More people at risk of diabetes could be detected thanks to innovative new partnership

A tool developed by Leicester Diabetes Centre to identify those at risk of diabetes is set to be used in workplaces and communities to ensure more people receive help earlier.

It is hoped the Leicester Diabetes Risk Score will also help to reduce health inequalities thanks to a new partnership which will allow for greater access to the programme.

SiSU Health, a digital health technology company, has teamed up with the Leicester Life Science Accelerator (LLSA) to increase access to the Leicester Diabetes Risk Score around the UK through the SiSU health check.

The Leicester Diabetes Risk Score, which was developed by Professor Laura Gray, is recommended by NICE and is used by Diabetes UK for the identification of those at risk of the condition.

It is used to identify people who may be at high risk of diabetes or currently have undiagnosed Type 2 diabetes using data on age, sex, BMI, ethnicity, family history of diabetes and anti-hypertensive use.

The risk score will now be incorporated into the SiSU Health solution, enabling more people to check their risk of developing diabetes via the self-service medical device.

Professor Melanie Davies CBE, Professor of Diabetes Medicine at the University of Leicester and Co-Director of the Leicester Diabetes Centre, said: “The partnership between SiSU Health and the LLSA will enable greater roll-out of the Leicester Diabetes Risk Score, with the potential to improve health inequalities.

“Early intervention can be crucial in terms of health outcomes, so the earlier we see people who fall into this risk category, the better. By working proactively, and going into workplaces and community hubs, we increase our chances of the early detection of type 2 diabetes and the risk of the condition.”

Professor Gray, Professor of Medical Statistics at the University of Leicester, said: “This latest development will increase access to the Leicester Diabetes Risk Score and importantly, will gather important data among different population groups and communities, helping to shape how we respond to type 2 diabetes risk.”

Samantha Fay, CEO of SiSU Health, said: “This is a partnership with strong alignments and exciting potential. The partnership will bring together the University of Leicester’s world-leading diabetes risk tool and research and SiSU Health’s digital platform, enabling opportunistic screening for diabetes risk, in the community and workplaces, with a particular focus on reaching those impacted by health inequalities.

“The SiSU Health Station has delivered more than four million self-service, machine-measured health checks globally. The addition of risk tools such as the Leicester Diabetes Risk Score to the SiSU health check machine measurement of blood pressure, BMI and body fat delivers the most accurate and scalable way to non-invasively screen cardiometabolic risk across diverse populations.

“Digital platforms such as SiSU Health can provide high accessibility, reduce coverage gaps and scale where other approaches such as the NHS health check simply cannot.

Services provided to people where they live their lives achieve high engagement and enable more effective self-care and integrated support, but can also revolutionise the way that service providers such as the NHS can use data to allocate and target support for whole populations, including the most deprived.”

James Finney is Head of the LLSA, a £1.4 million ERDF (European Regional Development Fund) programme at the University of Leicester that links Leicestershire businesses in the life sciences and healthcare sector to academics and clinicians to accelerate innovation.

He said: “SiSU Health has been working with the LLSA to facilitate access to the Leicester Diabetes Risk Score and is looking to incorporate the algorithm into the SiSU Health solution in 2023 to support the early detection of people at risk of developing diabetes.”

The world-renowned Leicester Diabetes Centre is answering the global challenge of type 2 diabetes and long-term conditions through world-leading research, education and innovation.

Based at Leicester General Hospital, the centre is a collaboration between the University of Leicester and University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust.

Founded in 2012, the centre is home to the award-winning DESMOND and EDEN programmes that ensure the findings of LDC’s innovative research continues to achieve impact beyond the research setting.