We are at Stanford School of Medicine today hosting the 2017 DiabetesMine Innovation Summit (#dbminesummit17) -– our seventh annual meeting of thought leaders delving into novel ways to improve life with diabetes.

As some of you may know, this event is organized around a different “change theme” each year. Here’s a look at the evolution of those themes since we kicked off this event series six years ago:


Given how healthcare has become so politicized and gridlocked of late, our theme is year is “Problem-Solving Our Healthcare.

So we’ve invited an array of speakers who have each in some way honed in on a specific healthcare or diabetes care problem, and created an innovative fix.

Highlights include:

  • An Opening Talk on “Transforming Healthcare Through Design: From Startups to Clinical to Consumers” by Gestalt Design founder Brian Hoffer
  • Showcased Innovations on Improved Insulin Dosing, Cost Transparency, Crowdsourced Healthcare Fixes, and a New Patient-to-Payer Model
  • ‘Tech-Enabled Chronic Disease Care Coaching in Action’ – a multimedia session featuring patient testimonials using Livongo, mySugr and One Drop
  • An ‘Access & Affordability’ Forum, tackling the issues from the Patient, Industry, and Payor side
  • Unveiling of new DiabetesMine “Netnography” research that takes a deep dive into social media themes and trends, i.e. how patients are “filling healthcare gaps” by fending for themselves  
  • An interactive workshop on “Taking an Outside-In Approach to System Design Problems”
  • and more…

We’ll also be introducing our 2017 Patient Voices Winners -– diverse voices representing patient needs. In case you missed it, you can read the interviews to get to know each of these amazing advocates here: Christy Ford Allen, Seth Tilli, Mandy Jones, Sarah Picklo Halabu, Asha Brown, Toshana N. Sledge, Mindy Bartleson, Karl Rusnak, Phyllis Kaplan, and Maria Wagner.

Also, meet our two passionate 2017 Stanford Student Scholars, both aiming for careers in diabetes, here: Divya Gopisetty and Sarah Loebner. 

We’ll be reporting on details of the Summit day soon. But for today, we’re excited to unveil the results of our 2017 DiabetesMine Patient Voices Research right here at the ‘Mine, for your reading and downloading pleasure…


What Helps the Diabetes Community Most – 2017 Edition!

For the past several years, we’ve conducted an annual online survey asking PWDs which specific tools and services help them with their disease care most, and why. As far as we know, there’s no other research like it.

We use the results of this survey to fuel our DiabetesMine Usability Innovation Awards, honoring the diabetes products that our community calls out as most impactful. Of course we’ll be announcing the 2017 winners live this afternoon at the Summit. We’ll report on those award winners soon.

For now…. Drumroll please… Here’s a quick synopsis of the latest survey:

* Special thanks to the Beyond Type 1 leadership team and their community for helping to make this research happen! *


WHO: A total of 617 individuals participated, the majority (66%) having had type 1 diabetes for more than 6 years. The second-largest group of respondents (19%) was caregivers of an insulin-dependent PWD.

HOW: Respondents were asked to rate a broad array of products and services on a scale ranging from “life-changing” to “very helpful,” “helpful,” “of limited value,” or “did not help me at all.” They were prompted to add details in comments, and notably were also asked to make remarks on why they may choose NOT to use certain tools. Overall, more than 1,660 written comments were gathered (!)

WHAT: Perhaps not surprisingly, respondents chose as the overall most helpful items for living with diabetes: the continuous glucose monitor (CGM), followed by the insulin pump, and support via peers, online communities, family and friends, etc.

Things got more interesting when we dug into asking them about the relative “helpfulness” of specific devices, apps and programs in six categories: Exercise, Nutrition, Education/Care, Psychological/Social Support, Medical Devices and Blood Glucose Data Tools.

In nearly every category, we had a lot of repeat “write-in” items nominated by the community that rose to the top.

Some tools, like the MyFitness Pal app, got a lot of praise as highly useful in two categories: Exercise and Nutrition.

Other tools were critized for focusing too much on short-term goals, like food and nutrition apps that cater to weight loss.

Another common complaint was that so many educational tools seem designed mainly for the early stages after diagnosis, with little available for the more “advanced PWD.”

In one “bonus” question, we asked respondents to name “any other item – non-medical or retail product – that helps you in some way with the daily challenges of  diabetes, big or small?”

Some of the items that surfaced may look familiar to many:


We also received a PLETHORA of comments calling out the Affordability and Access crisis.

And when asked point-blank what our respondents would most want to say directly to decision-makers including pharma/device manufacturers, FDA, leading physicians and app developers, given the opportunity, this comment pretty well sums it up:

“I wish, in the back of their minds, they would take a look at whatever product they’re creating, and ask themselves these questions: Does this help a  person  with  type  1  diabetes  think LESS  about  their  disease  for  more  time  during  the day?  When a patient is  truly  on  top  of  their  disease, health,  fitness  and  diabetes  devices,  does  their product or service truly help that person too?”  

Wondering what the highest-ranked tools were this year? Probably not what you might expect…

You’ll just have to download the research report to learn more!

Click here to Download the Report >>

Let us know your thoughts.


And a HUGE THANK YOU to everyone who supported and participated in this survey! Your voices are being heard, we promise.