As the prospect of a new school year glimmers on the horizon, school supplies are flying off store shelves and filling backpacks across the country. For people with type 1 diabetes (T1D), those notebooks and pencils may jostle for space with a slew of other supplies: test strips, low snacks and devices. We know that managing T1D is a challenge, both in and out of the classroom. Here are some of the technologies JDRF is advancing to make diabetes management a little more manageable.
Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) systems are a perfect example. They can alert kids and their caregivers to changes in blood sugar, prompting them to take the right measures to stay in a healthy range. “I love the technology that is available because it lets me know exactly where I am 24/7,” said Los Angeles teen Carly. “I was in the nurse’s office more than I was at school for a long time before my CGM.” JDRF launched the clinical trial that conclusively demonstrated in 2008 that CGM use improved health outcomes for people with T1D of all ages, and has since been the leading advocate for public and private insurance coverage of CGM systems for people with T1D.
Many CGM systems can be monitored remotely too. Children could be at a sleepover around the corner—or at college across the state—and parents would still know if they are high or low. Frank Wisneski is grateful to have this technology to keep up with his teenage daughter Stella, who has T1D. He says, “We’re able to remotely monitor her, and if there’s any kind of an issue, we send her a text. It has made life a lot easier for us. It also allows us to have a little more freedom.” JDRF and Dexcom joined forces in 2012 to develop CGM systems that transmit real-time blood-glucose values to multiple devices, and these systems first became available in 2015.
Diabetes technology also includes tools for analyzing and interacting with data to make management easier. mySugr, a digital health company and JDRF supporter, creates data-management apps where users can view, annotate and analyze diabetes data. JDRF partner Tidepool offers a platform where people can upload, store and see data from multiple diabetes devices in one place; add context in real time; and share it all with those who need to know. “Our goal is to liberate data from diabetes devices, make it accessible and intuitive, and let people share it with their care team,” says Howard Look, CEO of Tidepool. “We know that managing T1D is hard. Seeing your data come together and come to life makes it that much easier.”
Making life with T1D easier, healthier and safer while we work toward a cure is an integral part of JDRF’s commitment to the T1D community. Want to learn more? Read about our innovative T1D research, find additional resources for T1D in school, or join the conversation online!