Published on 15 May 2023

Automated service aimed at providing an early intervention for woman at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

A new trial has launched with the aim of providing a specific intervention to improve the uptake of testing for type 2 diabetes amongst women at a higher risk of developing the condition.

The RADIANT trial will use a new approach that automates finding and recruiting patients for randomised clinical trials (RCTs) for women who could be at risk of developing  type 2 diabetes, including those who are pregnant.

The trial is led by the University of Birmingham, Dexter and Cegedim Health Data, and funded by the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Research for Patient Benefit programme.

The project will focus on gestational diabetes, which is diagnosed in more than 30,000 women a year in the UK. 

Although in many cases gestational diabetes can go into remission after giving birth, some 50% of women who have had gestational diabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes, so all women diagnosed with it are advised to have yearly diabetes tests. However, few of them do.

A pregnant woman.

will use Dexter’s new software platform, which was developed at the University’s Institute for Applied Health Research, to identify women who are suitable for inclusion in the trial from Cegedim Health Data’s real-world database, The Health Improvement Network (THIN), which is an anonymised database of primary care records.  

Cegedim will then use its own software to check eligibility, randomise women to the intervention or control group, and send a text message reminder to women in the intervention group. This will include a link to an animation developed at the University that details the purpose of the test, what it involves, and encourages them to book a diabetes test with their GP.

Dr Francesca Crowe, Lecturer in Epidemiology and Health Informatics, leading the trial, said: “Standard randomised controlled trials (RCTs) rely on manual methods to identify and include patients, which makes the process time-consuming and costly. Our aim in this trial is to validate that a data-driven approach offers better outcomes as well as time and cost savings, and we will also find out whether the text message and animation are acceptable and good value for money.”

Samir Dhalla, Head of THIN, Cegedim Healthcare Solutions, said: “As a long-standing partner of both the University of Birmingham and the NHS at large, we are delighted to be involved in their exemplar RADIANT study, which we also hope will mark a new era for data-driven, randomised controlled trials.”

Dr Crowe added: “We are using just a small subset of the wealth of data that is captured in electronic patient records, and we hope that this first study is one of many more to come.” 

Participants in the RADIANT trial have been selected and NHS Ethics approval is in process to progress the active invention arm of the study. 

Read more about the RADIANT trial
Read more about type 2 diabetes

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