We’ve just returned from a packed journey through the American Diabetes Association’s 71st Scientific Sessions. As the number of people affected by diabetes globally reaches 347 million, the world’s largest gathering of diabetes researchers, activists, and industry (over 17,000 attendees) is more important than ever.
Social Media Summit
- Elizabeth Edelman of Diabetes Daily (and my lovely wife!)
- Sara Knicks of Diabetes Daily
- Kerri Sparling of Six Until Me
- Amy Tenderich of Diabetes Mine
- Bea who writes from a type 2 perspective
- Michael Hoskins of The Diabetic’s Corner Booth
- Karmel Allison of A Sweet Life
- Scott Johnson thinks about relationships and and how we must take action.
ADA Conference Highlights
- Amy Tenderich has great wrap-ups on new products and new research. I’ll wait here while you read it and come back. Great job, Amy - and thanks for saving me from about three hours of typing!
- Between 1965 and 1980, life expectancy for those with type 1 diabetes grew 15 years!
- The Life For a Child program’s mission is that no child should die of diabetes. In the last year, they’ve expanded from helping 4,000 young people to 7,000 in 34 countries. Powered by a $1.2 million grant from the Helmsley Trust, they anticipate reaching reaching 24,000 by 2013. They are also looking at services like micro-lending and vocational training to help those in the program not only survive, but live healthy and productive lives. A sequel to the Life For a Child documentary (watch online) called In the Hearts of Africa will be coming to theaters around the world this year. It is part heart-break and part inspiration. Stay tuned for updates on its availability.
- The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) want us to be angry and outraged about how the world is treating people with diabetes. As IDF CEO Ann Keeling said: “We are angry about the carnage of human potential…. This is a political, not technical problem.” Phil Southerland, founder of Team Type 1, added: “[Developing world] Governments think that it’s cheaper to kill us than treat us. And it’s true.”
- The Helmsley Trust announced that 12,000 are enrolled in the T1D Exchange registry. This is one of the the largest publicly available data sets on people with diabetes.
- ViaCyte is at the cutting edge of stem cell research. They’ve put stem cells inside of a tiny, implantable device and coaxed them to grow into insulin-producing pancreas cells. This device encapsulates the cells, preventing the immune system from attacking them while letting oxygen and other nutrients enter. They have implanted the device in rats and kept them healthy and insulin-free for their entire lives. Neat, right?
- Dr. Faustman announced a major milestone in her attempt to cure type 1 diabetes: “We presented additional results from the Phase I human clinical trial testing BCG vaccination as a treatment for advanced type 1 diabetes. These data show the potential of BCG treatment to turn the pancreas ‘back on’ briefly, even in people who have had type 1 diabetes for many years.” They are currently raising funds to complete a Phase II clinical trial to identify an effective dosage. This research is still at an early stage, so muted optimism is appropriate.
- Imagine if our diabetes technology could automatically stream our data to the cloud for analysis. The Cellnovo patch pump has a PDA with a mobile connection and uploads data to net automagically. It also uses an integrated pedometer to know when you’re active. Cellnovo is not yet available but has applied for approval to sell in Europe. From talks with other companies, it looks like mobile technology will be entering many of devices in the upcoming years.
- The ADA, CDC, and others have partnered to create a new mobile app for diabetes management. It will let people answer questions via text message to understand their risk of diabetes. It will also help connect those with diabetes to health care resources.
- Sanofi-Aventis announced it’s Data Design Diabetes Challenge. 200,000 will go to those who can use open data sources (provided by Health and Human Services (HHS)) to do amazing things.
- There are as many deaths due to diabetes each year as HIV and Malaria combined.
- 96% wireless penetration in 2010 in the US vs. 76% PC penetration. This will have a big impact on how health care is delivered.
- Americans eat 16% of their calories as added sugars. 37% of that is from drinks.
- Over 2 billion people will be overweight by 2015. Overweight people outnumber underweight people for the 1st time.
- Metformin costs a fraction of a cent to produce (but the first dose cost over $1 billion to develop).
- China made an exception to the 1-child policy for families with a child with diabetes (because they were expected to die).
- 52% of the conference attendees were from outside the United States.
If you’ve been following the event and have other buzz to share, let us know in the comments!