March 12, 2013

Help New York Decide to Invest in Diabetes Education

Edited to add the video can be seen here if the NYC site is down, sadly this project didn't get to the next round. Still the idea and video are fantastic:

New York City is challenging, designers, and engineers to develop new products with potential.  Part of the process is a "Popular Choice Finalist" aka social media voting. Here is why this contest matters to people living with diabetes.

Here all this time we thought it looked like a number with a one place decimal like 7.6, 6.4 or 9.7. Often the number is accompanied by a look of disappointment from the person reading the lab sheet. So of course we thought it was a number that is all anyone ever said about it.

But look at the picture. It is a model of a hemoglobin protein. The red bits are the protein's HEME Groups, the part of the protein that move oxygen around the body. They give blood its red color. The spiky blue parts are glucose molecules attached to the hemoglobin. The more of them the higher the A1C. If the little blue bastard are sticking to every hemoglobin cell in our bodies, they are sticking to everything else too.

This model is one of a kind. Wouldn't it be kick ass if every educator had one of these so that patients could see, touch and and feel to understand that A1C in more than a arbitrary number?

We can help get these to educators by voting in New York City's Next Top Makers contest. The winner moves on to a round of professional advice and possible funding. I think better diabetes education tools is a fantastic idea. If you do too, vote. Vote early and often if you can figure out how.

Then, please, spread the word on you blog, Twitter feed, Facebook... where ever. Together we can help NYC think beyond commercial potential to public health value.

Voting is open to March 27 at 5:00pm EDT.