Worldwide group to supply at-home coaching for sufferers with diabetes

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The newly created MOTIVATE-T2D team will connect people with type 2 diabetes to health professionals through wearable technology and online training coaching.

The funding connects UBCO and UK researchers to develop novel technologies

A UBC Okanagan professor is the Canadian leader of a team of 13 that recently won an internationally competitive award of $ 1 million to accelerate diabetes research.

Dr. Ali McManus, a professor at the School of Health and Exercise Sciences, says both British and Canadian researchers have impressive records in diabetes research. In 2019, the Canadian Health Research Institutes, in partnership with the UK Medical Research Council, launched a novel funding opportunity to pool each country’s efforts to improve the lives of people with type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes is a chronic condition where sugar or glucose levels build up in a person’s bloodstream, says Dr. McManus. By 2022, 2.16 million new cases of diabetes are expected in Canada, leading to a projected health care cost of $ 15.36 billion associated with treating the disease.

“Being physically active and exercising is critical to managing type 2 diabetes,” she adds. “Exercise helps people with diabetes control their blood sugar and reduce other serious health risks associated with the condition.”

However, she admits that it is difficult for many people to keep exercise. Research is needed to find new ways to help people exercise on a regular basis. The unique fund that will bring the team together is designed to support world-leading collaborative research aimed at making exercise easier for people with type 2 diabetes.

Building on the existing partnership, the interdisciplinary team will conduct the MOTIVATE-T2D clinical trial in Kelowna and Liverpool, UK. In MOTIVATE-T2D, participants train at home while feedback is provided to an exercise specialist using mobile technology. This person will advise and personalize the exercise prescription to maximize health benefits.

Participants with type 2 diabetes will receive cloud-connected heart rate monitors and receive tailored feedback from an exercise specialist so that they can start and stick with the exercise over a period of a year. Because the exercise is done at home and the counseling is virtual, the Kelowna team is recruiting participants from across Canada for this research study.

The development of the innovative consulting for mobile technologies was developed by a team of interdisciplinary experts, including behavioral change scientist Dr. Mary Jung, exercise physiologist and diabetes researcher Dr. Jonathan Little, the endocrinologist and clinician Dr. Charlotte Jones as well as public health and clinic trialist Dr. Joel Singer.

The British team is led by Dr. Matthew Cocks, who will conduct the same study for people in Liverpool and enable comparisons between delivery and results in each country.

“More than ever, we need to meet the needs of people with type 2 diabetes by helping them manage their condition from home. We are very excited that this evidence-based technology enables us to offer high quality care from the comfort of your own home. “

According to McManus, the multidisciplinary team will work across disciplines and oceans, pursuing a strategic goal to accelerate diabetes research and improve the lives of people with diabetes in Canada and the UK.

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