The Coach will provide a new user experience for several thousand people by connecting data flows around the user’s activity in their own environment. As an NHS Test Bed project, the primary question we are asking is: “What is the impact of digital technology on improving the lives of people with diabetes?”
My company, R-Outcomes, is involved in the Diabetes Digital Coach as an evaluation partner. We will be helping to answer this question by asking users some short generic patient reported outcome measures (PROMS). PROMs capture your own rating of how you feel about aspects of your health that matter to you. When PROMs are recorded before and after an intervention, the outcome is the difference between scores before and after.
The PROMs used in the Diabetes Digital Coach that R-Outcomes have developed, are quick and easy to use. They cover: (1) health status, which is how you feel physically and mentally, how much you can do and help you need from others; (2) personal wellbeing, which is satisfaction with your life as a whole, the worthwhileness of what you do, and whether you have felt happy or anxious during the past day or so; (3) health confidence, which is how much you know about your health and care, how you feel about managing your health, access to help and shared decision-making; (4) self-care, including your ability to manage specific aspects of your health, such as diet, weight, exercise and medications; and (5) digital confidence, which includes how you feel about using new technology to look after your health.
R-Outcomes’ PROMS have been used to provide important insights into the experience of service users and staff around the country, from users of social prescribing projects in West Hampshire, to care-home staff in the East Midlands. In 2015, our PROMS were used in North East Hampshire to evaluate the wellbeing, health status and empowerment of patients taking part in the NHS “Happy, Healthy at Home” vanguard programme. On average, patients’ scores improved for every measure recorded, and these improvements were related with fewer visits to A&E, and fewer unplanned stays in hospital.
For more information on these PROMs, please contact: