With funding from the Health Innovation Challenge Fund (a joint funding programme from the Wellcome Trust and Department of Health and Social Care), Professor Lionel Tarassenko CBE FREng FMedSci undertook a programme of research starting in 2008 to design a digital health system to support patients in the self-management of a chronic condition, using key features of new smartphone technology.
The gestational diabetes version of the system (GDm-Health™) was designed from 2010 onwards in Prof. Tarassenko’s research group, with extensive input from both users and clinicians from the Nuffield Department of Women’s & Reproductive Health (University of Oxford). It comprises a smartphone app, with a Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter, for the patient; and a secure website, with optimised data presentation and alerting algorithms for healthcare professionals.
GDm-Health™ is now a prescribed digital therapeutic to optimise the management of diabetes during pregnancy (gestational diabetes) and is deployed throughout the NHS in England (and one region of the US). It was licensed to Sensyne Health in 2017. The self-management enabled by the smartphone app and the real-time remote management enabled by the backend software algorithms deliver improved outcomes for both mother and baby, as evidenced in a clinical trial: reductions in preterm births with respect to usual care, from 12.7% to 5.0%, and in the number of caesarean deliveries, from 46.1% to 26.7%.
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