Yesterday and today our team is in San Francisco hosting our new DIABETESMINE UNIVERSITY program – our fresh “learning take” on the annual DiabetesMine Innovation Summit and Fall D-Data ExChange!

Keep your eye out for social media posts under the hashtags #DBMineSummit18 and #DData18 to follow the action.

We're super excited to be hosting our 2018 Patient Voices winners at this two-day event, along with all manner of leaders and influencers in the diabetes innovation/technology world.

 

What are the DiabetesMine Innovation Events All About?

Our annual DiabetesMine Innovation Summit is a annual gathering of informed patient advocates, device designers, pharma marketing and R&D leaders, regulatory experts, clinicians, mobile health experts, web visionaries, entrepreneurs and investors, and more.

We kicked off the Innovation Summit at Stanford School of Medicine in Fall 2011, after four amazing years of hosting our revolutionary open innovation competition, the DiabetesMine Design Challenge.

The aim is to jumpstart collaboration among the various groups of "diabetes stakeholders," to begin revolutionizing the world of building tools for diabetes. Primarily we hoped to help forge best practices for keeping the actual users of these solutions (us patients!) central to the innovation process.

Each year, the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit features a different "change theme" that addresses areas ripe for innovative problem-solving.

Our bi-annual D-Data ExChange was kicked off in Fall 2013 when we realized there was an upsurge of technology innovation coming from the patient community itself. In fact, the inaugural meeting in Fall 2013 was the birthplace of the now-international #WeAreNotWaiting DIY patient entrepreneurship movement.

This forum gathers those patient-entrepreneurs with the major pharma leaders, medical device manufacturers, clinicians and researchers creating vital algorithms, consumer mHealth tech experts and designers, and FDA.

 

Why a University Theme This Year?

We're glad you asked.

Look back at events we’ve hosted over the years, we realized we’re aligned with the mission of academia to offer our community: research, education and service. 

That is, we’ve done a number of independent research projects over the years to explore patient experiences and sentiments. Most recently, last year we did a deep dive into diabetes social media with a Netnography study that will be published soon in the Journal of Diabetes Science & Technology.

In terms of education, a learning component is what these events have always been about. Some of the top quality “educators” who’ve spoken at our events hail from Stanford, MIT, UC Berkeley, USC, UCLA and the U.S. Dept of Health & Human Services (HHS) and more.

When it comes to service, the mission of DiabetesMine has always been to help people live better with diabetes, and have a voice in the development of their own tools and treatment options.

So with all that and some enthusiastic brainstorming from Dennis Boyle of IDEO and Sarah Lucas of Beyond Type 1, we decided to roll with this university theme -- and have a little fun with it. Of course we're keeping real-world patient needs at the center of it all.

Our program this year consists of multiple hands-on workshops and multi-POV "seminars."

 

Focus on "The Consumerization of Diabetes"

Our opening focus for Day 1 (#DBMineSummit) was "The Consumerization of Diabetes" -- a keynote by Chris Bergstrom, Digital Health lead of the Boston Consulting Group, followed by a dialogue with leaders from Verily, Onduo, Fitbit and Samsung. It's all about how diabetes is morphing into a more consumer-facing market, with digital tools leading the charge, and what that means for all of us.

If you're wondering about that, look no further than the recent announcement that Amazon is offering its very own line of new blood pressure meters and glucose meter products, called Amazon Choice.

Amazon Choice Glucose Meters!

Yep, on Oct. 25, Amazon launched its own line of glucose monitors and blood pressure cuffs, created in conjunction with health brand consultancy Arcadia Group. This is the first-ever direct push into healthcare for Amazon, selling their very own brand of med devices -- naturally available solely on the online shopping platform.

For starters, they're offering two meter models – the Choice BG monitor, which is Bluetooth-enabled and works with both iOS and Android for a mobile app created by AgaMatrix; and the Choice Basic that is more simplistic in design and functionality. Both use the Choice brand of test strips. As of now the cost of the meter and strips and actual order-start date are not listed.

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Arcadia's Choice website also has a page that asks people to vote on which health products it should offer next, with options such as heart rate monitors and insulin pens. They may also look to incorporate these products with Amazon’s Echo home speaker devices, giving PWDs a way to connect to the voice-assistant Alexa. 

“The Choice brand is all about accessible wellness. Consumers no longer need to drive to a store to stand in-line and purchase their medical devices and supplies,” Arcadia CEO Bob Guest said in a statement. “Now, in the privacy of their home, consumers can review, compare and purchase the products of their choice. No insurance is required. Therefore, customers have the freedom of choice. They will no longer be told by their insurance company what brand they can buy. Choice is freedom.”

New Digital Health CPT Codes!

Also BIG is the recent addition of new CPT codes for insurance coverage of digital health tools, that will go into effect in 2019, backed by the American Medical Association. This paves the way for digital tools to become a core part of mainstream healthcare, that (in theory) everyone can afford! 

It’s a sign of the times, reflecting our modern-day reality in which physicians and clinic staff spend much of their time (whether with a patient or not) dealing with digital health -- whether it’s dealing with the devices themselves, the data generated, how those products are available and covered by payers, and what works best for particular people.

Starting Jan. 1, the 2019 Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) codes will give healthcare professionals a way to get reimbursed for digital health. Specifically, three new remote patient monitoring codes allow for HCPs to use technology to connect with patients at home to gather data for care, rather than requiring an in-person visit to the office.

These new digital health CPT codes also allow HCPs to be reimbursed for important things like time spent by staff and doctors to communicate via email and other non-verbal channels, review records and summarize reports without needing to interact in person. 

“Medicare’s acceptance of the new codes would signal a landmark shift to better support physicians participating in patient population health and care coordination services that can be a significant part of a digital solution for improving the overall quality of medical care,” said AMA President Dr. Barbara L. McAneny.

 

Moves like these are part and parcel of the fundamental shift we're seeing in the healthcare landscape, where patients have a MUCH more central role -- now finally recognized as the critical customers they are… especially for emerging digital health tools. And diabetes of course is always first in line!

Stay tuned in the next weeks for more about our Fall 2018 Innovation Summit and #DData ExChange.