There have been some exciting developments happening in Australia due to DESMOND’s strong international partnership.
The Australian Government Department of Health is continuing to invest in online self-management and behaviour change programs for the growing number of Australians living with or at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
It has commissioned Diabetes WA to adapt, pilot and roll out the MyDESMOND online self management programme for people living with type 2 diabetes.
The MyDESMOND type 2 online programme will become part of the National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) in 2020.
Diabetes WA is also adapting the online programme Baby Steps for Australian consumers. It has been designed to reduce the risk of future type 2 diabetes in women who have experienced gestational diabetes (GDM).
Baby Steps forms part of the evidence-based DESMOND family of programmes developed by the Leicester Diabetes Centre in the UK, an international centre of excellence in diabetes research. Australia will be the first country to commission this programme on an international stage.
Deborah Schofield, General Manager for Health Services at Diabetes WA said: “Through our strong international alliance with the Leicester Diabetes Centre, we’re delighted to announce this exciting news. The rates of GDM and type 2 diabetes are on the rise in Australia.
“Women who have had GDM are three to seven times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes within five to 10 years. It is fantastic that the Australian Government have given the go ahead to bring Baby Steps to Australia.”
Bernie Stribling, DESMOND’s Director added: “When we established our licensing arrangements with Diabetes WA our intent was that we would progressively expand the global territories in which the DESMOND programs would be made available to people at risk of or living with diabetes.
“GDM and type 2 diabetes is a worldwide epidemic, so it’s great that we’re able to take Baby Steps around the world to help prevent type 2 diabetes and introduce an Australian audience to the programme.
“With the vast distances and remote populations in Australia, this promotes equity of access to quality programs for people with, or at risk of type 2 diabetes and a great example of international collaboration.”
Baby Steps is delivered on a digital platform and available on desktop, tablet or smart phone so users can interact with the programme at their own pace and time. It includes the following features:
- Interactive learning and booster sessions to help increase knowledge and confidence about preventing type 2 diabetes, through a range of videos, quizzes and educational materials
- Intra-operability with wearable monitoring and tracking devices using Bluetooth technology e.g. Fitbit, Google Fit
- Lifestyle challenges including inviting family and friends to join and create “buddy” challenges and participate in community leader boards
- Track changes in weight, blood pressure, HbA1c, diet and cholesterol levels
- Individualised behavioural based SMART goal setting and action planning
- Online peer support area to chat with other members of the Baby Steps community
- Opportunity to ask a Health Professional any burning questions.
Baby Steps is currently in pilot phase with a national sample of women providing feedback on the program to ensure it is relevant and effective for Australian women before a national roll-out proposed for next year.
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Picture credit: Joey Csunyo