Today marks the start of the year's biggest diabetes conference on U.S. soil, the American Diabetes Association's 74th Scientific Sessions here in San Francisco. As always, our team from the 'Mine will be on hand observing what's new and exciting (or not, for that matter) and we'll fill you in, of course!
It's very convenient to have this year's conference right here in my own backyard, and it's great to have Mike joining me from Indianapolis. He's been here in California all week, visiting with some diabetes news-makers in San Diego in advance of ADA.
More than 15,000 medical minds and D-experts are converging here in San Francisco for this a whirlwind of activity with a staggering 90 symposia, 50 vocal presentations, 2,400 scientific abstracts and 1,700+ research posters being presented. Obviously, the Exhibit Hall packed full of about 120 booths is a big draw in itself, and we'll be prowling especially for new technology and devices being unveiled, or previewed under glass (as is required for previewing not-yet-FDA-approved products).
As if all that weren't exciting enough, our team is hosting the second-ever DiabetesMine D-Data ExChange today -- bringing together about 75 movers and shakers in the diabetes / health data tech world at a cool meeting venue just a few blocks from San Francisco's Moscone Center. This is #WeAreNotWaiting at work, Folks! More on that event below.
First, in preparation for all the Scientific Sessions news, ADA always provides the media with some preview snippets of what's coming in the days ahead. Here's a quick overview of what we're excited about:
- Psychosocial and DOC Representation! Of course we have to start here; we're veeeery excited to see the DOC (Diabetes Online Community) getting its first-ever session spot at the ADA meeting! As this conference is clearly aimed at the medical community and focuses on the science of what they do, it's never been particularly patient-centric or patient-friendly. Patient advocates like us have been "crashing the party" more and more in recent years, and Behavioral Health has been getting increased attention, with some great minds like Dr. Bill Polonsky and Dr. Korey Hood presenting. But unlike other conferences such as AADE (the American Association of Diabetes Educators), patients hadn't yet been welcomed to into the educational portion of the ADA - until now! This year ADA's program includes a Behavioral session at 12:30pm PST on Sunday titled The Art and Science of Behavioral Medicine Principles in the Diabetes Online Community, led by D-Advocates Manny Hernandez, Jeff Hitchcock, Scott Johnson, and Kerri Sparling. The aim is to help this med-professional audience understand the value of peer support and learning -- and hopefully become aware of how much the patient voice needs to be heard. Finally... ! You can follow along with some of the live-tweeting via the Twitter hashtag #DOCatADA.
- Complications seem to be a very big theme this year, with multiple sessions focusing on everything from cardiovascular risk, lung and liver problems to how certain anti-complication diabetes meds impact the body.
- Cow's milk vs. formula and the T1 antibody: People have been arguing for decades over whether early exposure to cow's milk triggers development of type 1 diabetes in children. A brand new study will be presented on that interesting topic -- with somewhat surprising results -- which is something many type 1 moms-to-be and curious folks in the D-Community will want to hear about.
- Glucagon delivery in an artificial pancreas and inhaled insulin are big topics these days, too, with A LOT of research and clinical studies underway. The medical community will be discussing various updates on both during the conference. And of course, everyone's speculating about how soon the FDA will release its decision to approve or deny MannKind's much-watched Afrezza inhaled insulin.
- Why are drug trials for children with type 2 failing? This is a key question being presented by scientists this weekend. There are apparently only two FDA-approved drugs for use in T2 children (metformin and insulin), and although there are 16 ongoing pediatric drug trials, researchers are having a tough time finding enough patients to enroll -- which is creating a huge barrier to the approval new drugs to treat youth with type 2.
- How care gets delivered and by whom: pharmacists are apparently "valuable, cost-efficient resources who can successfully help physicians get patients to their diabetes treatment goals," at least according to a new study that saw significant A1c drops in patients attending a pharmacist-led clinic. Meanwhile, several other studies looked at nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, and even health coaches -- and found that all of them could make a big difference in patient outcomes, as long as the care experience was done right (we could have told you that ;) )
Yup, those are the highlights -- despite the over 2,000 research abstracts submitted this year. We'll be on the lookout for anything slightly more exciting.
Of course we'll be tweeting from our @DiabetesMine Twitter feed, using the official conference hashtag #2014ADA. So be sure to follow along, and please let us know if there's anything specific you want to know!
You can also check out the incredibly comprehensive 74th Scientific Sessions mobile app that includes a full event rundown with loads of info on everything that's happening this year.
The Summer 2014 D-Data ExChange
Meanwhile, while the medical community convenes to share the latest science on diabetes for the 74th year in a row, something very new and exciting will be happening just a few blocks away. It's a full-force #WeAreNotWaiting gathering of key innovators and decision-makers convening to discuss how they can better collaborate to make technology and devices more useful tools for people living with diabetes.
This event is called the DiabetesMine D-Data ExChange, the second-ever of its kind following the first iteration we held the day prior to our annual DiabetesMine Innovation Summit at Stanford University in the Fall. In fact, that small gathering of about 30 diabetes data entrepreneurs was the birthplace of the #WeAreNotWaiting movement.
Now, in response to a groundswell of interest, we're hosting a larger version of this event today, with over 70 participants all somehow involved in: creating applications and platforms that leverage diabetes data to produce healthier outcomes, reduce healthcare costs, increase transparency to policy decision-makers and care teams, and improve prospects for patient engagement.
The excellent open-platform innovators at Tidepool are again co-hosting, and our guest list includes folks from the following organizations:
Abbott Diabetes Care, AccuNostics, AgaMatrix (iBGStar), Animas, Asante Solutions (Snap pump), BD, bioMedtrics, Companion Medical, Continua Health Alliance, Dexcom, FDA, Glooko, Greenwings Biomedical, Insulet, JDRF, Joslin Diabetes Center, LabStyle Innovations (Dario meter), Medtuit, Medtronic Diabetes, Mendor, Quantified Self, Roche Diabetes, Sanofi Diabetes, Sansum Diabetes Research Institute, Tandem Diabetes, TelCare, Tidepool, Timesulin, University Health Network, Canada (creating diabetes device interoperability standards), Welldoc, and other independent entrepreneurs.
Yes, you read that right. FDA and JDRF will be well-represented, along with many of the major Pharma device manufacturers, and the group out of Canada actually writing the standards for diabetes data and device interoperability. We consider this a pretty darn historical happening and can't wait to report on the outcomes!
A follow-up Fall DiabetesMine D-Data ExChange will be held on Thursday, Nov. 20, the day prior to our 2014 DiabetesMine Innovation Summit. We hope to be able to discuss significant milestones achieved in open systems for diabetes data by then!
To follow today's event, please look out for hashtag #DData14 on Twitter.
Finally, a reminder: want more Patient Voices represented at these events? You can apply to get involved! Enter our Patient Voices Scholarship Contest that's still open for entries for one more week. That means.... ENTER BY JUNE 20!
And stay tuned here for further news from both ADA and the Summer D-Data ExChange.