Our Top 5 Most Interesting Learnings from IDF 2015

city-of-glassA group of us from the Glooko team joined 7500+ delegates from around the world this week in the city of glass, Vancouver, BC for the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) 2015 meeting. Sessions, posters, exhibitions and presentations pulled together people from around the world to learn about ways to improve the outcomes of people with diabetes – something that is a true passion of all of us in this space. Glooko was there showing off our software and learning from others.

It was enlightening to hear from delegates from places like St. Lucia, Barbados, Nigeria, Mongolia, India, Bangladesh and more that remote monitoring people who don’t have access to urban medical services is a real need. The most enlightening part, they said everyone has a mobile smart phone and can get access and data to Glooko. Cool!

“I don’t think I have ever seen so many people from so many different countries in one place, united to understand and solve a global problem. The world could learn from this!”

We also spent some time studying the posters and looking at some of the new products at the event. Here are our “top 5 most interesting learnings” from the event:

1) In conjunction with the event, the IDF published their 7th Edition of the Diabetes Atlas. Some scary facts in the Atlas include:

-415 million adults have diabetes. By 2040 this will rise to 642 million.

-More than two thirds of people with diabetes in Africa are undiagnosed.

-One adult in eight in the North America and Caribbean Region has diabetes.

-Europe has the highest prevalence of children living with type 1 diabetes.

-In South East Asia, one quarter of all births are affected by high blood glucose in pregnancy.

-37% of all adults with diabetes live in the Western Pacific.

-In the Middle East and North Africa, four out of ten adults with diabetes are undiagnosed.

Relevance to Glooko:We can help people with diabetes understand what makes them go high and low and what they can do to improve!

2) Lily makes gorgeous insulin pens (check out the picture.) They modeled them directly after high-end pens and designed them to easily fit in a person’s pocket. We discussed bluetooth enabling their pens so they could share dosing data with Glooko and they said it will eventually come. For now, we just thought we’d share the esthetic! IMG_3610

Relevance to Glooko:Glooko integrates with over 40 BG meters, CGMs and Pumps. Next up? BLE enabled insulin pens!

3) In a study by Joslin Diabetes Center, “Blood Glucose Monitoring (BGM) Frequency in Youth with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D): Meter Download vs. Clinician Report vs. Self Report”, they set out to determine the relationship between BGM frequency and A1c according to age and sex by the three methods mentioned. The study found that more frequent BGM was associated with lower A1c in males and younger females with T1D. What was interesting was that while more frequent testing improved A1c levels, participants tended to self-report greater levels of testing than what was shown via their meter downloads (p<.0001) or clinician reports (p=.001) at a significant level. IMG_6152

Relevance to Glooko: We show meter downloads, which more accurately reports the patients frequency of testing and correlation to improvements in their A1c.

4) While contact with healthcare providers can improve glycemic control, studies have shown that this improvement can deteriorate once frequent contact is removed. In a study by the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, “Intensive Contact with a Diabetes Nurse Educator Improves Glycemic Outcomes for Patients Requiring Insulin Therapy (0554-P), they set out to determine if this was true by determining if weekly telephone contact by a diabetes nurse educator for insulin adjustments could improve patient glycemic control. And guess what? It did. Nurse telephone adjustment program resulted in highly significant reduction in A1c that persisted for 6 months after return to routine care. IMG_6162

Relevance to Glooko: We not only enable remote monitoring and telephone contact, but our graphs show the effects of insulin adjustments for tighter control and optimization. By educating patients on how to self-review via Glooko, patients can see sustainable A1c reductions (possibly longer than the 6 months reported here).

5) In as study by Cheng-Ching Hospital in Taiwan, “Self-Management Education and Behaviors of Diabetic Patients Admitted for Hypoglycemia”, they aimed to investigate diabetes self-management education and behaviors of patients admitted for hypoglycemia. Specifically, these patients were in a “Pay-for-Performance Program for Diabetes Under National Health Insurance” networking system. They found that the most common cause for hypoglycemia episodes were skipped or inadequate meals and that more patients needed to participate in individualized or tailored education programs. IMG_6167

Relevance to Glooko:For hypoglycemic events, users can indicate their symptoms, causes, and treatments that help them to proactively self-manage and recognize symptoms  of their hypoglycemic events before it worsens. It encourages self-education in a truly individualized format.

We can’t wait for the next event so we can learn more!

Robin Beadle