Rochdale Diabetes Campaign

Encouraging the diabetic population across Rochdale to support management of their condition through digital health apps


Since 2022, our work within Rochdale place has been primarily focused on direct to population activities supporting long term conditions, and mental health support across the primary care health system. The direct to population approaches have been delivered through a combination of E-comms via text batching from GP surgeries, and use of carefully curated ‘landing pages’ to target specific cohorts within Rochdale place.

Within the long-term condition focus, diabetes and diabetes prevention have been a specific target group for Rochdale place, given the prevalence of 8.8% within the local adult population against a national average of 7.3% (based on NHS Quality Outcome Framework 2021/22).


To cater to the needs of the population, we curated a collection of digital health apps designed to address various health and wellness requirements associated with diabetes. The apps underwent a thorough selection process with guidance from our clinical team, who pinpointed those most beneficial for empowering individuals to self-manage aspects of their condition.

After finalising the app selection, we generated text content with direct links to the chosen apps. Collaborating with Primary Care Networks throughout Rochdale, we subsequently distributed these texts directly to individuals identified as having diabetes.


Over the period May 2023 to October 2023, utilising the text-batch campaign, we saw over 2,400 downloads achieved, equivalent to 400 apps per month. This equates to 11% of the targeted population. If this was extrapolated across a full-year effect (circa.4,800 Downloads), we would reach 23% of those adults identified in the prevalence data (circa 21,000 adults) who either have been diagnosed with diabetes or are at a pre-diabetic stage.

Of note, is the evidence-based impact and benefit of use of the range of Apps deployed during these campaigns for diabetic and pre-diabetic patients. Over a period of five months, the three most downloaded diabetes apps were identified. Among them, the Low Carb Programme, which has been proven to improve diabetes management. Studies have shown that the app helps reduce HBA1c levels to less than 6.5% across the research group. After using the Low Carb Programme for a year, the number of participants reporting an HBA1c level of less than 6.5% increased from 25.7% to 50.3%.

Links to Research

In research that ORCHA has previously conducted it was found that blood glucose levels amongst those with Type 2 Diabetes can be reduced by up to 1.1% when patients use digital health tools alongside their standard medication.

Patients with Type 1 Diabetes can reduce their blood sugar (HbA1c), on average, by 0.5%. In 21 out of the 25 trials, patients using digital health tools to supplement their care achieved better HbA1c results. In 20 out of the 25 trials, there were additional reported reductions in cholesterol levels, blood pressure and Body Mass Index. Amongst those with Type 2 Diabetes, the improvements in blood sugar levels were similar to the benefits patients receive when using Metformin, a commonly used medicine to lower blood sugar levels which is often the first line of treatment for the condition.

Although researchers expect a drop-out rate of 40% when patients trial digital tools, there were lower drop-out rates when the people with diabetes used them, at 20%. In the trials, the average duration of diabetes for those using digital health was 12.49 years and the average age was 52.

If you would like to read more information about this study, click the link:

If you would like to visit the campaign page or browse our library of health apps please visit: