One of my favorite people is Dr. Francine Kaufman, our Chief Medical Officer. With a long and inspiring career as a world-leading pediatric endocrinologist, researcher, author and humanitarian, she is a powerful thought leader and tireless advocate for people with diabetes. Next week, she’ll attend the 78th American Diabetes Association (ADA) Scientific Sessions – the world’s largest diabetes conference. It will be her 41st time attending! So who better to talk to us about the most important topics likely to come out of this year’s meeting….and why they’re important to people living with diabetes and their families.
1. Why is the ADA conference important to people with diabetes?
Researchers, clinicians, scientists, dietitians, exercise physiologists, pharmacists, and diabetes companies will all be together in one space to attend a plethora of scientific meetings. It is the most impressive convening of all the different aspects of care providers that impact on the life of somebody was diabetes. And collaboration among all these groups of professionals is critical to bringing the best care to patients.
2. What are some of the key themes that you expect to hear about this year
EMPOWERMENT BY INSIGHTS Technology, support services and care plans are all evolving to find new and better ways to provide meaningful insights to empower you to make more informed lifestyle decisions. For many years, it was about technology that allowed you to know your glucose numbers. Today, it’s about what do you do with those numbers. How can the healthcare community help you make sense of those numbers and empower you to make better decisions for yourself? This can come through coaching and peer support or technology like our new Guardian Connect system with the Sugar.IQ assistant. Sugar.IQ is the first powered by artificial intelligence so it’ll be exciting to see all the different ways that technology can be applied to diabetes over the next few years.
PYSCHOSOCIAL ASPECTS OF DIABETES Fortunately, every year we seem to spend more time on the psychosocial aspects of diabetes. 40 years ago this wasn’t a focus in any aspect of medicine because of the limited amount of information we had. The physician was the main one in charge of care and all that was available was animal insulin and urine testing. Information was delayed and it was hard to make decisions on a daily basis. Now we have tools to give us much more information and we can look at and talk about how this disease impacts your emotions, relationships and behavior (and how those things impact your diabetes). As healthcare providers, we can then work with you to create care plans to support your overall well-being and help you achieve your goals. With my patients, that can be anything from getting through a pre-teen rebellion to playing sports or getting the glucose control that California requires to get a driver’s license.
PERSONALIZATION No two people are the same, so personalization a big theme across many areas of medicine. In diabetes, we see it in pharmacology, technology and behavioral science. Many scientists are working on true personalized medicine – how can we create pharmaceuticals specifically tailored to your unique genomes. But there’s also great opportunity through technology with artificial intelligence and smart algorithms to provide personalized insights or personalized automation like in the MiniMed 670G system. And behaviorally, the more we tailor our approach and motivation techniques to an individual’s unique culture, home life, environment and experiences, the better care we can provide.
AUTOMATION has been a big topic the last few years and that will continue. As a community, we’ve proven that we now have the tools to allow you to get great glucose control. That’s been a big mountain to climb. We’re a long w
ay from urine testing and animal insulin. But at the top of that mountain, you still have to do a lot of the work. Now, we’re working on climbing back down the mountain with automation that lightens the mental load and making devices simpler and easier to use. The MiniMed 670G system has been step down this mountain, but we still have more to do, which is where you’ll see a lot of focus this year. It’s all about keeping a great time in range but with less work from you.
GLOBAL ACCESS There’s an important movement taking place on access and affordability of diabetes care. The ADA has been focusing more on global access, in addition to their work in the US to better meet the needs of underserved populations, so I anticipate that this will be a key theme. To make diabetes care accessible around the world will take time but the healthcare industry has taken notice.
3. What advice do you have for people with diabetes as they continue to partner with their healthcare teams?
The partnership with your healthcare provider is important but you can’t expect them to be the answer to all of your problems. You can’t do this on your own, but take ownership for what you can. Come in to your appointments with questions and be transparent so we know how to help you. If done right, it can be like a real relationship.
I also recommend that you discuss innovation and trends in diabetes care with your healthcare team. Find out if they are attending sessions like the ADA or local events that help continue their education. If they are up on the latest trends, they are likely going to make sure that your health options are always up to date.
4. How is the healthcare landscape changing around the world?
More recently, I feel that we are now truly aware of the global stakes of diabetes. We are going to continue to discuss the ways that the entire healthcare system needs to change to address the rapidly growing population of people with type 1 and type 2. Education, access, behavior change, technology and medicine all have an important part to play in preventing, treating, and curing diabetes. It is a collective mission and the stakes have never been higher. But as I look around at my colleagues, I know we are up to the challenge.
5. Is there a particular message that you’d like to share with the diabetes community to inspire them on their journey?
Be encouraged by how far healthcare has come and know that there is an entire community that works hard to improve your life every single day, inspired by your resilience and perseverance. But don’t simply rely others to create change. Don’t be afraid to be your own advocate. Advocate for yourself, in your home, in your community, and then in the broader environment. You can truly make a difference. I am inspired by you.
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 the 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. It is also not recommended to calibrate your CGM device when sensor or blood glucose values are changing rapidly, e.g., following a meal or physical exercise. 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.
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 of the system, including product and important safety information such as indications, contraindications, warnings, and precautions associated with 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
, American Diabetes Association
, diabetes technology
, Guardian Connect
, minimed 670g