Where did the idea for Intellin come from?
Back in 2005, Chris, one of the co-founders of Gendius, was diagnosed with diabetes at the age of 50. Ironically, at the time he was working for a pharmaceutical company – in diabetes. His wife worked for a company who manufactured insulin so basically Chris thought he knew diabetes really well.
However, the amount of information available, decisions to be made and uncertainty was pretty overwhelming. At the end of the day, everyone’s diabetes is different. The idea was hatched – something was needed that would cut out all the background ‘noise’ that goes with a diagnosis of diabetes and living with it every day. Something that is useful to an individual rather than a population. Something that would help someone with diabetes to do the right thing to decrease the possibility of complications…
What’s different about Intellin?
Yes, there are loads and loads of ‘diabetes apps’ available. One thing that most of them have in common is that they will help you ‘track’ your blood glucose, blood pressure etc. Some of them let you print off reports so you can take them with you when you go to see your Nurse or Doctor.
So, they are useful for telling you where you’ve been with your diabetes, but they do not tell you where you might be going.
Intellin® is different. To get the best out of Intellin®, there are a series of questions about the sort of thing your Healthcare Professional will look at – such as blood chemistry (HDL, LDL and kidney function). It’s unlikely that you’ll know these off the top of your head, but a quick call to your practice will let you get all the information you need.
Once the information is loaded into Intellin®, a clever piece of logic then calculates where you are most likely to get complications of diabetes.
Within Intellin®, there are lots of hints, tips and educational content that help you make good choices every day to live better with your diabetes. This information is filtered so you don’t get lots of meaningless stuff – but good quality medically approved content that is applicable to your diabetes.
In summary, historically most diabetes apps have been ‘rear view mirrors’ – i.e. you can see where you’ve been. Intellin® lets you do this too, but importantly it acts as a ‘SatNav’ to help you plot the route ahead.
Does it work?
In a recent meta-analysis of thousands of diabetes ‘apps’, less than 4% were considered to have quality evidence*. In the pharmaceutical industry, there is a rigorous process that any new drug must go through before they can be prescribed by a doctor.
We set out to make sure that we had appropriate evidence that our Intellin® platform would work.
We entered government-sponsored competitions to help us get funding to test Intellin® in a similar way to pharmaceutical products. We were successful in winning significant funding.
*Mobile phone applications and self‐management of diabetes: A systematic review with meta‐analysis, meta‐regression of 21 randomized trials and GRADE https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/dom.13307
To date, we have completed a feasibility study in Gestational Diabetes (based in Northern Ireland). Which involved asking pregnant women with gestational diabetes and their clinicians to complete a questionnaire about the use of Intellinâ. The results were very positive highlighting that women with gestational diabetes are keen to actively manage their care and that the women’s understanding of gestational diabetes management was potentially under appreciated by their clinicians. The results have been used to update Intellin®. To find out more click here.
We have also completed the INDUCE (Intellin Diabetic Foot) feasibility study which involved working with Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust’s podiatry department. People attending the clinic were asked to download Intellinâ onto their smartphones, the app then gave them daily information about how to look after their feet. The results again were very positive demonstrating that Intellin® along with standard care is cost effective for preventing recurrent diabetic foot ulcers.
My diabetes is different to your diabetes
Having diabetes is a very different experience for everyone. Most people are aware of Type 1, Type 2 and Gestational Diabetes (Diabetes that happens during pregnancy) – but there are at least nine identified variations of diabetes, and some clinicians think there may be up to 300 different kinds of diabetes. So, living with diabetes can be a bit of a challenge, to say the least.
There is so much information out there too. If you type ‘diabetes’ into Google, you’ll get 356,000,000 pages of information. What can you trust and more to the point, where do you start?
At Intellin®, we set out to strip out this background noise and deliver content that is relevant to your diabetes, not everyone else’s!
You’ll find that you can personalise the home screen of the Intellin® platform. If you only want to track your blood glucose and get advice only on how best to stay within target, then you can switch everything else off. You can have as much or as little information as you like.
We’ve done a lot of patient testing with prototypes of Intellin®, and something that comes through strongly is a high level of doubt about what can be trusted, especially on the internet.
All the information that you see on Intellin® has been reviewed and signed off by our Clinical Team so you can be assured that it is appropriate. Similarly, the internal system that calculates your ‘areas of risk’ has been designed by a leading UK University and again validated by clinical academics.