Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Latest Posts

Medtronic’s New Insulin Pump Aims To Prevent Hypoglycemia

g345yedy23wr Medtronics Low Glucose Suspend Technology Brings Insulin Pump Closer to Artificial Pancreas FunctionalityMedtronic received the go-ahead to begin an at-home U.S. trial of its Low Glucose Suspend technology that aims to prevent hypoglycemia by automatically stopping basal insulin delivery when measured glucose reaches a critically low level.

The pump technology is already available in Europe on the company’s Paradigm Veo insulin pump.

This is the second phase of the ASPIRE (Automation to Simulate Pancreatic Insulin REsponse) study, following the completion of the in-patient clinical study. ASPIRE is a multi-center, randomized, pivotal in-home study being conducted at multiple investigational centers to determine the safety and efficacy of the Low Glucose Suspend feature in the sensor-augmented MiniMed Paradigm insulin pump. Medtronic’s newest continuous glucose sensor, the Enlite™ sensor, will be tested as part of the overall system.

ASPIRE will compare Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Woman Inspired By Her Fellow Diabetic “Sisters”

For the last three days, I was out in San Diego for the Weekend for Women: Celebration of Strength conference, and throughout the course of my quick, two and a half day trip, I met so many inspiring women.  And I heard so many inspiring things.

Brandy Barnes, creator of the Diabetes Sisters organization, opened the session by talking about dispelling some of the myths and misconceptions of life with all kinds of diabetes.  “Fight the mental battle of making our diabetes management a priority, while juggling the competing forces of jobs, family, friends … we have this all in common.”  Everyone in the room was living with type 1, type 2, or LADA (and with one self-proclaimed “Type weird”, Ms. Natalie Sera, who I had the pleasure of meeting and hugging).

Natalie rules.  And all of her dresses have pockets!
“Lets wrap our arms around them and help them feel like they are part of our sisterhood,” Brandy said, encouraging those who have attended the conferences in the past to reach out to new attendees.

That was the theme of the weekend – reaching out and being there.  There were many speakers (and I was very honored to be one of them, on a panel with some fellow insulin pumpers, talking about diabetes and technology), and their topics varied but their messages all contained the common thread of community.

Susan Jung Guzman, Phd and Director of Clinical Services at the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, spoke about Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Why This Diabetic Isn’t Concerned About Her Insulin Pump Being Hacked

Jay Radcliffe is a fellow type 1 diabetic, and I remember reading his diabetes blog way back in the day, when I first started blogging.  We read and commented on each other’s posts, and we were both part of the blogosphere when the DOC first started to grow.  I knew he was married, had children, and did the day-to-day diabetes stuff that I did.

Which is why when I read the mainstream media’s take on his pump-hacking research (this article, Insulin Pumps Vulnerable to Hacking, for example), I reached out to him immediately.  “Can I just tell you that my mother sent me this article about your research?  Do you have time to talk?”

Jay was out in Las Vegas this morning, attending the Black Hat security conference, but he and I had a chance to hash it out over the phone.

“I know you!  And I know you as a diabetic, not as this guy who hacks insulin pumps and has a billion articles floating around about it on the web right now.  I have a few questions.  Starting with, why did you decide to hack into your own insulin pump?”
 Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Mobile Application Shown To Enhance Diabetes Care

It seems intuitive (at least to Medgadgeteers) that mobile technology can be used to improve health outcomes, but we still need studies to actually put data behind this idea.  A recent study of the DiabetesManager mobile health platform from WellDoc is a step in this direction. We last reported about WellDoc’s mobile diabetes application in 2010, and since that time it has been tested in a clinical trial and was shown to reduce HgbA1c by 1.9%.

The DiabetesManager is a behavioral coaching and clinical decision support system.  Patients enter details about blood glucose values, medications, and behaviors via mobile phone, and health care providers receive quarterly summaries based on this information. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Growing Up With Type 1 Diabetes

In the years I’ve attended CWD’s Friends for Life conference, I always came away with this appreciation for what the conference provides for kids with diabetes, and their parents.  Kids – a whole bunch of them – running amuck and clad in green bracelets with pump tubing flapping from underneath their t-shirts … it’s a place where these families hopefully feel normal, and safe, and understood.

But I’m not a kid with diabetes.  I’m an adult.  (I checked, and it’s true: adult.)  I always felt welcomed at past FFL conferences, but people constantly checked for the kid at my side, because the “child with diabetes” surely couldn’t be me.  (And then there was that time that the registration lady thought Sara(aah) was my child with diabetes, wherein my head exploded.)

Growing up with diabetes isn’t hard.  It isn’t easy.  I can’t assign adjectives to it because it’s all I’ve ever known, so growing up with diabetes is exactly synonymous to “just plain growing up.”  My friends didn’t have to take injections or chase NPH peaks, but we were in the same classes and rode the same bus and went on the same field trips, so we were “the same.”  The difference, at that point in my life, was Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Six Until Me.*

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »