Healthtech firm receives Innovate UK backing for diabetes research

ealthtech company Cognitant Group has won a grant from Innovate UK to conduct a diabetes research programme in Colombia, as part of the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF). 

The aim of this project, in partnership with Oxford Brookes University and the Hospital Universitario San Ignacio in Bogota, Colombia, is to improve the self-management of health among people with diabetes in Colombia by delivering avatar-based educational experiences.

This project was developed to address the growing number of adults with diabetes in Colombia, estimated at nearly 3 million in 2017 by the International Diabetes Federation. The health costs of diabetes in Colombia now exceed $2 billion a year. 

Research indicates that many of the long-term complications associated with diabetes are preventable by optimising glycaemic control. This project will therefore run a feasibility study to evaluate the potential of an avatar-based educational programme to improve patients’ awareness of their health, including understanding of their condition, the effects of treatment, and strategies for effective management. 

Dr Tim Ringrose, CEO of Cognitant Group, said: “We are thrilled to be working in partnership with Oxford Brookes University and the Hospital Universitario San Ignacio in Bogota, Colombia on such an important project. The growth in prevalence of diabetes with its significant impact on health outcomes and healthcare costs is a huge concern. We are keen to see whether immersive educational experiences can help to tackle this issue in Colombia and to explore how this could be extended to other regions.”

It is hoped that, by offering clear and engaging clinical information, the project will see a positive impact on patients’ self-management and, consequently, their health outcomes. 

Dr Clare Martin, co-investigator from Oxford Brookes University, added: “We are delighted to be working with Cognitant Group on this exciting new project. It is also an excellent opportunity to continue our diabetes technology research collaboration with the Hospital Universitario San Ignacio.”

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