TICH scoops best innovation for kids' medicine

Dr Victoria Franklin from TICH has won two awards for her innovation to provide a support network for kids with diabetes through a text messaging system called Sweet Talk.

At an award ceremony in London she beat 400 other candidates to scoop the Novo Nordisk award for best innovation in preventative medicine and the orange award for best health innovation.

Dr Franklin's system aims to keep adolescents with diabetes motivated and interested in their own health. Using SMS text messaging with system enables the diabetes team to keep in contact with the young people between clinic visits. Treatment goals related to diabetes management are set in clinic, and reinforced between visits by specific text messages of support. Young people are also able to write their won motivational messages.

In the UK, glycaemic control in teenagers with diabetes is poor - mostly related to their reluctance to regularly take their insulin. Her study looks at constructing a social support network to improve concordance with this aspect of their care.

Victoria Franklin: "Studies are underway that will hopefully show vastly improved compliance using our system. If so we will look to extend the system to the management of other habits and chronic diseases where behaviour modification is an important component such as smoking, drugs, exercise, diet and sexual behaviour."

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