April 24, 2012

JDRF & Dexcom Development Agreement

This press release just went out: 

JDRF Announces Research Collaboration with Dexcom, Inc. to Develop “Smart Transmitter” Technology to Accelerate Artificial Pancreas Studies

--Novel Transmitter Will Simplify Artificial Pancreas Research by Eliminating a Separate CGM component—

NEW YORK, April 24, 2012 – JDRF, the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, announced today that it has partnered with Dexcom, Inc. (NASDAQ:DXCM), a San Diego, CA-based medical device company focused on developing and marketing continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems. The goal of the partnership is to accelerate the development of a novel wireless “smart transmitter” that would allow a CGM system to communicate directly with an artificial pancreas control device currently being used for research studies, instead of only with a CGM receiver. 

JDRF will provide Dexcom up to $500,000 over 12 months in milestone-based funding to complete the development, testing, and manufacturing of a custom “smart transmitter” prototype, which will be used for studies within JDRF’s Artificial Pancreas Project academic research consortium.  The direct communication capability enabled by the smart transmitter will be an important feature for artificial pancreas trials in outpatient (real-world) settings, as it would eliminate the need for a trial participant to carry multiple devices all wired together while testing an artificial pancreas system’s ability to manage glucose levels. 

People with T1D are burdened with constantly having to determine the right amount of insulin to dose at the right time, multiple times every day. Yet even with diligent monitoring, a significant portion of the day is still spent with either high or low blood sugar, placing them at risk for devastating complications. The artificial pancreas under development will be an external device that people with T1D could use to do what their bodies cannot—automatically control their blood sugar around the clock. It will work by combining an insulin pump and a CGM, which provides glucose readings every 1-5 minutes, with sophisticated computer software that allows the two devices to “talk to each other” to determine and provide automatically the right amount of insulin at the right time. Currently, all in-hospital artificial pancreas studies use wires and cables to connect a CGM system and an insulin pump to laptop computers or smartphones, which act as the artificial pancreas controllers.

In current CGM systems, the transmitter sends real-time glucose levels from the sensor to a receiver. In comparison, Dexcom’s next generation of “smart transmitters” will have the ability to wirelessly transmit a glucose value directly to multiple devices, including several versions of an artificial pancreas controller.

“This robust wireless capability could greatly enhance the performance of closed-loop algorithms in outpatient studies, and we are proud to be working with JDRF on this exciting venture,” said Terrance Gregg, chief executive officer of Dexcom. 

“In order for us to truly achieve real-life outpatient studies of artificial pancreas systems, we need systems that will allow people the freedom and ability to move around while also providing safety, monitoring, and data collection,” said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., assistant vice president of treatment therapies for JDRF. “Dexcom’s ‘smart transmitter’ will allow the sensor to talk directly to multiple artificial pancreas control devices, and essentially eliminate the hassle of being encumbered by wires and other devices while trying to be active. Now that the first outpatient studies have started, the development of robust wireless connection capability is a key step toward accelerating the delivery of an artificial pancreas to all patients with T1D.”           

About JDRF
JDRF is the leading global organization focused on type 1 diabetes (T1D) research. Driven by passionate, grassroots volunteers connected to children, adolescents, and adults with this disease, JDRF is the largest charitable supporter of T1D research. The goal of JDRF is to improve the lives of every person affected by T1D by accelerating progress on the most promising opportunities for curing, better treating, and preventing T1D. JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners who share this goal. Since its founding in 1970, JDRF has awarded more than $1.6 billion to T1D research. More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education. Past JDRF research efforts have helped to significantly improve the care of people with this disease, and have expanded the critical scientific understanding of T1D. JDRF will not rest until T1D is fully conquered. For more information, please visit www.jdrf.org

YDMV @sixuntilme

Today's YDMV post has been moved to a different diabetes channel. Tune your browsers to sixuntilme.com where I'm doing a guest post for my friend Kerri.

Here is a teaser for that piece:
My goal of parenting kids with diabetes is to make their passion in life the my first priority and to bring diabetes along as second. I don’t profess to be the model parent or a expert in diabetes (but I have a little background in both, as we have two type 1 teens, who, for the most part, talk to us).

April 16, 2012

Accu-chek Aviva or Compact Plus users - Little Help?

The folks at Glooko and Accu-chek are looking for a hand, well fingers that get checked Accu-chek style.

Here is the message from Facebook:
We are looking for 20 people to test drive a new version of Glooko Logbook before we ship it to the masses. To participate, you must have an iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. You also must use one of these meters: ACCU-CHEK Aviva or ACCU-CHEK Compact Plus. Click here to sign up! http://tinyurl.com/6mkdngm. The first 20 to apply get this sneak peek.

My two cents is if we PWD can help innovation happen it is in our interest to do so. I consider the folks at Glooko and Roche to be friends. Like all friends we help out when we can. I have no problem with friends in industry and friends who are critical of it. YDMV.  

Here's what I wrote about Glooko in November.  (And like the crappy friend that I am I never actually reviewed the thing beyond this post.)

April 12, 2012

#TwoBits Diabetes Sucks and Parents' Time

NEW FLASH: Diabetes Sucks!

I know, who would have thought it? Kelly Booth has a nice Stream of Consciousness post as part of her Wego series here. "Using insulin isn’t like taking a pill that you get 30 pills for 30 days. Every day is different and most days it is different because of things you have no control over." Well said. YDMV.

ALSO: Parents Need a Break

Sometimes Parents Get a Break When They Take a Break. Scott did. Here's a great line, "the beginning of the next step for us..." Sweet.

#TwoBits is a hash tag used to highlighting post I enjoy around the Diabetes Online Community. I think we are all stronger when our community celebrates each other. Please feel free share #TwoBits too.  

April 7, 2012

#TwoBits - One Post by @momof2T1s

#TwoBits is a way of pointing to great stuff on the DOC. Pointing out two sites helps show there is a wide span of these great ideas. I do this as much to make myself seek out other work as anything else. I feel an obligation to point stuff out. A very good friend very passionately spoke recognizing and sharing others work not competing with it at some ungodly hour in the lobby at MedtronicDAF. She was so so right. #TwoBits also helps me do that.

So here it is one link with #TwoBits. I write because… by Christina. I so love what she writes about wearing hats and when they are they are worn. It helps that Christina is a mom to two T1s. That is bit #1.

#2 is how she recognizes Kerri. It is both Funny and appropriate. That ties back to the whole idea of recognizing others. A good friend of the DOC at Medtronic spoke about borrowing from other and in a reply to my post emailed the source of that document making the point that when boldly borrowing from other to cite the source. So thank Lane Desborough for teaching me Proudly Found Elsewhere and that it came from Proctor and Gamble.

More importantly thanks Christina for expressing why I write too.  

April 5, 2012

Art and Science on the Walls of LA

My impression of MedtronicDAF and the Getty Museum.

I saw some amazing things on the walls in Los Angeles. A 1667 painting that we were convince was an endo visit but may have been an EPT and guys with leather chaps and Harley gear visiting the Flemish gallery at the Getty.

Of it all, I liked the impressionists best.

Manet’s “The Rue Mosnier with Flags” was stunning. Painted in 1878 it strikes me as a relevant critique of public displays of nationalism while the veteran with crutches shows who may bear the costs.

I found Monet’s painting of light somehow, more real than actual light. Yet it was Desborough’s Depictions on the Principles I found most hopeful. His series of single page works are fine art.


Lane Desborough is part of the artificial pancreas research team at Medtronic. On one wall the team has posters detailing the principles that guide their work. They all signed the posters committing to the principles. Hanging on the opposite wall are brief, one page papers, illuminating their progress to waypoints on the journey the principles inform.

Note: We were asked not to photograph the documents as some 
content is proprietary. This image was provided by Lane.

I tried to read a few of the one page abstracts. Like the works of other impressionist masters, when you look closely what seems a clear picture of an event, place or light on water is something else entirely. Something possibly outside your expectations and possibly beyond your ability to comprehend. Step back and an image appears clear again.

Lane's team are serious scientists including PhDs from domains other than diabetes, like aerospace and industrial chemical refining. One had been in defense contracting. Their art is to understand and transfer variability from one place to another where it is tweaked and adjusted. For example aerospace understands autopilots. A plane can be moved deliberately through three dimensions, safely, with input from gyroscopes and navigational instruments. Chemical plants routinely crank out refined products and we think nothing of the catalysts and complexity involved. The team's work is to defend future patients from some of diabetes variations.

It is fine art. Engineering art. This team is bringing their experience to make an autopilot to refine blood sugar. They are guided by principles, post abstracts on the walls and when you step back an look at their art you can see that maybe there is an image of the future in their art. An image of a better future.

Lane sent me a video of a trebuchet he and his son build with Legos. That too is fine art and better father, son and dog interaction that managing a boy’s insulin. Being dad, like science is an art.  That art matters most, or at least that was my impression of what I saw on the walls in LA.

In a future post I will share more about the guiding principles with lanes consent but for me the reality is in the impression.

Also, Lane was clear that part of his process is to consciously work past the not invented her syndrome and proudly borrow from other domains. With that in mind please see my disclosure about MedtronicDAF proudly borrowing from a friend.

April 4, 2012


Glu is part of the T1D Exchange, a very significant effort to cure T1. At first glance it is a social media site but there is very much more. 
Glu is a way that you and I and every other T1D household can connect to a Type 1 database and if we choose share our information with the folks trying to find better treatments and cures. 
Your Diabetes May Vary. So Your Diabetes Needs to be Part of the Cure.
Glu is the portal to do that.
At the JDRF Research Summit in DC T1D Exchange gave a presentation that I think is a fantastic overview of thier programs. I video taped it and worked in the slides from the power point. 
I found out about T1D Exchange when they came to our endo appointment.  I have been in the beta test of the site for about a year. Glu is opening soon. Now  is a great opportunity to become involved in the cure process. I encourage everyone involved with T1D to have a look. 
Oh and on Glu I am BadShoe - Connect with me when you join.

Here is an email I was asked to forward to my friends, like you:

Thank you for all your help so far in being a part of the closed beta test of Glu - a new research-based community for people touched by type 1 diabetes.  
Your feedback has been invaluable and, in the last couple of weeks, we've added Shout Notifications, the ability to track your A1c in the Health Record and the ability to view oldest or newest Discussion posts. There are many more updates in the pipeline and, in the meantime, we'd appreciate your help by encouraging your friends and family who are touched by type 1 diabetes to take part in the beta test and help build the Glu community.  
Please could you forward this email on to them or ask that they email 
info@myglu.org with the subject line "myglu" to get the invite code. They can also text "myglu" to 41411 for a registration reminder. 
Many thanks for all your support so far - we will continue to keep you informed as we approach the full launch.

Best wishes, The Glu Team

April 3, 2012

Sara's Message on Fairness, Disclosure and #MedtronicDAF

I again had the privilege of joining a number of other Diabetes Online Community writers as a participant in Medtronic's Diabetes Advocates Forum last Friday. Our host, Medtronic paid for travel, room and fed us for the time we were in LA. They did not ask us to make any specific comments or any comments at all.

They presented topics including their sensing program, work towards and artificial pancreas, MySentry, a Build-a-Bear Lenny the Lion (that we responded to a lot more than apparently the internal staff at Medtronic though we would,) presented a book and talk about Better by Chuck Eichten and gave us some time to talk about what was important to us as diabetes advocates.

I hope that we listened attentively and questioned with the passion of people who appreciate progress made, but are still impatient and passionate about better diabetes care. I don't know how or why I was chosen to receive an invitation. The T1D's in our household are not Medtronic customers. The choice of what pump, if any, my kids wear, if any, is theirs alone. I have reviewed some Medtronic initiatives one of which I had given me some real concerns. The issue was about the Lenny the Lion iPhone app and an initial version that collected email from potentially little kids. To their credit they changed the app which I still never reviewed.

One of the conversations that I had with other DOC folks was about sharing our strengths and not repeating or competing with others in the DOC. My good friend Sara writes on Moments of Wonderful that the privilege of attending these events giver her a feeling that it is unfair. I can not equal Sara's eloquent consideration of the matter and strongly encourage you to read her post.* Particularly as this year Medtronic has offered a trial use of the MySentry product. Medtronic wants honest and thoughtful feed back. If one of my kids is willing to wear the sensors, I hope that our household can again provide feedback that is useful to future users.

I hope that the group of DOC writers who participated collectively can have an impact on the development of Medtronic products that benefits all future patients. To the extent that we can represent other effectively hopefully there is a balance in our participation that addresses the question Sara raises about fairness.

I believe that those who sponsor these events appreciate honest feed back. That is one thing I am good at.  Very many over the course of my life have said too good at. I hope that I am a honest, thoughtful and at time both funny and forceful advocate for people and families living with diabetes. I think that type 1 household have a unique ability to appreciate the balance of disparate things, like say carbs, exercise and insulin. Maybe advocates and industry can have a similar relationship. If so then on balance I hope my participation can be fair.

*Kim also has wonderful comments on TextingMyPancreas.

Other YDMV Posts on MedtronicDAF
See last years post disclosure