Government seeks expressions of interest for design of £5m obesity app

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Incentivised apps would use fiscal rewards to increase levels of physical activity and improve dietary choices mass adults.

The government has launched a £5m intrigue to design and test incentivised apps with the aim of reducing obesity levels and rehabilitating the dietary habits among UK adults.

Crucially incentives should catalogue financial rewards, the Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC) influences, as evidence suggests that impact is only seen when a prize mechanism is in place.

“The challenge for Government in tackling obesity is such that tremendously ambitious programmes and strategies will need to be deployed now,” the department reckons.

The scheme comes after the government’s earlier announcement that it discretion help support people with obesity. The NHS estimates that 1 in every 4 UK of ages is affected by obesity and around 1 in every 5 children aged 10 to 11.

Agreeing to the government, the nationwide NHS costs attributable to obesity and obesity-related issues are set to reach £9.7 billion by 2050.


Appealing “harder to reach” groups

“We are interested to understand how existing app-based inducements schemes could be adapted to facilitate sustained behaviour change in the yards of physical activity and diet,” DHSC says.

While the government worry expects measures such as step counts, pedometers and food purchasing text, it says it is “keen to explore new or innovative measures”.

The plan is still in its early daises and DHSC is looking for interest from potential suppliers. These details include SMEs and Voluntary, Community and Social enterprises (VCSEs).

Inclined the financial reward aspect, the scheme is targeting adults, but the department conjectures it would consider solutions for families and children if “a compelling case can be cosseted”.

It also outlines that the test phase should try to reach those in “harder to reach” assemblies which includes people from lower socio-economic backgrounds as thoroughly cooked as those with poor diets and less active lifestyles.


Draw up considerations

Government seeks expressions of interest for design of £5m obesity app
The NHS app. Courtesy of the NHS

While a smaller test group would be the centre for the first year, the department says that solutions will fundamental to demonstrate potential for a nationwide reach. The long-term aim of the programme is to help the citizens not just achieve but also sustain healthy weights.

Solutions should align with regime policy on physical activity levels and diet and nutrition, the department enlarges. Though schemes need to be primarily digital, DHSC is open to formulates that engage people who are “not digitally enabled”.

The department adds that name branding and marketing will be important for the success of an app. “There will be advantages and flaws to this being branding (even in part) as a government funded broadcast,” DHSC says, adding that government digital assets may be on tap for better engagement (such as NHS and Public Health England’s Better Condition campaign ).

Thought should also be given to data collection, as any tenets will have to “store and share data in a necessary and proportionate way, in compliance with GDPR”, the conditioned by trust in says. The app will have to work alongside the NHS app and PHE Better Health app.


Funding and devotion details

A total of £5 million is available to fund the test remove, though it may be split across potential programmes, according to DHSC.

£3 million of this liking be used for the “incentivisation element” of the scheme while the remaining £2 million purposefulness be used for research and development and supplier costs, the department adds. If the analysis year is successful, DHSC hopes to scale up the project in 2022-2023. Too funding will be dependent on the government’s review process.

The aim is to test the curriculum in the fiscal year 2021/22 and DHSC is encouraging groups to collaborate on suspensions.

A market engagement day has been set for 14 April and potential SMEs and VCSEs should get into in with DHSC with their details before 6pm on 12 April.

DHSC weights it hopes to open a formal competition in May and announce successful applicants by July so that analyses can begin in September and conclude by March next year.

For more tidings on the scheme’s details and application process, please visit the government’s busty briefing document.

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