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Elmwood Accelerator Hub Signs Award-Winning Diabetes Platform

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08 Aug 2018

Elmwood, the world’s most effective brand design consultancy located in Leeds, has signed DigiBete, an award-winning, patient-centred video sharing platform and educational resource about Type 1 Diabetes, as the maiden entrepreneurs for its 12-week accelerator programme, Elmwood LaunchPod.

The free to access national Diabetes platform, DigiBete.org, celebrated its launch in February 2018 and has received much acclaim since, including winning the ‘Best Use of Technology and Social Media’ at the Leeds Hospital's NHS Trust ‘Time to Shine’ awards and is now attracting global appeal, being used in 92 countries.

Created by two parents, Maddie and Rob Julian, in full collaboration with the Leeds Paediatric Diabetes Team after the diagnosis of their son aged just 20 months, the DigiBete platform is co-designed with families and healthcare professionals to help support children, young people and families self-manage their Type 1 Diabetes.

With the incidence of Type 1 Diabetes growing at a significant rate, particularly in children under five and an estimated 400,000 people affected in the UK and over 29,000 of them children, the UK has one of the highest rates of Type 1 Diabetes in the world.

Type 1 Diabetes care has traditionally been via regular NHS appointments with Diabetes teams and paper-based, adult biased educational materials and Type 2 Diabetes focused. Group education sessions offered to patients are often not well attended due to time away from school or reluctance to meet in a group environment.

The DigiBete initiative aims to raise awareness of Type 1 Diabetes and address and remove the barriers to good Diabetes care. Resource content is co-designed with patients and families, clinically accurate, peer-reviewed and in line with the NHS Digital safety standard SCCI0129. 

Sarah Dear, managing partner at Elmwood and managing director of Elmwood LaunchPod, said: “We’ve had a positive response to the consumer health accelerator programme and are delighted to announce DigiBete as our first confirmed participants. We want to make a real difference by bringing emerging ideas to market that will lead the way in consumer health experiences and help position Yorkshire as one of the UK’s leading innovation hubs contributing to the region’s economy.” 

Maddie & Rob Julian, Co-Founders of DigiBete, commented: “We’re thrilled to be involved with Elmwood LaunchPod and are looking forward to the next stage of developing our company to help people and families self-manage their Type 1 Diabetes. This fits very well with our creative aims, where we can work in an environment that really values the arts alongside science and technology. We’re constantly innovating this valuable resource and seeking ways to expand and extend our digital approach and look forward to developing the DigiBete brand with the support of Elmwood.”

Further successful applicants for the programme will be announced once the interview process has been completed.

The results of a recent survey commissioned by Elmwood to understand the importance people place on proactively managing their health and wellbeing found that 87% of respondents believe that individuals should take a more proactive approach to manage their own health and wellbeing. The survey findings show the huge gap in the market for creative healthcare. Elmwood LaunchPod is an accelerator aimed to develop businesses that fill this precise gap. Working with innovative start-ups, Elmwood LaunchPod is a 12-week accelerator which aims to help consumer health businesses to grow and use ‘design thinking’ to revolutionise the healthcare industry. Full survey results can be found at https://launchpod.elmwood.com/think-health-think-creative