GDm-HealthTM: real-time management of gestational diabetes

Dr Lucy Mackillop, Dr Jane Hirst (Nuffield Department of Women’s and Reproductive Health)

Professor Lionel Tarassenko, Dr Carmelo Velardo (Department of Engineering Science)

Katy Bartlett (John Radcliffe Hospital)

Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) affects 5%-16% of all pregnancies in the UK and can lead to complications for the mother and baby if blood glucose (BG) is not tightly controlled. Women require hospital visits every 1-2 weeks. The cost and burden of GDM for both the NHS and the patient are high.

The GDm-Health management system provides real-time management of GDM without the need for such frequent hospital appointments. The system was co-designed by engineers and clinicians with patients. It comprises a smartphone app, with a Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter, for the patient; and a secure website, with optimised data presentation and alerting algorithms, for healthcare professionals. The app automatically transmits the blood glucose measurements to the website, along with annotations entered by the patient. In addition, the app provides visual feedback on blood glucose control to the patient. The system has built-in capability for communication between healthcare professionals and the patient, using messaging to support self-management.

GDm-Health has been extensively evaluated and is associated with significantly higher patient satisfaction, reduced caesarean sections and cost savings. GDm-Health has been licensed to Drayson Health in a strategic partnership that allows royalties to be invested back into the University and NHS Trust.