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10 Technologies Changing Diabetes Care
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Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/11/2014 | 12:17:06 PM
Focused Condition
When I speak to healthcare executives at hospitals and payers, many focus on diabetes when they pilot a technology initiative such as big data, analytics, or other solution. In addition to helping patients manage and cope with this condition, more healthcare providers (from solo practitioners up) want cost-effective, efficient, user-friendly ways to help individuals never get this condition. Encouraging patients to eat right, exercise, and get regular checkups are all good advice -- and many people enjoy using apps to help them attain these laudable goals. 
RogerB641
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RogerB641,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/12/2014 | 2:52:40 PM
Solution
All this great and expensive technology when the solution to type 2 diabetes is incredibly simple and obvious.  Start with a hardcore low carb diet.
pamelahazelton
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pamelahazelton,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/12/2014 | 6:38:46 PM
All Great, But Missing a BIG Piece of the Puzzle
I'm referring to the BLIND diabetic. And many diabetics are totally blind. While all these technologies are great, there is very little available (and even less in the works) to assist low-vision and/or totally blind diabetics in managing the disease. How many talking meters are there? The good ones have been discontinued. Talking or sound-used pumps? None cover everything a diabetic needs to manage entirely on his/her own. 

You'd think with blindness being a big issue with diabetes there would be more tech for those folk, but the availability is very limited, and much of what is available is quite expensive.
pamelahazelton
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pamelahazelton,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/12/2014 | 6:39:59 PM
Re: Solution
For many, yes, but not all. We wish it were that simple of a solution for everyone.
RogerB641
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RogerB641,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/13/2014 | 12:04:35 AM
Re: Solution
Yes, I agree.  But the money and attention goes towards the most expensive and the most technologicall advanced solution
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/13/2014 | 7:16:30 PM
Re: All Great, But Missing a BIG Piece of the Puzzle
Thank you for raising a very, very important point. I had thought there would be more voice-activated pumps and other technologies available for diabetics and was surprised at the dearth of these devices. Why, do you think, there are so few? Is it a technological issue (which seems unlikely, given the growth of voice activation in other areas); profitability; insurance; complexity, or something else completely? 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/13/2014 | 7:23:25 PM
Re: Solution
I linked to an April New York Times article that discussed how small advances in technology can dramatically increase the price of insulin pumps and other medical devices diabetics need to stay healthy. The article generated a lot of comments -- many negative -- from organizations such as the American Diabetes Association that point to the improvements these new devices deliver. I think it's exciting to see other ways in which researchers are using technology to help prevent and manage diabetes, things like using big data and analytics to figure out not only preventative measures (some of which are common knowledge at this point) but which methods are best-suited for particular individuals. Or designing a "bionic pancreas" or less invasive, painful ways to deliver insulin so more patients will be compliant with their doctors' orders. 

When speaking to healthcare professionals, they realize diabetes is expensive but in the vast, vast majority of cases these pros truly want their patients to get well or have happier, healthier lives for their patients' sake. It truly is a win-win when you have healthier patients and, btw, the health system pays less. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/13/2014 | 7:26:49 PM
Blindness and Diabetes
Have you found any technologies -- apps, voice-activated devices or websites, or other tools -- that help blind diabetics? If so, please share them. 
DuaneW534
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DuaneW534,
User Rank: Apprentice
7/14/2014 | 9:52:24 AM
Re: Solution
The technologies are for treatment.  I think Roger is making a very important point.  When diagnosed, you have to change your lifestyle and 90% of Type 2 diabetes is reversible.
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
7/14/2014 | 10:36:01 AM
Re: Solution
That is one reason Cities for Life was so well-received in its area. Organizers called or surveyed organizations in the entire region that offered anything related to healthy living -- that included religious organizations that had exercise classes ranging from walking and zumba to yoga and meditation to farmers' markets and cooking classes. They then compiled all this information on the website so diabetics (and, to be quite frank, anyone else interested in a healthier lifestyle) could discover exercise or food-related places near to their work or office. Although they have not yet been able to determine the results (in terms of analyzing how knowledge translated into improvements in diabetes) they did see increases in usage.
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