Last week I attended the Advanced Technologies & Treatments for Diabetes Conference, in Milan, Italy, which brought together the world’s leading researchers, clinical practitioners and corporate professionals for a lively exchange of innovative ideas related to digital health technologies in diabetes. Here are the four top diabetes technology trends as I see it, which I think captures the trends in the diabetes ecosystem at large.
Trend #1: Interoperability Between Technologies
Connected health, also known as technology-enabled care, involves the convergence of health platforms, mobile apps, and digital media. Digital devices help patients track and monitor their diseases and the need for interoperable systems is a growing trend. Yet achieving compatibility among multiple evolving platforms (Android, iPhone, cloud, social media) is a major challenge. The companies and healthcare institutions that will create an infrastructure for interoperability across different platforms will prevail in the digital health space and improve treatments for their patients.
Trend #2: The Microbiome & the Personalized Nutrition Approach
The Personalized Nutrition Project, a new initiative led by Professor Eran Segal and Dr. Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science, looks at how Individuals respond differently to food - perhaps because of an individual’s specific microbiome makeup -- the 100 trillion germs we all carry around in our guts.
During a measurement week, participants of the Personalized Nutrition Approach are monitored for their blood sugar response to different types of food and are also asked to provide a sample of their microbiome.
Based on a microbiome driven algorithm that analyzes historical data, the Personalized Nutrition Project team can predict the individual response to all kinds of food (not included in the original testing) to build a personalized diet for their participants.
Trend #3: Patient Engagement Platforms
Patients and caregivers are looking for improved outcomes and benefits from digital platforms. A recent study presented at the ATTD conference and published recently in Diabetes Care looks to provide patients additional benefits with GET.ON Mood Enhancer Diabetes, a minimally guided web-based self-help intervention for adults with type 1 and type 2 diabetes and comorbid depressive symptoms. This platform aims to reduce depressive symptoms and stress the importance patient engagement platforms to help patients better manage their diseases. Patients and caregivers are becoming more sophisticated, and demand additional clear health benefits from their digital platforms. Staying abreast with those demands is key and should drive innovation in the digital space.
Trend #4: New Ultra Long Acting Insulins in the market 2016
The FDA approved two new drug treatments for diabetes --Tresiba® Ryzodeg® both manufactured by Novo Nordisk. These two new drug therapies will be entering the market in 2016 and are worth tracking to see their impact on the larger diabetes community.