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Innovation, Scandinavia

Health Integrator: supporting the prevention of type 2 diabetes

29th May 2024

EIT Health-supported start-up, Health Integrator, demonstrate significant progress in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes among participants.

EIT Health’s partner Region Stockholm initiated a preventive effort against type 2 diabetes funded by a unique Health Impact Bond, to bridge the financial gap between investing in prevention and its outcome. The project targeting individuals aged 50-60 at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, achieving promising results after 24 months. Over half of the participants who underwent blood sugar measurement are no longer at risk of type 2 diabetes. Read the 24-month report.

54% are out of the risk zone for diabetes.
70% has improved their HbA1c levels
85% experience better mental health and quality of life
67% risk reduction of developing type 2 compared to if they had not received intervention

 

About Health Integrator

Health Integrator is a digital service for those who are at risk of chronic diseases or who are experiencing mental health issues. They assist individuals in making sustainable changes to their lifestyle habits with the support of a health coach. Health Integrator help people move from risk to wellness through preventive, personalised health interventions.

Background
Health Integrator collaborated with Region Stockholm to launch a long-term preventive initiative against type 2 diabetes. The project aimed to assist individuals aged 50-60, at risk of developing type 2 diabetes, through a multi-year health program. The project’s inception involved recognizing the rising prevalence of type 2 diabetes and the need for innovative preventive measures. A consortium comprising Region Stockholm, Skandia, SEB, and Health Integrator worked together to implement this preventive initiative. The project set out to achieve a significant reduction in the number of individuals at risk of type 2 diabetes through lifestyle interventions and digital health services. 54% are no longer in the risk zone of T2 diabetes (pre-diabetic), 70% has improved their glucose level and 85% experience a better quality of life and mental health.

The Scientific Challenge
The project delved into the scientific complexities of preventing type 2 diabetes through lifestyle modifications and digital health interventions. The primary focus was on investigating the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes among individuals aged 50-60. This involved analysing data from blood sugar measurements and tracking participants’ progress over time. The project aimed to fill existing gaps in understanding the impact of lifestyle changes on type 2 diabetes risk and develop evidence-based strategies for preventive care.

Before the project commenced, there was limited knowledge about the long-term effectiveness of lifestyle interventions in preventing type 2 diabetes among individuals at risk. The project sought answers to critical questions regarding the efficacy of lifestyle interventions, the role of digital health platforms in preventive care, and the financial viability of preventive health initiatives.

Execution
The project was meticulously executed through a combination of personalised interventions and digital health services. Participants received comprehensive support and follow-up over five years, facilitated through a digital platform offering various health services. Health educators provided personalised recommendations and guidance to participants, helping them adopt healthier lifestyles and manage their diabetes risk effectively. Region Stockholm collaborated closely with financial partners Skandia and SEB, leveraging innovative financial models to fund the preventive initiative. Health Integrator played a crucial role as the service provider for the digital platform, ensuring seamless delivery of health services to participants.

Results
The results of the project demonstrated significant progress in reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes among participants. Over half of the participants who underwent blood sugar measurement after 24 months are no longer at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The project also witnessed improvements in participants’ overall health, including increases in the proportion of individuals with normal weight and reductions in BMI values. Lifestyle interventions focused on physical activity, diet, and stress management contributed to these positive outcomes. The collaborative effort between Region Stockholm, financial partners, and service providers proved successful in delivering effective preventive care and improving patient outcomes. The project’s success underscores the importance of collaborative initiatives in addressing complex health challenges and highlights the potential of innovative financial models in funding preventive healthcare initiatives. Region of Stockholm calculate a yearly saving of 140 million €, equivalent to 2400 nurses if scaling up the project.

How EIT Health has supported Health Integrator

The pilot study is conducted in collaboration between Region Stockholm and Karolinska Institutet within the framework of a European project, Healthmovement, led by RISE (Research Institutes of Sweden) and funded by EIT Health. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the design and effect of the Health Integrator. In parallel a feasibility study so called Health Impact Bond, or outcome contract, was done with project partners in Spain, UK, Netherlands, and Hungary.  The model is based on sharing risk and value between different actors and supporting the development of innovative preventive efforts to avoid increased costs in the future.

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