UK launches first digital support tool for NHS Tier 3 Weight Management Services to tackle obesity
W8Buddy (WeightBuddy), a new digital support tool that can help patients achieve clinically meaningful weight loss has been launched by University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust (UHCW). W8Buddy provides patients with a personalised weight management plan supporting an individual and their family or carers to develop attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and skills to self-manage their health. The key features of the program include structured education, behavioural change activities or resources, meal, and exercise logging, and coaching to support lifestyle modifications including diet, improving physical activity, quitting smoking and losing weight. The platform has a clinician dashboard that provides real-time progress to clinical teams.
W8Buddy has been specifically developed for NHS Tier 3 Weight Management Services (T3WMS) - a specialist obesity service comprising of dietitians, psychologists, and physicians, who work with people who have struggled for a long time to lose weight possibly and considering bariatric surgery.
Developed by DDM Health, providers of NHS-trusted digital platforms, W8Buddy is a bespoke version of Gro Health, the highest-rated health app in the UK. DDM Health worked with Dr Petra Hanson, National Institute for Health Research Clinical Lecturer in Diabetes and Endocrinology, who led the project on behalf of UHCW inspired and co-created with patients.
“This is an incredibly exciting innovation that will transform the way we deliver care. W8Buddy was not only inspired by our patients, but also co-created with our patients alongside the clinical team in a truly unique collaboration,” explained Dr Hanson. “We hope this new digital support tool empowers our patients and leads to meaningful health improvements.”
Each user’s experience is tailored to a user’s goal, accessibility and literacy needs, language, disease profile, ethnicity, age, gender and location. With over 60 modules tailored to the individual’s needs, the service is available in 12 languages with culturally sensitive meal plans, resources and marketing developed with inclusivity and representation of the diverse populations it seeks to serve.
“This is our link into the specialists that have spent many lifetimes learning and developing what works,” said patient advocate Richard Green, who helped the team develop the tool from a patient’s perspective. “My background in IT and the fact that I am a type two diabetic patient who’d struggled with my weight hopefully helped the team understand what it was like to have tried lots of weight loss programmes and failed. W8Buddy is a game changer, it speeds up every element of the pathway meaning countless more patients can be helped.”
Gro Health is available on the web, iOS, Android, smart watch, Fire TV, voice-activated assistants and smart speakers. It is approved by the NHS (DTAC-approved) and the highest-rated health app in the UK (Orcha, 97%).
“We are delighted to continue our partnership with University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire NHS Trust to empower patients to achieve clinically meaningful weight loss with our AI-powered precision digital health platform,” added Charlotte Summers, founding Chief Operations Officer at DDM Health.
DDM Health provide digital health interventions to over 1.8 million active users and is recognised by the Healthcare UK/Department of International Trade as a Top 100 Digital Health Company.
For more information, please click here or search for Gro Health in the App Store.