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Changing Health

Changing Health

A Spin Out company on a mission to tackle Type 2 diabetes in the UK.

At a time when 3.4 million people are diagnosed with the condition nationwide, Changing Health’s highly-personalised digital programmes are designed to equip people with, or at risk of Type 2 diabetes, with the psychological tools and information they need to make lifestyle changes that last a lifetime.

By using behavioural psychology to address unhealthy diet and exercise habits and encourage more positive choices, and pioneering AI technology to provide each individual with unique support, Changing Health has shown that Type 2 diabetes can be put into remission in as little as 12 weeks. Its individualised plans help people to not only lead healthier lives but, crucially, to sustain them in the long term.

That’s why NHS England has appointed the company to address Type 2 diabetes on a large scale. The partnership, which began in May 2019, will see the biggest roll-out of free digital support for people diagnosed with the condition, which currently costs the NHS approximately £8.8 billion every year.

After being referred to the Changing Health digital platform by their primary care team, users undertake a series of app-based learning modules designed to give them a better understanding of their health. They are then assigned a specialist lifestyle coach to guide them every step of the way for up to 12 months, after which they will have the psychological tools needed to maintain a more positive lifestyle.

Personalised support

Enabling people to receive education and support based on their needs is key to Changing Health’s success – and the company is setting the benchmark for digital therapeutics in the UK and beyond.

“Relatively few businesses have the opportunity to transform the lives of millions of people,” explains co-founder Mike Trenell, who grew the company out of Newcastle University in 2016. Changing Health is built on a decade of research conducted by Mike, who is Professor of Metabolism & Lifestyle Medicine at the University. “Type 2 diabetes is one of the biggest challenges facing the healthcare system, creating an urgent need for large-scale intervention,” he says. “Changing Health’s solution – combining new technology and behavioural change expertise – is already transforming people’s lives.”

Technological intervention

Looking to the future, Changing Health recently secured £3 million in new funding to promote healthier lifestyles with artificial intelligence. The investment has enabled the company to launch and scale a new programme for people at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, with another programme for those seeking support to manage their weight due to be launched this year. It will also put in place an industry-leading AI platform for its UK and international partners to deliver an even more personalised experience for each user by determining the social, environmental and demographic factors that are most likely to influence lifestyle habits.

Mike explains: “By harnessing easily-accessible technology, it empowers people to play a more active role in their health, relieving the burden on primary care health practitioners. The role of technology in transforming healthcare is often over-hyped and can fail to support those people with the greatest needs. The rapid success of Changing Health shows how, with the right approach, digital health can play a central role in a modern healthcare system.”

Changing Health Founders John Grumitt (left) and Mike Trenell (right).