ADCES Meeting Brings Together Health Care Specialists in Diabetes

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ADCES Sanjoy Dutta and Anastasia Albanese-O'Neill

Each year, the Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists (ADCES) meeting brings together clinicians, researchers, and industry leaders together to address key issues affecting people with diabetes. This year, the meeting took place in Houston, Texas, from August 4-7, 2023.

Meeting sessions focused on the latest advancements in technology, self-care behaviors, program management skills, and clinical therapeutic approaches, and this year featured presentations from Sanjoy Dutta, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at JDRF, and Anastasia Albanese-O’Neill, Ph.D., APRN, CDCES, JDRF’s director of community screening and clinical trials education.

Here are a few highlights:

  • Dr. Dutta gave an update on the key initiatives in type 1 diabetes (T1D) research, stating, “The only metric of success is people with diabetes doing better. Otherwise, we haven’t done our job.” He described several developments that are “paradigm-shifting,” and outlined the focus of JDRF research over the next five years:
    • Developing and executing a global universal screening strategy that reduces diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) at diagnosis
    • Accelerating the development of disease-modifying therapies that delay, stop, or reverse the development and progression of T1D
    • Advancing the development of first-generation stem cell-derived (and other sources of) beta cell replacement therapies
    • Improving overall outcomes in people with T1D, to reduce disease burden and complications and barriers to the adoption of newly approved life-changing breakthroughs
  • Dr. Albanese-O’Neill, who last year received the ADCES 2023 Diabetes Care and Education Specialist of the Year Award, received another honor: The prestigious Innovative Use of Technology Award, for her work at the University of Florida to develop the Knowledge Assessment of Type 1 Diabetes (KAT-1) tool that assesses peoples’ and/or their caregivers’ diabetes management knowledge prior to their clinic visit. In her presentation, she said the key to the future of diabetes care is individualized education and the integration of technology into clinic workflows, which KAT-1 is designed to do.

Diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) is a life-threatening condition due to the shortage of insulin, causing symptoms such as dehydration, nausea and vomiting, confusion, difficulty breathing, and—if not caught early—death. Approximately one-third of people in the U.S. present with DKA at the time of T1D diagnosis.

  • Katherine Barnard-Kelly, Ph.D., a former JDRF-funded co-investigator, presented on person-reported outcomes (PROs), which the FDA defined as “any report of the status of a patient’s health condition that comes directly from the patient, without interpretation of the patient’s response by a clinician or anyone else.” Dr. Barnard-Kelly and colleagues developed a consensus statement on the standardization of PROs, and her presentation focused on alleviating health inequities in diabetes through the integration of PROs into policy and research. She emphasized that the views and lived experiences of people with diabetes are essential to address inequalities in research and clinical practice, which JDRF fully and unquestionably supports.
  • In another talk on health inequity, Gregory Forlenza, M.D., a JDRF-funded early-career scientist awardee, discussed how the MiniMed 780G, an artificial pancreas system, democratizes diabetes management. Using data from a clinical study evaluating the impact of MiniMed 780G in high-risk youth, the study found that they achieved a 9.3 hour per day increase in time-in-range, from 28% to 67%, and an average reduction in HbA1c, going from 10.5% to 7.6%. These data, said Dr. Forlenza, demonstrate that those who would not be considered “ideal” candidates due to their high HbA1c are the people who stand to benefit the most from this technology.