So sorry for the bad pun. Couldn't help myself. But this is serious stuff, actually. A small company out of Washington state is working hard to gather some much-needed data on severe hypoglycemia, and how we can better prepare for it and treat it.
Apparently there's not a lot of great existing data on severe hypo cases -- in particular on how it typically gets solved when it occurs. (Well, there's a little)
The core questions this group would like to answer are:
How does severe (emergency) hypoglycemia impact people's lives?
What types of experiences have people had with the current glucagon hypo-kits?
Is there a better way to deliver glucagon in emergencies?
Dick Rylander, a veteran of Park Davis Pharmaceuticals and Founder of the startup company Enject, tells me he's worked with the famous Dr. Bill Polonsky to develop two survey forms to help answer these questions. Rylander says he's also in discussions with the equally renowned Dr. Steven Edelman about authoring a research paper based on the survey data gathered.
If you want to help out, here are the survey links:
Adult Survey (18 and over):
I am told that these take just 10 minutes or less to complete. * Please complete only the survey that fits your situation/role, between now and April 15th 2009.
And in case you're wondering about Enject's motives here -- yes, they are fundamentally commercial. The company is developing a new type of emergency product to treat severe lows that will be much "less invasive" and easier to use than your typical orange-case-with-big-needle Glucagon Kit. I can't reveal any more details about the Enject concept at this time, because the company is considering entering their product concept in our 2009 DiabetesMine Design Challenge (!) Keep your eyes peeled for a possible video entry on that one.
I for one am excited about the prospect of "moving the glucagon kit out of the 1950s" -- just as another entrepreneur attempted in another innovation competition a few years back -- only this time minus the gi-normous needle.