This week “In the News..” our top stories include: New features for Dexcom Follow, Vertex makes stem cell progress on a functional cure for type 1, funding comes through for a eye scan for glucose levels, a new aggregate diet/nutrition study measures T1D risk in babies, Medtronic snaps up a patch pump company and a lot more..
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Episode Transcription below:
Hello and welcome to Diabetes Connections In the News! I’m Stacey Simms and these are the top diabetes stories and headlines of the past seven days. As always, I’m going to link up my sources in the Facebook comments – where we are live – and new this week – Live on YouTube.. and in the show notes at d-c dot com when this airs as a podcast.. so you can read more if you want, on your own schedule.
In the News is brought to you by Real Good Foods! Find their breakfast line and all of their great products in your local grocery store, Target or Costco.
Earlier today, Dexcom released some new features for its Follow app. It now includes a Homescreen Widget to an Apple device, a Quick Glance for Android users. You can submit a Technical Support Request or Request a Callback via Follow’s Contact Menu. I assume that means you can request replacement sensors from within the app?
And you can Access the Status page via Follow’s Help Menu to check the status of any of the Dexcom systems. This is version 4.4 of Dexcom Follow and only applies to US users.
Some news in the stem cell race – a few companies now looking at this as a practical cure for type 1. Vertex announced that the first patient in its islet cell replacement therapy is doing well – with a lower A1C and less insulin needs. The person is on immunosuppressive therapy and does still need to use insulin – although 90-percent less. This caught my eye – this person was diagnosed 40 years ago – this isn’t a recent diagnosis. They also had incredible hypoglycemia, up to 5 episodes a day and pretty much have their life back now. One person does not make a cure but it’s good to see these therapies moving forward. You may recall Vertex acquired Semma and joins ViaCyte which has an encapsulated stem cells – the hope for all long-term is that no immune suppressants would be needed.
A new eye scan that could help diagnose diabetes is moving ahead. British-based startup Occuity has received investment funding for the Occuity Indigo, a non-contact, optical glucose meter.. The company says it’s different from the failed Google contact lens… the Google version measured fluid.. but the Occuity looks within the eyeball. The company says quote – it is a transparent, stable environment whose glucose levels correlate with those of the blood.
The Occuity Indigo sends a faint beam of light into the eyeball and measures the light that bounces back into the device. It can infer glucose levels in the eye based on the refraction of the returning light.
Medtronic’s in talks to snap up what sounds like a pretty advanced patch pump from an Israeli company called Triple Jump. The Triple Jump system has a compact, fully portable, battery-operated miniature insulin pump and hand-held controller and includes all supporting accessories and sterile single-use disposables. The release here says it will be included in a future artificial pancreas system and that Medtronic plans to integrate Triple Jump’s device to improve its pumping capabilities.
No surprise but important info – using a flash glucose moniotor can improve A1Cs and reduce DKA cases. Big study in Scotland using the Libre – called a flash monitor because this version isn’t continuous – you have to swipe to see your glucose. The technology has been free in Scotland since 2018 – so use in people with type 1 went from about 3 percent in 2017 to 46 percent in 2020. Improvement was seen across all ages, genders and socio-economic lines. Also.,regardless of prior or current pump use, completion of a diabetes education program, or early flash monitoring adoption.
Controversial but more research into preventing type 1.. new studies showing that longer breastfeeding and later introduction to gluten may reduce the risk. This was a look at aggregate studies in Sweden.. which has the second highest incidence of type 1 in the world. (number one is Finland – I knew you were going to ask)
For babies nursed for at least six to 12 months, the risk of developing type 1 went down 61 percent. Gluten at three to six months of age lowered the risk 64 percent. The studies also pointed to a protective effect of vitamin D supplementation during infancy. These researchers are careful to say that this isn’t definitive but instead points to the need for more studies of babies’ diet and vitamin intake and the risk of type 1.
Some early news about type 1 diabetes, pregnancy and the gut microbiome. This study shows pregnant women with type 1 had a decrease in “good” gut bacteria and an increase in ‘bad’ gut bacteria that promote intestinal inflammation and damage to the intestinal lining. These changes could contribute to the increased risk of pregnancy complications seen in women with type 1
This is very early on.. the next stage of the project was to identify markers that would determine which women with type 1 diabetes might benefit from safe interventions during pregnancy, including dietary changes.
More to come, including mental health help and a bit of a correction on my part. But first, I want to tell you about one of our great sponsors who helps make Diabetes Connections possible.
Real Good Foods. Where the mission is Be Real Good
They make nutritious foods— grain free, high in protein, never added sugar and from real ingredients—we really like their breakfast line.. although Benny rarely eats the waffles or breakfast sandwiches for breakfast.. it’s usually after school or late night. He ate like four waffles at ten o clock at night the other day. You can buy Real Good Foods online or find a store near you with their locator right on the website. I’ll put a link in the FB comments and as always at d-c dot com.
Back to the news…
We talk a lot about mental health and diabetes and how there just aren’t enough resources to help. I want to call your attention to a free virtual workshop by the Center for Diabetes and Mental Health. This is tomorrow as you watch me live – and if you’re listening or watching after I’d still urge you to check out the resources. This is from Dr. Mark Heyman who I’ve had on the show and who has his own podcast. Dr. Heyman is a diabetes psychologist and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist and he lives with type 1.
Bit of a correction to last week’s news.. I had speculated whether the Dexcom/Garmin partnership which uses the name Connect IQ had anything to do with Tandem’s Control IQ. I heard from a lot of you – apparently Garmin’s whole app system is just called Connect IQ.. and has been for years. But I did get that interview with Dexcom I mentioned.. so that will be our long-format interview episode coming up on Tuesday. That’s a chat with the chief technology officer of dexcom
The episode out right now is all about Halloween – it’s an ask the d mom conversation with my wonderful friend moira mccarthy. We talk about everything from candy to getting your kids insulin pump under the costume to sugar free candy from well meaning neighbors
That’s In the News for this week.. if you like it, please share it! Thanks for joining me! See you back here soon.