DigiBete is a digital video platform to share educational resources about Type 1 Diabetes to support children, young people and families to self manage their diabetes.
After their son was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes, Maddie and Rob Julian set up about forming DigiBete as a collaboration between a clinical team and a parent led initiative. Now a multi-award winning, clinically approved platform, we spoke to Maddie and Rob to find out how their own experiences led them to set up this groundbreaking social enterprise.
“Although we received great help and training from the hospital to help us manage our son’s condition when he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes, it was clear our wider family also needed to understand this complex condition to ensure they were confident when looking after him too,” says Maddie. “We decided to create a platform that would extend the support, education and training the NHS provides so that it was available to the type 1 community 24/7.”
Rob’s 20 years of experience in media and film production, alongside Maddie’s 15 year in working with commercial arts and educational projects meant they had the know-how to set up the digital video platform, but they needed the clinical assurance and resource from a dedicated NHS team.
In search of more training and education, the couple turned to the diabetes team at Leeds Children’s Hospital, who saw the value in creating such a platform and provided the help, resource and education with clinical assurance to help benefit families in similar positions.
“Together with the support of clinicians, patients and their families at Leeds Children’s Hospital, we’ve developed a vast range of online resources including videos and toolkits so that families have access to information on diabetes management 24 hours a day, seven days a week,” says Rob. This has been further amplified by the support the DigiBete team has been able to access through Platform’s Tech Hub.
“Being based in a tech-focused environment like Platform there is a real sense of community and everyone is happy to help. It’s a great place to meet, be inspired and get things done,” says Rob. “We recently worked with mHabitat to develop a strong clinical risk management system, having others in the building who share this digital approach to improving healthcare is a real benefit.”
Now available in 99 languages and used in 100 countries worldwide, DigiBete has been selected by the National Lottery to take part in their People’s Projects initiative, where they will compete with four other organisations in the region for funding to help them continue the vital work they are doing.
“Our ambition is to be a globally recognised, leading provider of healthcare for children and young people; engaging with our patients and their families to make our services and their experience the best they can be. Our holistic approach focuses on ensuring that children receive the best possible clinical care while supporting them to live their best life and to achieve their key milestones,” says Maddie.