CONNECTED HEALTH CONFERENCE • SAVE THE DATE • October 16-18, 2019 • Boston, MA
To understand how technology impacts people with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), one must understand a day in the life for someone with this condition. Type 1 essentially means that your pancreas is not producing insulin. To correct this, the individual must constantly monitor their blood sugar level (especially around exercise and mealtimes), do calculations to decide how much insulin is needed, and then inject or program the proper amount. The biggest challenge comes at nighttime, when blood sugar levels can “bottom out” and in the worst-case scenario, an individual could fall into a coma.
Thankfully, we are in a time where technology exists to improve this daily management problem. Insulin pumps have been around for a while but continue to improve with the help of smartphone apps and a broadened availability. These devices allow users to pump insulin as needed rather than having to monitor their levels and rely on injections. And now, game-changing Continuous Glucose Monitors (CGMs) are becoming more reliable and more common. In the past, these two technologies did not talk to each other, but thanks to innovation in diabetes care, this is beginning to change.
In 2013, various enterprising patients began to take on this challenge, and eventually created what is called a Closed Loop system, which the medtech industry is now also working on. To learn more about how one person with Type 1 uses this ingenious new system, read the DiabetesMine post about Doug Boss on Warming Up to Do-It-Yourself Diabetes Looping.
Dissect the Essentials to a Successful Patient Partnership
Developing the right product for the right patient is foundational to healthcare innovation and tapping into the voice of the patient early in the commercialization process is vital. Patients often uncover hidden insights, inspire new ideas, bring innovators back to reality, and help position innovations for commercial success.