Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Medtronic Bloggers and Advocacy Gossip Day:)

I've had a very interesting day today. I was dragged along (by my mum) to a type 1 diabetes bloggers and advocates meeting at Medtronic, in Watford. When I say dragged along, I mean, I eagerly followed her. Medtronic get ideas and/or feedback from us about various projects or products, and in exchange they tell us what their next steps are, and what the latest news is in the Medtronic (pump therapy) World. And oh my word was it exciting to hear what will be coming!

Also invited to the meeting were:

@everydayupsdwns
Little D (can't find a Twitter account)
@LwSweetpea88
And other t1d advocates and a couple of company representatives (all diabetic, or a parent of a diabetic) (and mostly adults with the exception of two teens including myself) 
Ninjabetic, The GrumpyPumper and The Tangerine Diabetic all also usually go but weren't there today. 

Did you know that the UK only has UNDER 10% (about 8 or 9 % to be precise) of type 1 diabetic patients on a pump?!?! It is in the same percentage category as places such as Serbia, Kazakstan and Russia! Whereas places such as Italy, Hungary, France and Canada have 10 to 20 % on pumps? Surely we should be alongside these country's statistics?! 

But, thankfully, that was the only disheartening aspect of today. However, the next thing I learnt today pushed that disappointing fact very far from my mind. They are developing a system (there is absolutely no timeline on this) called MiniMed Connect. And it is exactly what the name says, the MiniMed platform connecting.... WITH A PHONE. An iPhone, (perfect for me then!) with the pump and CGM being seen on the phone screen. The user would still have the pump, and use it whenever, but your pump would have this little transmitter-y thingy kept near it which would basically just allow the phone to show the pump screen using a cloud or something. I don't understand the technical business, but I understand the !!!PUMP BEING ON AN IPHONE!!! part. It would be able to be transmitted to up to 5 devices, so yours and for instance, your mum's. 

This is working in America, or being trialled, I'm not sure what was said exactly, but it only works with American pumps so sadly it can't be bought in America and brought to the UK by a family member or someone similar:(  The system would work with the 640G, but not the Veo. There's a press release somewhere about it, if I find it I'll link to it. It'll have more details than I can give you. 

Medtronic will also be setting up a Facebook page (finally!), and we were asked to write down ideas about what they could post, link to and make the Facebook page about. We were each assigned to one of the 5 subjects, me being assigned to 'Teenagers' with the other teen there (17).

Some of the things we put were:

- Exams and managing stress, revision and blood sugars. What is available equipment and resources wise. Such as CGM, even if it is self funded for the exam period, or having a seperate room. 

- Social, how to explain and talk about diabetes and pumps to friends, boyfriends/girlfriends. 

- Puberty, parties, alcohol, sex and drugs. 

- Driving

- An introduction to diabetes for newly diagnosed teenagers (there seemed to be children and adults but a gap where teenagers help and guidance would be, in the other teen's area)

- Case studies, real people coping with real, actually did happen, diabetes crisises i.e. Being on stage and having a low, how it was dealt with. 

(There was one more, but I can't remember it now.)
Oh and I mentioned funny memes and pictures, to keep things light on the future Facebook page ! 

The other topics were pregnancy, hypoglycaemia, parents and guardians and a random column for interesting topics. 

We then had a guest speaker who spoke about percurement (who had been dressed like us in the morning sessions, mixed with us and was genuinely type 1 diabetic but had actually been disguised as he was actually the guest speaker!) 

I can't talk about what he said at all, as I understood barely any of it! I do know that it was about where the funding for pumps and CGMs came from and who makes all the decisions about who has them or not. The bits that I could understand were very interesting. 

(I know this next but seems a bit random, but I wanted to mention it somewhere in this post and here is as good as any a place!)

I like Medtronic as a pump company a lot. Smartguard, customer service, support, actual products.... I personally feel as if you simply can't beat them. I do wish they'd bring out a tubeless pump or at least a fully functioning remote control, but that, as of yet, hasn't been brought out, (I'm praying that they're developing or at least thinking about developing one!!!). 

Overall, it was an excellent day and I can't wait until the next meeting! I sincerely hope I'm invited again. I really look forward to the future of pump technology too!!!!!!

(Oh and disclaimer: I wasn't asked by anyone to say anything I have in this blog post.)


(Look how amazing their latest pump is!!!! And sensor!!!! COMBINED!!!)





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