A new report captures – for the first time – the barriers, motivations and opportunities voiced by the UK’s type 1 diabetes community on the provision of wearable medical technology choices.
The Pathway to Choice programme, led by JDRF, aims to build awareness and access to type 1 diabetes technology choices such as insulin pumps, continuous glucose monitors, and flash glucose monitors.
The programme’s first report – anchored in new market research among people affected by type 1 diabetes – is launched today in Parliament.
Currently, only a small proportion of people in the UK living with type 1 diabetes use the range of wearable medical devices that are available on the NHS. Those who do can have their long-term health outcomes boosted. But the proportion of people with type 1 diabetes who are on an insulin pump, for example, varies from over 40 per cent in some specialist NHS services to less than five per cent in others.
The report’s findings indicate a range of complex factors behind the barriers to type 1 diabetes technology awareness and access. They include:
Education and access to information
JDRF’s market research reveals a perception among people affected by type 1 diabetes that healthcare professionals are often resource and time limited. They report that type 1 diabetes appointments – with various topics to cover – often allow little chance for a wider conversation about devices.
When asked “what do you discuss with your (or your child’s) diabetes team?”, only 34 per cent of respondents replied “technology-based treatments” compared to 68 per cent answering “HbA1c levels” and 63 per cent answering “insulin types and doses.”
When asked what area of type 1 diabetes information they are keen to receive, the most popular answer (chosen by 48 per cent) was “blood glucose management and technology options.”
Social-economic and financial
Just 18% of respondents from lower social-economic groups said they discuss technology at their clinician appointments, compared to 46% of the least deprived.
Attitudinal and physical
The report reveals that people who are happy or satisfied with their current diabetes management are more reluctant to change and adapt to technology. Change symbolises risks that some are not willing to take. Physical appearance of the technology also has a strong influence for some, when it comes to choosing whether or not to use it.
In response to these findings, the Pathway to Choice report gives recommendations in order to help remove barriers to awareness and access:
- People with type 1 diabetes should have more time with specialist healthcare professionals at appointments
- Healthcare professionals should receive mandatory training on type 1 diabetes technology
- Clinical Commissioning Groups should do more to reach people with type 1 diabetes from lower socio-economic groups
Commenting on the launch of the report, Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF in the UK, said: “JDRF believes everyone who wants and would benefit from type 1 diabetes technology should gain access to it.”
She added: “This Pathway to Choice report aims to understand the motivations and barriers people face in making treatment choices. These findings will enable us to explore the types of support people need.”
Learn more about JDRF’s Pathway to Choice programme
JDRF’s Pathway to Choice programme is in partnership with Abbott’s Diabetes Care business, Dexcom, Insulet International Ltd and Roche Diabetes Care.
About type 1 diabetes technology choices
Learn more about type 1 diabetes technology choices.