In this interview, we sit down with Shaun Azam at Sweatcoin, to hear about their new partnership with NHS South West London Health & Care Partnership and their NHS Diabetes Prevention programme.
Sweatcoin was recently part of The Prevention Decathlon, talk us through this intervention and what it is about?
The Prevention Decathlon is a brand new programme, designed to help pre-diabetic patients, avoid becoming diabetic.
We co-developed a bespoke product with the NHS South West London Health & Care Partnership that is now being piloted across south west London. It has the potential to stand alongside the NHS Diabetes Prevention Programme as a highly engaging national prevention programme.
The national programme has a 27% completion rate across SWL, whilst over 90% of our participants are still engaged after 3 months, so early signs are very positive.
What role did Sweatcoin play in the Prevention Decathalon?
Type 2 diabetes management is one of the biggest costs to the NHS. There are diabetes prevention programmes available, but these suffer from poor completion rates. Our aim was to make diabetes prevention more accessible, more engaging, and ultimately deliver more impactful patient outcomes.
We worked with the NHS South West London Health & Care Partnership team to develop an entirely bespoke digital solution, tailored to the programme’s aims.
Every participant in the diabetes prevention decathlon can, if they wish, download the free app co-designed by Sweatcoin & the NHS. The app will track their physical activity through-out the 10 weeks, and each person can collect reward points for achieving minimum activity targets. We then developed a catalogue of relevant and useful rewards with Merton Public Health that people on the programme can win with their points. Rewards were chosen to accompany the programme learnings – one week the programme would teach participants at-home resistance band exercise, and the participants could then get home workout equipment with their points.
There was also a big focus on community, and enhancing social cohesion – participants could pool their points together, to make a donation to a local charity.
All of the educational and learning activities were digitised onto the app too – videos were posted to the app, summarising what the group learned that week. There was also an option to enter a quiz, to earn that week’s reward.
We are delighted with the partnership, and are so proud of what we have achieved. The next stop is further cohorts!
What were the results from this programme?
We have run two cohorts so far, both with incredible results. The existing NHS diabetes prevention programme has c. 27% completion rate. Our first cohort had 87% completion, and our second had 100% completion rate. The other results were:
- 1.39kg average weight loss per participant over 10 weeks
- 45% increase in daily step count between the start and the end of the programme
- £7 return for every £1 invested, as per the Social Value Bank evaluation completed
- 78% other ethnic groups started the programme
These incredible results ultimately result in life-changing patient outcomes for those involved. Another recognition of this is our nomination for the prestigious HSJ Value 2021 award, for ‘Diabetes Care Initiative of the Year’.
The programme was a partnership collaboration between South West London Health and Care Partnership, Sweatcoin, Harlequins Foundation and the Health Innovation Network. Can this programme be replicated and if yes, will it need similar bodies in other parts of London and beyond?
This programme was an incredible example of partnerships in action. The next step is that we are developing an “off-the-shelf” solution, to roll out these programmes across London. This will enable other parts of the NHS to replicate the programme, and ultimately replicate our incredible results.
This is not the first time that Sweatcoin has been used as a health related intervention, do you see more of this in the near future and if so, what are the areas that Sweatcoin could support?
Absolutely! We are already working on similar versions of the programme, but tweaked to target those at risk of Cardiovascular disease, those suffering from arthritis, mental health issues, and more. The opportunity of our programme is vast, and we are excited to try and impact as many patients as possible!
The Prevention Decathlon partnership came about due to Sweatcoin’s participation in the DitgitalHealth.London programme, as a leading ‘SportsTech’ product what enticed you to seek further acceleration via this programme?
We were fortunate enough to be selected onto the prestigious DigitalHeath.London accelerator programme from many applicants, as one of the most promising innovative startups set to disrupt the NHS. As a SportTech innovation, this accelerated and sped up our process of selling our product into the NHS.
The programme provided us with wider knowledge of the broad health and sector, alongside expert advice in helping us refine, develop and scale our NHS product.
Through the programme, we had the opportunity to pitch at the Health Innovation Network’s Innovation Grants launch, where we were introduced to the NHS South West London Health & Care Partnership, which ultimately resulted in a very successful partnership.