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Health Innovation Matters

Dec 19, 2018

Robin chats with Kelly Close, founder and chair of the board of the diaTribe Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of people living with diabetes and prediabetes, and advocating for action and Adam Brown, who serves as senior editor at and head of diabetes technology & connected care at Close Concerns. There are more than 400 million people globally who have diabetes, about half of whom are undiagnosed, notes Brown. Historically, he says, technology has focused on Type 1 diabetes, but now and, in the future, there will be more of a focus on Type 2 diabetes, with the current capability of using continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and the burgeoning use of smart phones and apps. Companies are going to have to demonstrate that this transformative technology produces better outcomes, he explains, so expect more studies of what happens when patients get real time glucose readings every five minutes. Technology can be used for more personalized prevention, treatment, and care, adds Close. There are scientific innovations, she says, which provide breakthrough therapies for cardiac issues related to diabetes, resulting in increased attention to access issues.  Having access to vital diabetes information, such as how much insulin is needed, empowers patients to engage in increased self-care, she adds. Pharmaceutical companies are “leaving diabetes,” Close notes, which just magnifies the importance of technology. However, Brown says, pharmaceutical companies, such as Eli Lilly, are investing in technology, including the use of pens, while CGM companies are focusing on software development. In terms of innovators, it’s important that they keep in mind the necessity of patient access and awareness, both Close and Brown assert.