The ACTIVATE study will test the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of the Milton Keynes Activity Reward Programme, which combines wearable technology and financial incentives, to help people with type 2 diabetes be more physically active as a way of improving their health.

The study is being run out of Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (MKUH), and is being delivered by a team of researchers from the hospital, primary care, Milton Keynes City Council and Loughborough University.

The effectiveness of the programme will be tested using a randomised controlled trial. On joining the trial, participants will be randomly allocated either to join the reward programme immediately or in 12 months’ time.

Patients who join the reward programme will be asked to use the Exi app on their iPhone. They will be provided with an Apple watch, which measures activity and heart rate, and will help ensure patients are doing the right intensity of physical activity for their health. The app will give each person a tailored physical activity prescription or goal each week.

Participants who achieve their prescription will earn points, which they can then convert into vouchers. Participants could earn up to £365 each year in vouchers if they achieve all their physical activity goals. Participants will be able to track their progress and speak with others through the Exi Community Group. The reward programme is run by Exi.

The study started recruiting in January 2024. It plans to recruit 1000 participants and will last two years. The study has been adopted by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR). The Centre for Lifestyle Medicine and Behaviour at Loughborough University are providing academic expertise to support the evaluation.

How can I get involved?

Milton Keynes residents with type 2 diabetes and who may be eligible to join the study will be invited by their local GP around the time of their diabetes annual review. Participants will need to meet certain criteria to participate, and not everyone with type 2 diabetes in Milton Keynes will be invited to take part. For example, participants need to own or have access to an Apple iPhone (iOS 15 or above) and be able to be physically active.

Last Modified: 11:59am 05/04/2024

Information for the public
Information for primary care