Primary Care Networks using the Holly Health digital health and wellbeing coaching tool to support their patients with changing behaviours and habits in a sustainable way have seen a reduction in GP appointments.

For each eight-week period, 0.22 fewer appointments were required in people who use the service for eight weeks or more. Over a year, this should equate to 1.4 fewer appointments per user.

The new data from Holly Health shows the most significant appointment reductions have been seen in higher patient risk groups. Type 2 diabetes patients have experience an estimated average reduction of 6.5 fewer appointments per year, based on data spanning eight weeks, while appointments across non-alcoholic fatty liver disease patients are down an average of 3.25 per year.

Patients are also benefitting from strong health improvements across exercise, mood, and self-management by using the digital tool to support physical and mental health habit changes, with the goal of improving long-term health outcomes.

Grace Gimson, CEO and co-founder of Holly Health, said: “The strong outcomes data from our coaching and habit change platform is something we’re incredibly proud of. At an individual level, we’re thrilled that the system is enabling patients to achieve behaviour changes and support better health outcomes.

“At a population health level, it demonstrates the substantial impact patient-centred technology can have on whole health economies and NHS sustainability. We’re looking forward to extending on the appointment reductions data with a randomised control trial with Northumbria Primary care, with a particular focus on patients with multimorbidity.”

To date, Holly Health has supported over 35,000 people across more than 180 NHS primary care partnerships. One regional deployment in the Scottish Ayrshire region, offering access to over 250,000 members of the public, is on track to provide personalised support to 5,000+ local patients per year.

The service has seen a reduction in appointments, and particularly good outcomes in higher risk users. A sample of more than 70 local patients (assessed at baseline, and then later after eight or more weeks service use) showed that appointments will reduce by potentially 1.95 appointments per user per year (after eight+ weeks service use).

Health outcomes in the region include an 18% average improvement in mental wellbeing (in users who started with low to medium mood at baseline) when measured using Office of National Statistics Four (ONS4) Wellbeing and 15% average increase in exercise (in users who started with low to medium exercise at baseline).
Alexia Pellowe, clinical director at NHS Ayrshire & Arran, said: “We chose to partner with Holly Health because of the large-scale potential impact we can make across the entire region with respect to prevention and early intervention.

“It’s encouraging to see change start to happen as we make meaningful person-centred gains with patient outcomes along with demonstrating cost efficiencies.

“It’s an exciting time for us as a service because we can power forward on the right foot to further alleviate longer-term pressures through more prevention work and higher levels of patient self-management – especially for those living with multiple long-term conditions.”

We also reported in August that Holly Health had partnered with Age UK Lewisham and Southwark and leading national and community services to provide mental and physical health coaching for people aged 50-70+ across the UK.