PATIENTS in North Yorkshire will be among the first in England to be offered innovative digital technology to help combat type-two diabetes and obesity.

NHS England has launched a nationwide pilot scheme in which 5,000 overweight people at risk of type-two diabetes will be offered apps, gadgets and other digital products and support to help them exercise more and eat more healthily.

The Priory Medical Group, which operates nine GP surgeries across York, has been selected to take part in the12-month pilot initiative, which could pave the way for a national digital weight-loss scheme in the future.

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Over the next six months, the group - a member of the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group - will identify suitable patients and invite them to take part.

Participants will have access to one-on-one sessions with online health coaches, online support groups and a dedicated app to set and monitor exercise and diet goals.

Some patients will also receive wearable technology, such as activity-tracking wristbands and smart weighing scales, to help them monitor activity levels and be paired with a health mentor.

GP Dr Emma Broughton said: “It’s fantastic news that these digital tools will be available to help prevent diabetes and obesity in the Vale of York as these are today’s major public health challenges."