News from DiabetesMine™ D-Data Exchange 2021


The DiabetesMine™ D-Data ExChange is a biannual event where diabetes advocates, pharma leaders, developers, clinicians, designers and other groups interested in diabetes tech for diabetes management, and a better quality of life, get together. This is the event, where attendees can discover, learn about and try demos of new diabetes tech.

D-Data 2020 and 2021 were held as virtual events vía Remo, a platform that not only streamed the videos and content but also promoted participation in tables. Such as it would normally happen in a live D-Data event.

Here is a recap of the sessions we attended at D-Data 2021.

Technology, Telehealth, and Tools

According to Brian Cooley, the future of technology is anticipation. The anticipation era of technology prepares us for new interfaces: environment, biometrics, smart voice, facial recognition, smart cameras and brain wave monitoring. When combining telehealth with data that can turn into actionable, personalized information for health consumers and integrating them as a whole, it can mean changing the way we work on our health. “If a person has been using telehealth during the pandemic and had not visited a doctor before, it is an unequivocal sign of the usefulness of telehealth,” emphasized Cooley.

Nowadays continuous glucose monitors (CGMs) are being used by people who do not live with diabetes as an option to see and learn about their health. Although there is a big debate in the diabetes community, there seems to be interesting data that will promote the use of these tools as options to track health data for those who do not live with diabetes.

Levels was another app presented for glucose analysis to optimize food intake used by athletes without diabetes. According to the app’s website, this is a way to learn how our bodies react to food and exercise.

January AI is another app for data analysis that integrates a continuous glucose meter. According to Brian Cooley, the idea is knowing your body and taking steps to maximize it. The utilization of these devices is still under debate, but it seems that it is becoming a trend.

Other apps mentioned were Proteus Discover, RX Cap, Etect RX, technologies that can help track treatments and prevent dosing errors. These tools were not created specifically for people with diabetes, however, have other health benefits, such as tracing oral medication treatments.

Exploring FDAs Diabetes Innovation Pathways

Diabetes technology innovation requires safety and regulation. The first thing we noticed about the first blood glucose sensor is the education provided to the user. It can help users understand the types of food and the response in our blood glucose data, empowering those living with diabetes by providing information that will inform diabetes management. We are now able to see and learn how our bodies react under different circumstances and have the opportunity of making thoughtful decisions about blood glucose data rather than reactive ones.

One of the questions during the session was, as a community that applauds the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for regulating technology, is there anything we can do to help FDA?

The answer: “it is very useful for the FDA to have the participation of the #diabetes community, #wearenotwaiting to understand the needs of these groups and expedite the approvals of new devices” according to Dr. Alberto Gutiérrez, senior FDA officer.

Project Updates

The OPEN Project: Katarina Braune presented on The OPEN Project, a project dedicated to research around the open-source community. Her research examines clinical outcomes of DIYAPS systems users, including time in range and metabolic improvement data. So far, 10 thousand people have donated 40 million hours of experience with these systems. Katarina emphasized that regardless of initial HbA1c with these open-source DIY systems, there is a time in range of 80 percent and improvement in hemoglobin. These improvements are independent on age.

Tidepool Loop: As we know, Tidepool Loop is in FDA process. In October 2018, it was announced that Tidepool would work with the #wearenotwaiting community and Insulet as a main partner. In 2019, an alliance with Dexcom and Medtronic was announced.  According to Tidepool’s website, Tidepool Loop was designed to work with diabetes devices that have been cleared by the FDA as interoperable. The regulatory process is in the next phase and an update is expected.

Thrivable: David Edelman presented Thrivable, a real-time market research platform for health care. Thrivable, according to Edelman, is a startup helping health care companies get the voice of the patient into all of their decisions.

Panther Program:

Laurel Messer, nurse scientist, certified diabetes educator and assistant professor at the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes,  presented the Panther Program. This by diabetes care specialists, clinicians and research staff from the Barbara Davis Center for Diabetes in Colorado.  They have created relevant and accessible resources for clinicians, engineers and people with diabetes.

According to Messer, it has been observed that 20 percent of healthcare professionals feel ready to work with diabetes management technology. Nevertheless, 39 percent are not as ready and feel intimidated by the technology.

Surprisingly, diabetes educators perceive themselves as hesitant to use technologies and more than 50 percent do not feel ready to use these technologies, whereas only 13 percent feel ready to work with these technologies. In general terms, this is a program that offers resources to help healthcare professionals in these learning processes to better use technologies and guide people with diabetes when needed.

Diabetes Leadership Council

Advocacy can never be forgotten. We were pleased to listen to an update from Diabetes Leadership Council. In the United States, as in the rest of the world, it would probably be less expensive to provide tools in a timely manner for the proper management of any type of diabetes than to care for complications. We need comprehensive treatment according to Erika Emerson from the Diabetes Leadership Council.

These are only a couple of our favorite presentations during D-data 2021. We cannot wait for this event to happen in a non-virtual way. Make sure to follow the conversation with the hashtag #DData2021

WRITTEN BY Mariana Gómez, POSTED 06/24/21, UPDATED 12/13/22

Mariana is a psychologist and diabetes educator. She is the creator of Dulcesitosparami, one of the first online spaces for people with type 1 diabetes in Mexico. She is the co-author of the children’s book Había una vez una Diabetes (Once Upon a Time There was Diabetes) with Eugenia Araiza and co-founder of Diabetes and Co, a diabetes education online platform for Spanish-speaking audiences with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Mariana is currently the director of emerging markets at Beyond Type 1. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes more than 30 years ago and is the mother of a teenager.