** Dec. 24, 2014 **
Happy Xmas Eve to all today. We've extended the run of this post to assure y'all have a proper chance to read through our comprehensive year-end review. Enjoy!
The New Year is just around the corner, so as per tradition, we're reviewing all the things that have made 2014 a year to remember in the Diabetes World and here at the 'Mine.
Yup, we've had some big moments this past year -- with the FDA dominating a lot of the news with approvals for multiple diabetes devices and new meds to its many new efforts to interact with our D-Community. There were also some amazing initiatives in our online advocacy universe, and we're celebrating some key milestones ourselves, as we move into 2015.
Here's a look at what stood out to us in 2014, month-by-month (and yes, we are keeping this post up for Tuesday and Wednesday):
This was a year of diabetes data partnerships, and Asante Solutions became the first insulin pump company to sign on with Tidepool, the enterprising California-based nonprofit that's breaking the diabetes data and device world wide open with its efforts to create a cloud-based platform for D-data and apps.
And in case you forgot where we were with regard to diabetes technology at this time last year, we had shared a number of D-Tech'spectations at the beginning of 2014 -- and many have materialized for the best!
Google announced it is working on smart contact lenses that could monitor glucose levels! Well, it will be partnering with companies that can develop this advanced med-tech. Exciting, but the proof is in the pupils, so to speak...
After years of talk without much action, FDA finally published draft guidance on glucose meter and test strip accuracy, on which community comments came pouring in.
Diabetes educators are cherished members of our D-management team, but they don't always agree with each other. We learned about a new CDE professional group that had broken off from the established AADE (American Association of Diabetes Educators) due to a difference in opinion about the who and how of certification.
Kris Freeman, T1D Olympic cross-country skier, was getting ready to compete in the 2014 winter games. (He ended up placing: 52nd in men's 15km classic, 54th in men's skiathlon 30km, 57th in men's 50km freestyle.)
New insulin pumps designed specifically for people with type 2 diabetes were in the news. Despite almost 500 likes on Facebook, almost all of the products featured in this post are still on the market :(
"Miss Manners" Judith Martin shocked the Diabetes World with her seemingly insensitive advice about being "discreet" with your diabetes testing. Turns out, she has an adult son with T1D who agrees with her (?).
Abbott announced a huge recall of FreeStyle test strips, that impacted ALL OmniPod users, which prompted a hot discussion about how these recalls are handled and communicated to the patient community. Our take: "What's key in this day and age is the need for swift action and transparency by the manufacturers."
William Sansum Diabetes Center in Santa Barbara, CA, (formerly Sansum Diabetes Research Institute) made a bold investment in reinventing itself by hiring Dr. David Kerr out of the UK as their first-ever Director of Diabetes Research and Innovation.
The Euro inventors behind the nifty insulin pen cap reminder Timesulin launched a crowdfunding campaign to bring this handy gadget to the U.S. market -- with great success! They exceeded their $35,000 goal by 3%.
The #WeAreNotWaiting campaign solidifies! "It's the rally cry of folks in the diabetes community who are taking matters into their own hands; they're developing platforms and apps and cloud-based solutions, and reverse-engineering existing products when needed in order to help people with diabetes better utilize devices and health data for improved outcomes."
Another big advocacy push began on Medicare coverage of CGM (continuous glucose monitors). Many voices were raised!
We took a look at the "Rumor Mill" regarding next-gen CGM products in the development pipeline. Most predictions on Tandem, Dexcom, Animas Vibe, Roche, etc. have come to fruition.
We explored the possibility of "Puffing Glucagon Up Your Nose." Yup, Texas-based Xeris Pharmaceuticals is still studying its investigational liquid glucagon nasal doser known as AMG504-1.
The DiabetesMine Test Kitchen is launched, as the first-ever video product review hub created specifically by and for people whose lives are affected by diabetes. We're now up to 44 reviews of glucose meters, insulin pumps, logging tools and phone apps, snack items and more. Check it out!
The Diabetes Technology Society (DTS) hit first milestones with its post-market glucose meter accuracy surveillance program, while the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE) and American College of Endocrinologists (ACE) made some long-overdue updates to their official positions on broadening patient access to insulin pumps (!)
We took a deep dive into the novel CGM tech being developed by two California companies: an implantable CGM device from GlySens and a CGM sensor for non-diabetics from Glucovation. Spoiler alert: Dexcom filed a trade secrets lawsuit against Glucovation in June and the next-scheduled hearing is set for next month (January 2015).
Our community celebrated the fifth annual Diabetes Blog Week, kicking off with the very humble theme of "Changing the World." ;)
We welcomed T2Dance Crew to the D-scene, a healthy lifestyle campaign championed by Debbie Allen, producer and choreographer of the popular reality show So You Think You Can Dance.
MannKind's exciting new inhalable insulin Afrezza was approved by FDA (but let's not get too excited till we see how it performs in the real world, ay?).
Apple announces its HealthKit platform, with plans to target diabetes -- but do they really understand blood glucose?
The 2014 American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions took place in San Francisco, and we were there covering the product news and peeking in on sessions, which seemed to feature more patient input than ever before.
Medtronic was hot in the news, with its MiniMed Duo combo device launched in Europe and its aggressive marketing push in the U.S. to get customers to switch from competitor Dexcom to the new Medtronic 530G system with a promotional trade-in offer.
New studies shed light on the difference between diabetes depression and distress. In both cases, it's about recognizing those feelings and discovering the root cause, authorities say.
The Diabetes Hands Foundation hosted its first-ever Master Lab on successful patient advocacy at the Children with Diabetes conference in Orlando, FL. We shared insights from the excellent presenters and attendees.
ViaCyte submitted a strange-looking bandaid-sized implanatable diabetes device to FDA. If successful, this thing could potentially eliminate the need to check blood sugars, count carbs and dose for insulin through injections or a pump (wow).
Musical CEO chairs! The two biggest national D-advocacy orgs, ADA and JDRF, both announced new leadership.
Mike reported on the FDA filing for a new t:slim-G4 combo insulin pump-CGM device, after an on-site visit with Tandem Diabetes Care in San Diego, CA.
Fellow advocate and intermittent 'Mine correspondent Dan Fleshler in New York issued an eloquent Call to Action on CGM Medicare coverage.
We learned some interesting things about how the Affordable Care Act is impacting diabetes, at least according to presenters at the AADE (American Association of Diabetes Educators) annual meeting this year.
Abbott's new "hybrid" glucose monitoring system FreeStyle Libre was approved in Europe. It's a little round sensor worn on the skin, and a "receiver" that looks similar to a handheld PDM, which you wave over the sensor to wirelessly pick up data (no kidding!)
Palo Alto-based Livongo Health launched a new system that connects your glucose meter to a live call center where CDEs are ready to help. They can even alert EMTs in case of a low!
JDRF announced that it is backing and funding Tidepool to create a "Universal Device Uploader" for diabetes devices and data -- a huge step forward for the #WeAreNotWaiting initiative!
Got diabetes stigma? Yeah, we thought so. A new campaign called #WalkwithD encourages PWDs to share our stories that show the "real side" of diabetes -- and maybe, just maybe, we'll dissipate some of the existing myths and misconceptions in the process...
Dexcom SHARE was approved by FDA -- the first mobile device approval of its kind that allows data from a continuous glucose monitor to be beamed via Bluetooth wireless technology to as many as five smartphones anywhere!
Talk about #WeAreNotWaiting: Glooko launched another great workaround tool to let users easily download meter readings from a multitude of FDA-cleared glucose meters into their mobile device, called "MeterSync Blue" that will reportedly "Bluetooth-enable tens of millions of blood glucose meters worldwide" (!)
Medtronic made a move to get in on mobile health buzz with an announcement that its next-gen CGM will communicate directly by Bluetooth with your smartphone -- but for now, all they've got is an app.
Our fave advice columnist and sometime product reviewer Wil Dubois took a look at the new Accu-Chek Aviva Expert Meter, which supposedly has the mind of a pump. Sadly, he was still disappointed.
The FDA held an unprecedented open webinar with the diabetes patient community. It was so successful that we crashed the agency's IT system, and the session went down. More bandwidth next time, please!
Dexcom released its new, updated algorithm that's ready for use in future Artificial Pancreas systems. It's also said to provide improved accuracy in the here and now.
We hosted the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit at Stanford University School of Medicine, with the 2014 theme "Emerging Models for Improving Life with Diabetes." It really felt like the epicenter of change, as all the stakeholders gather to break down walls and accellerate progress. And the day prior was our Fall 2014 DiabetesMine D-Data ExChange event, bringing together a key group of innovators (and regulators) leading the charge on #WeAreNotWaiting efforts to open up tech protocols so patients can make better use of their D-data and devices.
Could diabetes be its own country? A group of advocates are claiming so, given that 343 million people worldwide have type 2 alone. They are lobbying the United Nations to recognize diabetes as its very own nation.
The Diabetes Technology Society held a "Payers Meeting" in Washington, DC, to get them on board with the glucose meter accuracy surveillance program. Only problem: barely any of these insurance companies were present.
A new online network called WeAreOne Diabetes was launched for people who both live with type 1 diabetes and work in the field. However, some see this as exclusive and cliquish.
With the FDA approval of Animas Vibe, we PWDs here in the States finally have a second option for an insulin pump-CGM integrated device besides Medtronic's system.
We announced that DiabetesMine is joining Healthline.com! In mid-January, this entire site will port over to their platform, providing us a refreshed online home. We're a little nervous, to be honest, and hope you'll support us through this transition that surely have a few bumps in the beginning -- but will hopefully bring a number of changes for the better, while keeping our hearts, minds, and advocacy goals right where they've always been.
We're looking forward to an exciting 2015 alongside all our Readers and Supporters!
Thank you, thank you, thank you for making DiabetesMine a daily must-stop for diabetes news & views.
- Amy, Mike & the Gang