This weekend, physicians, researchers, diabetes companies and non-profits from all over the world come together for the American Diabetes Association 77th Scientific Sessions . It’s the biggest gathering of the diabetes scientific community all year. But what does it mean for you, someone living with and doing your best to manage your diabetes each day?
As the Chief Patient Officer for Medtronic Diabetes, that’s what I’m asking myself. And I’m inspired by the extraordinary innovation driven by so many passionate people to improve the lives of people living with type 1, type 2 or pre-diabetes. People like you. The research and best practices these experts share at ADA are what drives the type of care you receive from your healthcare team as well as the drugs and technology available to you. So, it’s pretty important to you.
This year, I’d like to do my best to share with you what I’m seeing and learning this weekend. And hear your questions and feedback. Starting with this blog, where I’ll talk about the top 4 themes I expect to see and hear in the next few days. I’ll be sharing daily updates on Instagram , and hosting a Facebook Live  event from the conference in San Diego on Sunday at 4pm. I hope you follow along and join us in a great conversation.
1. Automated Insulin Delivery
Automated insulin delivery, closed loop systems, an artificial pancreas. Whatever you call it, aside from a biological cure, these automated systems have been the “holy grail” in the diabetes community for a long time. This year’s agenda is filled with posters and presentations showing work from many groups toward this goal. At Medtronic, we’re thrilled to be able to offer the only commercially available system that includes automation. The MiniMed 670G system  is the world’s first hybrid closed loop system – with our SmartGuard HCL technology it can automate basal insulin delivery, but still requires you to bolus for meals and calibrate the sensor. We’ll be showing data not just on the clinical outcomes  that people on the system experienced, but also on how their quality of life  We think this is a really important metric to track and I think we’ll start to see more of this across the industry, which is a really good thing.
2. Caring for the Whole Patient/Person
I’m really excited to see more and more emphasis on a more holistic view of caring for people with diabetes. You have taught me that – whether you live with type 1 or type 2 diabetes – managing diabetes is about so much more than the numbers. The emotional toll can be huge. And every patient is not just a patient, but also a person – who is unfortunately required to deal with all life’s ups and downs, stresses and fears while carrying the physical and mental load of diabetes.
This year, I’m glad to see sessions on the impact of the psycho-social aspects of diabetes as well as results from those trying new, “whole person” approaches. Our team will be sharing a poster from our Netherlands-based Diabeter clinic. Clinically and professionally independent, Diabeter provides comprehensive and individualized care for children and young adults living with type 1 diabetes. We’ve seen great results from the warm, motivating non-clinical experience, 24/7 support and digital tools. And we’re working on how to expand the model to help more people around the world.
3. Digital/Connected Health
Today, who isn’t trying to use digital tools to make whatever they do more convenient, efficient or impactful? The diabetes community is no exception. I think our challenge is how to make sure that mobile apps and other digital tools provide valuable information that empowers – not just a high volume of data that is overwhelming or confusing. I think we’re on the right track with tools such as the Sugar.IQ app , developed by Medtronic and IBM Watson. We’re excited to use cognitive computing to analyze CGM data as well as information about food, exercise etc. to recognize patterns and trends and then provide meaningful insights to the person with diabetes so they can be more proactive than reactive about their diabetes.
Of course, digital tools can be used in many ways. In our booth this year at ADA, we’ll be using a HoloLens mixed reality to allow attendees to travel inside the body to learn about our most advanced sensor technology, the Guardian Sensor 3. Going forward, we also hope to use the same technology as an innovative way to train healthcare teams on how to use our iPro2 professional CGM technology .
4. Coaching and Education
This trend is very much tied in to #2 and #3. There are several interesting items on the agenda about creative programs to motivate, engage and educate people with diabetes. The medical community talks about this a lot as “self-care” or “self-management.” Diabetes requires a LOT of you, the patient, to do things on your own without a doctor or nurse standing by your side. That is different than many other health conditions. It’s good to see so many groups looking at how to creatively combine digital tools, personalize coaching and peer support to help people engage and have better outcomes.
One example is the experience patients and providers get with our iPro2 professional CGM . Unlike personal CGM which is used every day, an iPro2 evaluation is worn occasionally for 6 days at a time to reveal valuable glucose insights for people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes that fingersticks or A1C tests miss. Combining that glucose data with our myLog app, which integrates with the popular FitBit app and makes it easy to log food, gives your healthcare team a much more complete picture of your diabetes. That allows them to better support you with coaching, education and therapy adjustments. By linking your glucose variability with your lifestyle, so you can be in the driver’s seat of your diabetes.
These are just a few themes that struck me as I looked at this year’s agenda. Of course, there are many, many more as tens of thousands of physicians, researchers, companies and non-profit leaders from all over the world come together to learn, share, and most importantly…. fight for you. Knowing that there are this many bright minds working hard to make your lives better inspires me. And I hope it inspires you too.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION:
The Medtronic MiniMed 670G system is intended for continuous delivery of basal insulin (at user selectable rates) and administration of insulin boluses (in user selectable amounts) for the management of type 1 diabetes mellitus in persons, fourteen years of age and older, requiring insulin as well as for the continuous monitoring and trending of glucose levels in the fluid under the skin. The MiniMed 670G system includes SmartGuard technology, which can be programmed to automatically adjust delivery of basal insulin based on continuous glucose monitor sensor glucose values, and can suspend delivery of insulin when the sensor glucose value falls below or is predicted to fall below predefined threshold values. The system requires a prescription. The Guardian Sensor (3) glucose values are not intended to be used directly for making therapy adjustments, but rather to provide an indication of when a fingerstick may be required. A confirmatory finger stick test via the CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 blood glucose meter is required prior to making adjustments to diabetes therapy. All therapy adjustments should be based on measurements obtained using the CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 blood glucose meter and not on values provided by the Guardian Sensor (3). Always check the pump display to ensure the glucose result shown agrees with the glucose results shown on the CONTOUR®NEXT LINK 2.4 blood glucose meter. Do not calibrate your CGM device or calculate a bolus using a blood glucose meter result taken from an alternative site (palm) or from a control solution test. If a control solution test is out of range, please note that the result may be transmitted to your pump when in the “Always” send mode. 
WARNING: Do not use Auto Mode for a period of time after giving a manual injection of insulin by syringe or pen. Manual injections are not accounted for in Auto Mode. Therefore, Auto Mode could deliver too much insulin. Too much insulin may cause hypoglycemia. Consult with your healthcare professional for how long you need to wait after a manual injection of insulin before you resume Auto Mode.
WARNING: Do not use the Bolus Wizard to calculate a bolus for a period of time after giving a manual injection of insulin by syringe or pen. Manual injections are not accounted for in the active insulin amount. Therefore, the Bolus Wizard could prompt you to deliver more insulin than needed. Too much insulin can cause hypoglycemia. Consult with your healthcare professional for how long you need to wait after a manual injection of insulin before you can rely on the active insulin calculation of your Bolus Wizard.
Only use rapid acting U100 insulin with this system. Pump therapy is not recommended for people whose vision or hearing does not allow recognition of pump signals and alarms. Pump therapy is not recommended for people who are unwilling or unable to maintain contact with their healthcare professional. The safety of the MiniMed 670G system has not been studied in pregnant women.
For complete details, including product and important safety information concerning the system and its components, please consult http://www.medtronicdiabetes.com/important-safety-information#minimed-670g  and the appropriate user guide at http:// www.medtronicdiabetes.com/download-library