Happy Spring, All! If you're reading this, you've survived this year's second annual Sugar Fest (Valentine's Day, Easter, Halloween), so congratulations. And now for an update on some stuff that might interest you, on and offline:
ON THE WEB:
* The "Patient Empowerment Movement" has a new champion? At least that's the sense you get at Kevin J. Leonard's Patient Destiny blog. Kevin is an associate professor of medicine at University of Toronto, working to create a National Patient Advocacy Program in Canada. His sidebars are trÃ© wordy, but his posts are good stuff. He also wrote an intriguing new book called A Prescription for Patience, all about becoming more involved in your own care and health management and what to expect more from providers.
* Check out a new health-related search site called Healia.com. The marketing folks tell me this one is different because: 1) it only provides high-quality results, 2) it lets you filter your results to fit your profile and needs, and 3) it shows relationships among medical terms to help you search more accurately. Healia was developed under a grant from the National Cancer Institute and recently received an award from the Emerging Technologies and Healthcare Innovations Congress. They're looking for user feedback, so don't be shy about contacting the company with constructive criticism.
* Amlyin Pharmaceuticals (makers of Byetta and Symlin) is getting into the personal online D-management game with a new site called YourDiabetesGoals.com. It's supposed to help you learn about and achieve these four objectives: reduce blood sugar swings, especially after
meals; reduce your A1C level; lose weight with better blood sugar
control; and improve insulin therapy. That's pretty damn ambitious, I'd say. At least from a design standpoint, the site is very well done. You can also print out a list of the goals you selected, along with questions to ask your healthcare professional on your next visit. That might be useful, since being prepared is always a good thing...
* Time to remind you about this year's Diabetes Safari camp for diabetic kids in Mexico. This is a not-for-profit four-day adventure from May 12-15 in Oaxtepec, Morelos, MÃ©xico (near MÃ©xico City). The cost is $240 USD per person including all meals, snacks, and complementary insulin. Read all about it at the Diabetes Safari site, or contact director Dr. Stan De Loach at email@example.com.
* Who heard yet about the Diabetes Training Camp for adults with Type 1? It's called "Stroke, Spin, Stride," developed by Matthew Corcoran M.D., CDE, an endocrinologist and specialist in Type 1 diabetes, sports and exercise. They're offering two week-long sessions this year in Allentown, PA: June 17-24, and June 24-30. Neat! Check out the all-star list of coaches, including fellow author and popular CDE Gary Scheiner. Good for him. I wish I had time for camp this year!
* BodyTel Scientific will be exhibiting its new innovative wireless GlucoTel System at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) Annual Meeting in Seattle on April 11-15. GlucoTel is the world's first and only wireless Bluetooth(TM) enabled blood glucose meter. The data is retrieved using a secure web site. Read all about it and watch an animated demo HERE.
* I'm sure many of you have read recently about the launch of Minimed's Guardian Real-Time continuous monitoring system. This is the stand-alone portion of the Paradigm pump/CGM combo. Apparently there are still major barriers to health plan reimbursement (surprise, surprise!), so not a lot of people have this one yet. My hope is to get an up-close-and-personal look at it soon, and report back here. The sensor is smaller than the Dexcom's,
but then you still have that disc-thing attached via wire and stuck on your tummy (see photo), so a big improvement? The jury's still out...
* Diagnostic Devices of Charlotte, NC, has just introduced the Prodigy Autocode talking blood glucose monitoring system -- which delivers audible results in English or Spanish. "For the many diabetics who are blind or visually impaired as a result of their disease, it provides freedom and peace of mind — especially since Roche has abandoned its cumbersome and expensive VoiceMate product," their marketing team writes.
More tidbits are continuously coming my way, so please keep your eye on the Weekly Nuggets section at left. I'd need an army to write a post on everything I should and could :)