Diabetic Rugby man draws on experiences of weight struggles to help create ‘game-changing’ obesity app - The Rugby Observer

Diabetic Rugby man draws on experiences of weight struggles to help create ‘game-changing’ obesity app

Rugby Editorial 9th Nov, 2022   0

A DIABETIC man from Rugby has helped to create a ‘game-changing’ new digital support tool to tackle obesity.

Richard Green, 63, used his own experiences to help create W8Buddy, a bespoke version of the Gro Health app which allows individual patients to be directly connected to their NHS specialists.

Created by clinicians from University Hospitals Coventry and Warwickshire’s specialist weight management team, patients, and DDM Health, the app streamlines patients’ needs and resources in one digital place, with a team of experts at hand.

Richard said: “This is our link into the specialists that have spent many lifetimes learning and developing what works.




“My background in IT and business and the fact that I am a type two diabetic patient who’d struggled with my weight hopefully helped the team understand what it was like to have tried lots of weight loss programmes and failed.

“W8Buddy is a game changer. It speeds up every element of the pathway, meaning countless more patients can be helped.”


Richard retired from a successful career in business in 2015 after a mild heart attack. At the time he weighed 14 stone.

After his health scare, Richard set about living a healthier lifestyle – giving up smoking, and eating better – but he continued to put on weight.

His doctor suggested blood tests which diagnosed Type 2 diabetes.

Richard went from taking one cod liver oil tablet a day to 15, with his weight eventually reaching close to 19 stone.

He was referred for additional tests and came to work with Dr Petra Hanson, National Institute for Health Research Clinical Lecturer in Diabetes and Endocrinology, who at the time was conducting a study on a drug for diabetes management.

As part of the study, Richard spent 24 hours being monitored to see how his body worked whilst at rest. During this time Petra and Richard discussed the NHS Tier 3 Weight Management Services pathway he was on and how the whole experience could be made better for patients.

Together they decided that there should be simpler, more effective resources available where the patient felt fully supported by professionals at all times.

Dr Hanson led three focus groups with patients attending specialist weight management services to understand better what was needed.

Richard now weighs just under 16 stone and is much happier and healthier.

His real-life experiences helped the developers of W8Buddy fine-tune the app, and he is looking forward to seeing the changes this resource is going to make and the of people it will help.

His aim has been to help fellow patients providing them with encouragement that there is immediate, effective help available.

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