No introduction necessary. Just ten of the many cool things happening online that I've been meaning to share:
1. Our NEW YEAR, NEW YOU Diabetes Makeover Contest closes tonight at midnight Pacific time. So today is your absolute last chance to let us know why YOU could use a free comprehensive diabetes coaching program for three months. Look for the winners to be announced here next Tuesday.
2. Who's heard the about the new diabetes podcast called Sweet Talk? It's run by our D-blogger friends Landileigh Nelson, Mike Lawson and Jill Proehl. Three episodes so far. Looks to offer some great coverage of practical stuff ("not bogged down with studies and stats") from three PWDs who are "living the life." Sweeeeet.
3. Our "Health the FDA" petition is getting close to 4,000 signatures. This online initiative is backed by patient advocates, leading physicians, and CDEs, all calling for the FDA to better serve the needs of diabetes patients. Here's some recent blog coverage of the campaign. The deadline to sign the petition has been extended until Feb. 28, 2009.
4. SafeNeedleDisposal.org - check this site out. I hear they are doing some interesting work regarding sharps disposal. There's a bunch of information about proposed Senate Bill 1909, which would provide Medicare coverage for sharps removal. Cool idea. I mean, figuring out how to get rid of sharps safely is definitely one of the burdens of living with this illness, no?
5. There's also a new community for families with diabetic children on the scene called Parenting Diabetes Kids. This one is set up and run by Jeff and Natalie Kolok out of northwestern Vermont. Two of their three kids have Type 1 diabetes. The site features active forum discussions, an "Ask Our Team" area, and a "Family of the Week" feature. For example, this week you can meet the Welch's. Very welcoming.
6. Speaking of which, the un/official Diabetes Online Community site, the Diabetes OC site, now offers a free subscription newsletter. Just fill out the fields and click the "submit" button in the upper left-hand column there to follow all the great work by site administrator Gina Capone.
7. Related: this week's Featured Blogger on the OC site is Mollie Singer, who, along with her twin sister Jackie, is a successful recording artist and advocate for curing Type 1 diabetes. They apparently just died their hair red, too :) You can read my interview with Mollie — all about their new online community Diabetic Angels — posted last week by clicking HERE.
8. Tired of diabetes? Get the bracelet! See I'm Tired of... charity bracelets online. For every $10 bracelet you buy, $5 goes to your selected cause. The diabetes jewelry money goes to the Diabetes Research Institute in Miami, Florida. As I like to say, a gal can never have too much (medical) jewelry. These D-bracelets offer a trendy/sporty addition to your medical ID wardrobe. Perhaps a nice trinket for Valentine's Day...
9. And now back to the costs of medical care. Our treatments are expensive. But we can't really shop around, can we? Well, the folks at OutofPocket.com are trying to help. They've just updated their directory, which helps consumers look up prices for routine health care services "by utilizing a custom search engine that collects prices from consumers, providers, Government databases and public websites." Nice to know if the price you've been quoted is market value.
10. Finally, there's been lots of discussion about the relative value of keeping medical records online. No way to know unless you try it out, I guess. A site called Practice Fusion is offering free EMR (electronic medical records) HERE. You can manage documents, log data, schedule appointments and utilize secure internal messaging for zero dollars per month. Hard to argue with that. They already have over 10,000 users signed up, they tell me.
That looks like plenty to keep us busy online all week long, at least.
Happy Tuesday, Everybody!