A series of new apps are being rolled out by NHS England for people living with diabetes to help them manage their condition during the pandemic.
The intervention comes after recent research showed people with diabetes face a significantly higher risk of dying with Covid-19 than the general population.
Specifically, people with type 1 diabetes are three-and-a-half times more at risk of death than those without the condition, while people with type 2 are at twice the risk.
However, better management of diabetes could lead to “better outcomes” for individuals, said NHS England.
Three new apps are being introduced – two for people with type 1 diabetes (Digibete and MyType1Diabetes), available from today, and one for people with type 2 diabetes that will be released later this year (Healthy Living for people with Type 2 Diabetes).
The technology offers education, training and support to help adults and children increase their confidence in managing their diabetes and maintaining healthy lifestyles.
Professor Partha Kar, national specialty advisor on diabetes for NHS England and NHS Improvement, said: “Living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes is a daily challenge for millions of people and knowing they are more at risk if they are infected with coronavirus will be worrying, but the NHS has taken action to help people and keep them safe, including the roll out of these helpful apps.
“Access to trusted information and support is key to helping people manage their diabetes and we are delighted to support these tools which will hopefully empower people to look after their own condition and reduce their risk.”
The apps were designed to “completement patients’ appointments”, many of which had been going ahead throughout the pandemic using video or telephone, and more recently in Covid-19 “protected areas”, stressed NHS England.
It added that the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme was going ahead during the crisis using platforms such as Microsoft Teams to continue to help those at risk of type 2 diabetes to reduce the chances of them developing the condition.