August 22, 2011

prescient |ˈpreSH(ē)ənt, adjective

prescient |ˈpreSH(ē)ənt, ˈprē-|
having or showing knowledge of events before they take place: a prescient warning. 

It takes no prescience to guess my topic, sorry about that. I will learn a new tune, soon. There are times in life when tunes are prescient. Consider the Talking Heads Rock Movie, Stop Making Sense and insulin pump hacking. How can a 30 year old rock and roll album show knowledge of insulin pump hacking well before insulin pumps and hacking were commonly used terms? Read on my friends YDMV is going pop culture.

Jay “Pump Hack” Radcliffe wrote on Facebook that he thought this war was over.  Jay didn’t seem to expect that as the hack story lives on and in that others (a word that here means me) would continue to put forward the idea that there are other risks associated with insulin pumping that are as, or more, pressing than hacking. That is Life During Wartime Jay 

But I do not see myself as at War with Jay. In my first post on the issues I offered up the fact that I kinda hacked a pump way back when when we first started using them.  I hope I am all about the idea that pumps need to evolve and become better. Better should be prioritized in terms of advancements in improving lives and not simply be a function of what scare get the most press play. 

I do not see Jay as a Psycho Killer. On the contrary he brings up legitimate issues. Doing so, I think he is responsible to offer up suggestions on how to address the issues he found. I see him as anxious to do that. I do worry that the media attention given the hack story will suck all the oxygen out of the room and things like low glucose suspend, faster insulins, smart insulin and the glucose meter shuffle will choke for lack of attention. 

I think we would be Burning Down the House if hacking were to become the only or even primary concern around innovative diabetes care. So I speak up. I would hate to see the meter that has bolus wizards for the multiple daily injection community be kept off the market out of fear of hacking. I can’t see how the color screen on a remote is regulatory issues in any issue in any but the most minor way what so ever but it is available in Canada and not here. I look forward to seeing the Dexcom integration with Animas and Omnipod but both are in regulatory purgatory. LGS is a small first step towards automating insulin delivery and blood glucose sensing. All the laypeople in the world think that is what a pump does now but we know it does not.  Further delay keeping that innovation from the market may cost lives. 

Are the media Slippery People for publishing a compelling story without putting it into put into a wider context? No. Their job seem to me to be focusing on the next edition's Once in a Lifetime story that will sell banner advertising. For the mews media every day is Shark Week.

I fear an isolated and exaggerated risk myopia may be responsible for Burning Down the House of better diabetes care. So on second thought maybe we should focus on what really matters and Start Making Sense:

There is no war: Pumps communications should be secure. LGS matters. We all need to talk about risk in the context of life with diabetes.

Get Serious: Industry with the FCC and FDA need to figure out secure protocols for medical devices. Regulators should make these protocols easily approved as changes for device manufacturers to implement. This should be in the form of standards to spread the cost of the changes widely and efficiently. Each manufacturer should not be required to reinvent the secure communication wheel. Each consumer and insurer should not have to pay for new and different processes for each device. 

Remember Who’s Air It Is: Secure communications over the public radio spectrum should NOT be proprietary. That is no firm should have the proprietary advantage of excluding others from the spectrum's use for safe secure health care device communications. The air belongs to us all. 

Make it Work: The FDA should make it very clear how to implement secure communications and make it easy to get such communications approved into existing devices. 

Risk is not absolute: The lack of such security protocols should be balanced with the benefit of innovation. Advances such as LGS need to come to market while the FDA and FCC figure out what they will require.

1 comment :

  1. as a music lover and a PoaCWD, i enjoyed this post very much indeed! :)