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Peer support platform for children and young people with Type 1 diabetes

Posted: 24th February 2021

We continue our series of stories about child health innovators in the run up to next week’s Child Health Technology Conference (#CHT2021). In this article, we focus on Leeds-based DigiBete and their support service to help young people affected by Type 1 Diabetes and their families. 

The pandemic has taken a huge toll on the health sector this year, and the healthcare industry has had to pivot and adapt to the lockdown restrictions. This change has been especially important for clinics and support networks, who were no longer able to offer patients and families facetoface support.  

Born out of founders Maddie and Rob Julian’s experience of being parents of a child with Type 1 diabetes, DigiBete is a unique, community-led, self-management platform and app set up to:  

  • Provide tailored videos and educational training to help support children, young people and their families self-manage diabetes, 24/7 
  • Support patients and families through a clinictopatient communication system that enables clinics to help patients remotely 
  • Keep up to date insulin records, health care plans and appointments 

DigiBete was enrolled on our inaugural Propel@YH programme, Yorkshire and Humber’s first regional digital health accelerator, which supports organisations from across the world to bring their innovative digital health solutions to the region’s patients and the wider health economy. Since completing Propel in 2019, DigiBete’s app has been commissioned nationally by the NHS Diabetes Programme as part of the COVID-19 emergency response to support patients and families. DigiBete is now a vital part of care and has been adopted by 93% of paediatric clinics across the UK. 

Because of the pandemic, many clinics are having to limit the number of appointments they make available to patients. DigiBete has been able to offer digital peer support on the app, providing young people with the much-needed encouragement they require to self-manage their condition. Healthcare professionals can also create groups or teams for patients, based on commonalities within their diabetes unique clinic function, which then allows young people to receive personalised support. 

“No one could have predicted the wider implications that the pandemic could have on child health and self-management habits.There has been a profound effect on care. Healthcare Professionals have realisedthat they need to communicate and support young people and families in a different way. We are so pleased to offer this innovative app to the NHS, as we know just how important tailored care is, especially in the first few years following diagnosis”. 

With support from NIHR’s Children and Young People’s medtech co-operative, IBM and four hospital trustDigiBete is now working on a wider collaborative project to create the first dedicated chatbot to help those transitioning their care from paediatric to adult services to access better support.   

For more info on supporting people and families with Type 1 diabetes please contact 

Find out more about DigiBete.