A smartphone app and
wrist-worn heart rate monitor is helping patients with type 2
diabetes get the exercise they need to cut blood sugar
A Queensland study will test whether patients with type 2
diabetes can slash blood sugar levels and improve overall health
using a watch measuring heart rate and a smartphone app to guide
their daily exercise regimen.
The research harnesses the latest technology to educate
people with type 2 diabetes about how much regular exercise they
need, and at what intensity, to improve blood glucose control and
University of Queensland researcher Jeff Coombes
(pictured) said study participants would be
taught about a relatively new concept known as Personal Activity
Intelligence, or PAI - pronounced "pie".
PAI is a scientifically backed metric, designed by
Norwegian researchers, based on heart rate tracking during exercise
to optimise health. Queensland scientists have teamed with the
Norwegian PAI developers for the diabetes study.
Professor Coombes, the director of UQ's Centre for
Research on Exercise, Physical Activity and Health, said research
volunteers would aim to collect 100 PAI points a week, calculated
by the PAI Connect app.
University of Queensland's Professor Jeff Coombes, the director
of UQ's Centre for Research on Exercise, Physical Activity and
Health, who is involved in a study using new technology to improve
blood glucose levels in type 2 diabetes patients.
The app, which takes into account a person's age and gender, can
be downloaded for free.
"There's evidence that if you do exercise to get your heart rate
up, then that's going to be more beneficial for your health," Prof
The researchers have already recruited 20 adults with type 2
diabetes for the three-month trial, funded by the Diabetes
Australia Research Trust, but need 10 more.
Participants' blood glucose and fitness levels will be tested
before and after the study.
Half the study volunteers will undergo four, two-hour training
sessions on using the watch and app. Their results will be compared
to a control group.
"This research could help doctors
prescribe meaningful exercise to assist the management of type 2
Diabetes Queensland chief executive Sturt Eastwood said the
smart phone app, which collected data from a wrist-worn heart-rate
monitor, would take some of the guesswork out of the type of
exercise, and the intensity needed, to lower blood glucose
"This research could help doctors prescribe meaningful exercise
to assist the management of type 2 diabetes in much the same way
they currently write out a script for medication," Mr Eastwood
Study participant Janice Lewis, 55, who retired earlier this
year, said she had lost four kilos and "dramatically" reduced the
amount of insulin needed to control her blood glucose levels since
starting the trial.
Janice Lewis, who has type 2 diabetes and is taking part in a
University of Queensland research program using a phone phone app
and a wrist-worn heart rate monitor to teach people how to get
enough exercise to improve blood sugar levels.
Mrs Lewis, who was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes 15 years ago,
said she walked about 4km a day - 30 minutes morning and evening -
varying her pace from moderate intensity to brisk exercise to
achieve the required 100 PAI a week.
"I'd never exercised, ever," she said. "I wanted to achieve a
healthier lifestyle. The whole process of using the watch and the
phone app is motivating. I love it, I absolutely love it.
"If you're committed to it, you'll get the results. I would
recommend it. I'm sure by the end of this year I'll be 200 per cent
To take part in the study: paifordiabetes.com or phone 0439 021
This story was originally published in the The Courier
Mail. Picture: Patria Jannides