Who is excited about our new YouTube-based Diabetes Design Challenge, launched yesterday? Me, Ooh , me ! And guess who? The federal advocacy group JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). I was delighted to have a talk earlier this week with two heads of the progressive Artificial Pancreas Job: research director Aaron Kowalski (interviewed here before) and mind of new technologies Cynthia Rice. Here’s a synopsis of what they needed to say, mostly in Aaron’s words:
When you consider medical instruments, they’re most really driven by doctors pacemakers, etc.. All these are physician-driven tools. However, diabetes is so unique in that you see your doctor every three months or so — if you are diligent — and also you handle everything the remainder of the moment. You have the devices, you are managing them, and you just go in for tune-ups.
Diabetes provides unique opportunities to take these apparatus and ratchet up their form element. We think you hit the nail on the head when brought this problem to the forefront. We need smaller, simpler, more convenient apparatus, and we have only started to see these materialize. It’s a golden chance.
Once we discuss the artificial pancreas, we all think that it has the capability to transform life with diabetes. Of course the safety and efficacy must be there, but we could do that. We’ll demonstrate that in the next several years. In reality, the Artificial Pancreas (AP) problem was solved in 1970s, together with the BioStator machine — but that matter is the size of a massive chest fridge-freezer, therefore it functions, but you can not lug that around.
Once we talk to volunteers about new apparatus along with the AP, they’re motivated by things such as their 8-year-old granddaughter who had been diagnosed recently, saying it is so hard for her to dress — she needs to get a seamstress to create a distinctive pump pocket inside her trousers. All these are the life problems people are coping with.
Pumps and sensors are now very great. They are helping people. But to really create as wide an impact as possible, you need to concentrate on the form factor, ease of usage, and incorporation to other devices (such as mobile phones). That’s enormous.
If the majority of people with diabetes can not easily gain, then we haven’t reached our goal. We are hearing from many, many people all across the nation, saying this is a crucial problem — for toddlers, elderly individuals, people of all ages and walks of life.
Our job is to help people do better get better A1C outcomes, be more joyful, experience less hypoglycemia, and attain peace of mind.
If you think about it, these are the two Important aims:
2) peace of mind/ happiness
You’ve got to have. It’s a tricky balancing act. You can go too hard on blood glucose control and be miserable, or you can go the opposite and be happy-go-lucky but very unhealthy.
If we are going to impact people positively, then we will need to aid them with their blood glucose control — to encounter fewer swings — but also make it simpler for them to accomplish. That means things like never having to lug around so much stuff, not having to consider your BG levels every single second of the day, or rely every single speck of carbohydrate that you consume. We discuss good diabetes control by the medical side, but the other side of this equation so significant too…
People with diabetes are really varied. There’s the 8-year-old kid going to school every day, versus the elderly gentleman who might be retired and barely gets from his residence. Consumer design takes that variability into consideration, but traditionally medical layout doesn’t. What we really need and want are options.
Someone who travels a lot may prefer a meter integrated into their mobile phone, whereas parents appear to typically want modest products that fit in their childrens’ pockets. Many people want a different handheld controller, while others don’t. Some don’t mind being “tethered,” while others can not stand it. This is only one of the crucial things we have learned in our initiative. Academic researchers have now done several clinical experiments on AP technology. The next thing is to push companies to get on board, particularly with innovative layouts.
Among our core beliefs is the importance of having more than 1 company working on this in order to stimulate competition and provide many different choices. We applaud what you are doing at DiabetesMine, because it sheds light on this need.
You have to love the folks at JDRF (and not just because they said nice stuff about the site); they really “get it.” So send them a love. Then send us your contest entries. Oh yes.
Disclaimer: Content created by the Diabetes Mine team. For additional information click here.
This content is made for Diabetes Mine, a customer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content isn’t medically reviewed and does not adhere to Healthline’s editorial instructions. For more information regarding Healthline’s partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.
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