Developing Evidence for Adoption of a Promising Tele-monitoring Intervention
Project Leads
Dr Peter
Dr Ruth B
acigalupo (Obesity theme)

Obesity is a global epidemic with serious health complications such as Type 2 diabetes. Seven out of ten Britons could be overweight or obese by 2020 producing high health and economic costs. Telehealth interventions are beginning to be used for weight loss. Those that provide feedback to the user that aid self-management have been more successful. And, greater patient self-management holds the hope of affordable interventions to reduce or prevent increasing BMI and diabetes.

Project Summary

The intent is to conduct a randomised control trial of a promising intervention (involving tele-monitoring) in South Yorkshire. It will by necessity address issues in adoption by local health services and contribute evidence, for or against, its use by the NHS in the UK. Representatives of patients, volunteering from the public, will be recruited as advisors throughout the trial; this is in addition to the participants' feedback about the intervention and the technology. Collaboration with local health service weight management staff is also necessary.


A literature search and attendance at telehealth events lead to the identification of a European portable device aimed at reducing obesity. The intervention uses the device to monitor the diet and exercise, and to provide some direct feedback. In published papers the intervention has demonstrated some success for weight loss for overweight and obese people; and, for such people who also have diabetes, reduced their average blood glucose by a clinically beneficial amount. Dialogue with weight management contacts in Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield health services has shown there is interest in exploring the use of this device in service through co-operation in a trial.

CLAHRC Themes involved in the project

  • TaCT
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes

CLAHRC Project Partners
University of Sheffield
Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS FT

Tele-monitoring Intervention
Project Update - Most Recently Updated February 2012

A systematic review of the literature on randomised controls trials on near equivalent devices (i.e. portable devices that involve tele-monitoring and clinical input) to support weight loss has been written (currently being revised). This has revealed slightly better than moderate evidence for clinically beneficial weight loss (and in one case, reduced average blood glucose levels as well.) Simon Heller, Professor of Clinical Diabetes, after seeing the published results with clinically beneficial reduction of average blood glucose, has supported the idea to move to conducting a UK trial using for comparison the standard care (known as DESMOND). CLAHRC-SY Diabetes theme have now joined the project team.

Funding has been sought to culturally translate the intervention to the UK. If successful, this will mean that language, dietary norms, service adoption issues and patient conformance to use of the device and data entry, will all be studied.