Chris Edson, the founder of healthy living app OurPath, has claimed that his app will save the UK’s national healthcare system, the NHS, £525 million by 2020.
The app uses cognitive behavioural therapy, a talking treatment that examines the things you think and do to find solutions on how you can improve your life in a healthy way. It works by matching patients with a personal OurPath mentor, a dietician available 24/7, and a group of around 10 others also on the programme to encourage progress.
Does it Work?
So far it’s a success. Edson said that the app’s users see sustained weight loss of around 7kg on average, reducing their risk of diabetes by 70%. And it has even partnered with Roche, a pharmaceutical company, to enrol 750,000 people in the UK on the program over the next five years.
The National Institute for Clinical Excellence says that methods providing 3kg of sustained weight-loss are cost effective if they cost £1000 or less. And with OurPath costing just over £300 to keep 7kg off per person’s lifetime, it’s easy to see how savings can be made. Edson said the £700 difference for each person on the program until 2020 will save the NHS £525 million.
Why is it Not Nationalised?
The NHS is usually slow to adopt digital health solutions due to regulations, required approvals, trials and data security concerns. However, having seen the app’s success in helping 500 patients since its launch in June 2016, it’s begun to see the app’s value. And so it recently partnered with OurPath to treat 1000 patients.
To conclude, OurPath seems to be a cost-effective way to prevent and control symptoms of type 2 diabetes compared to existing methods. Although regulations are preventing it from being used on a national basis just yet, it has plans underway for wider NHS usage and a global rollout.
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