Well, we've all made it through another year!
Amazing that it's almost time to turn the page on 2013 and move into 2014... With about a week left, we are about 98% sure we can say that all the big diabetes news of this year has probably materialized already.
There have been some exciting steps forward on long-awaited product developments, from FDA filings to approvals that the Diabetes Community has been anticipating. Not to mention all the great work and progress on the patient advocacy front in connecting with industry regulators, and bringing real patient issues to the forefront.
Here are some of the highlights from our perspective as we look back on the past 12 months — from personal milestones for our 'Mine team and many members of the Diabetes Online Community, to new products unveiled, to changes among the diabetes industry and policy-makers.
What a 2013 it's been!
Want a dual-chambered infusion pump that gives you both insulin and another med like fast-acting glucagon? Well, Tandem and the JDRF announced that they're working on this, with a prototype possibly by Jan. 2015.
The ADA issued new standards of care that include details about treatment for type 1 PWDs -- addressing us more closely than they ever have before... woo hoo!
Lipstick and diabetes go together perfectly for type 1 PWD and lipstick artist Natalie Irish, who got some TV screen time with David Letterman and is creating her own world of diabetes artwork.
We talk a lot about device connectivity here at the 'Mine, and in January we addressed the sensitive issue of the Ethical Imperative of Device Interoperability. Worth a read, in case you missed it!
We'd been hoping it wasn't true, but word came officially that after years of promising integration, Insulet and Dexcom broke up, and are no longer developing a combined OmniPod/Dex. Instead, Insulet has new a vision of its own.
Using social media and Pharma relations to do good... that's what it's all about. And the Diabetes Online Community's Spare a Rose, Save a Child initiative for Valentine's Day is proof of what can be accomplished. Bravo, DOC!
A GPS navigation system for your insulin dosing? Wow! It's called the D-Nav and is the brainchild of some very smart guys in Michigan.
Diabetes Art Day moved a bit earlier on the calendar for 2013, and we were happy to join in alongside many others in the D-Community. And who doesn't remember this little girl from Indiana, who ended up winning a very cool piece of original D-Art?
Oh Snap... we learned this new pump from Asante Solutions wasn't going to be called the Pearl anymore, and it was also finally coming to market this year.
The DRI (Diabetes Research Institute) repackaged its research into what it calls the BioHub, and despite the very legitimate potential of this research, the aggressive marketing of DRI's announcement irked many in the Diabetes Community (us included).
We were geeked up to learn about this cool A1C Action Figure Toy -- which makes it 100% more appealing to learn a little something about those three-month-average glucose numbers we think so much about.
The Animas Vibe was finally submitted to the FDA! Exciting to hear that the integrated Animas Ping and Dexcom G4 could be coming soon to the U.S. ... (although now at year-end, we're still awaiting word on approval status, which may not happen until mid-2014).
What's in a name? When it comes to diabetes, there's a lot of emotion, as we saw with the big community-wide kerfuffle over diabetes labels.
Researchers continue to study the notion of an insulin pill for type 1, and we got an earful of science-talk in exploring this research line with some of them.
"The World's Funniest Clinical Trial for the Artificial Pancreas" -- it really happened. In sunny California. We hope you enjoy hearing about this as much as we did :)
We gave you the first glimpse of the Dexcom Share, a portable docking station for our Dexcom G4 receivers that will send our diabetes data directly to a handful of smartphones. Yes, it got submitted to the FDA over the summer and hopefully it will be one of the early device approvals in 2014!
Have you heard of Tidepool? This California D-tech startup has some ground-breaking ideas about open source platforms and interoperability for diabetes devices.
Mike was pretty excited to get some time on the phone with actress Elizabeth Perkins, who starred in a diabetes documentary, as she's a fellow type 1. Since then, she's even started up her own diabetes blog!
Mike attended the Lilly Diabetes Blogger Summit in Indianapolis, which also made us reflect on the bigger picture of how far we've come and where we're going in our relationships with diabetes Pharma companies.
Not only did I get to trial-test the Asante Snap insulin pump, but we also delved into the unique "alternative" marketing campaign the company launched. Do you like a healthy dose of humor and sarcasm in your diabetes ads? Or is it just too much?
Meanwhile, Mike did his first-ever Tour de Cure... and he survived and got motivated to keep fit. Go, Red Riders!
Like every year, both of us attended the American Diabetes Association's Scientific Sessions over the summer -- this time, in Chicago. We reported on lots of cool research and tech happenings, of course.
Wearing medical alert IDs is important not only for us PWDs, but for everyone around us... Mike learned a little about himself in resisting wearing one, but he ended up deciding it was time for a change.
We announced that DiabetesMine is on its own again, parting ways from Alliance Health Networks which we'd been associated with since January 2011; once again, we're a completely independent patient news and advocacy organization.
The CWD Friends for Life Conference turned 13 and Mike joined the many adults with diabetes who were able to attend the annual conference at DisneyWorld Florida. This took place just months before the exciting news that CWD became an Ohio non-profit and no longer a part of Pharma giant Johnson & Johnson.
The patient-led Strip Safely advocacy campaign went into full bloom: patients lobby FDA for more careful scrutiny of blood glucose meters, even those that have long been on the market.
Speaking of blood tests... Finger pokes may get a little more complicated if the FDA decides to reclassify lancets and put stricter rules in place on those tiny little needles we use every day. (This is still being evaluated.)
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) released a PSA called "Diabetes Kills" that really upset some folks with its death-cloud focus, while the JDRF and Network for a Healthy California unveiled new ads that got it right with positivity, clarify, and inspirational messages.
The Behavioral Diabetes Institute (BDI) celebrated its 10-year anniversary, but sadly since then we've learned it has just had to shutter some of its programming due to lack of funding (more on that soon).
We reported on the Buzz from AADE 2013 -- everything from tech updates to new DOC activities at the annual diabetes educators conference in Philly.
Call it a legal triumph for the Diabetes Community! California's highest court handed down a huge ruling stating that school nurses aren't the only ones who can give insulin shots to kids at school. Whew... common sense prevails.
Medtronic's 530G combo insulin pump/CGM with low-glucose suspend finally got approved by the FDA, but the initial excitement led to some serious frustration about the way the product's being portrayed as an Artificial Pancreas panacea. This made many point out that Medtronic is responsible for keeping it real.
There was "violent agreement" by all parties at the big Diabetes Technology Society meeting over the need for higher accuracy in diabetes glucose meters and test strips, and especially for evaluation of the accuracy of systems already on the market.
"Brittle Diabetes" may not be just outdated doctor's jargon, according to one new non-profit org that hopes to bring new attention to this real condition.
Finally! The FDA issued some significant guidance for mobile health technologies, determining how diabetes apps and devices can move forward.
"OK, Google: Show me my blood sugars!" Yes, Glucose Glass could be the future and it's already in the works...
The effects of health insurance reform were making themselves known, and we shared our own overview of how diabetes care is effected by the Affordable Care Act.
A diabetes mom who co-founded the JDRF more than 40 years ago launched a new conference focused on mental health and diabetes, the first of its kind.
The European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) held their annual meeting in Spain, and a lot of interesting tidbits emerged, ranging from a new sensing technology being created by Abbott Diabetes Care to inhalable insulin being used in artificial pancreas clinical trials.
Diabetes data strapped to your wrist? This concept is already being developed independently by several engineering-savvy members of the D-Community!
There was a lot going on for this year's Diabetes Awareness Month, including a lot of activity on World Diabetes Day, Nov. 14. The Blue Circle marks the spots.
We hosted another successful DiabetesMine Innovation Summit, which brought together activated patients with regulators, Pharma folk, clinicians, designers and other thought leaders -- including a handful of the country's top health insurance providers. The latter evoked some passionate responses from those in the audience.
A new non-profit org named Unitio was created to help the Glu community expand and become even more beneficial in connecting the dots between the patient community and research side of the diabetes world.
R. Keith Campbell had a big historical role in the Diabetes Community, and he marked his retirement this November by sharing his story with us, including what he'll focus his energy on from here on out.
We're all aware that with this year's major healthcare coverage changes, some scary new obstacles are appearing in the road to getting access to necessary tools and resources for diabetes management.
We provided a sneak peek at two new Bluetooth-enabled glucose meters -- the VerioSync from Lifescan and the BG5 meter made by iHealth Labs. Just think, no more connection cables needed for sharing diabetes data!
It's long been the go-to method for matching insulin needs to the food we're eating, but researchers are no longer sure that carb-counting is the "gold standard" we've thought it to be.
Seems like there's a lot on the horizon for 2014, from new device approvals to the patient voice becoming ever-more-clearly heard by industry and regulatory officials. It's exciting to think that we may soon see the long-awaited Animas Vibe and Dexcom Share hit market, and at least the initial steps toward integration between other devices and mhealth tools materialize. Of course, there are no guarantees on timelines for these things... so we'll keep watching carefully in the months ahead and reporting to you all as best we can do.
What about you, Dear Readers: Anything stand out in your minds from this past year? Let us know...
And while we're at it, we want to hear from you about how we're doing, covering the Diabetes Community here at the 'Mine. As always, your input is more than welcome, and we can't wait to hear from you!