Improving the lives of people living with diabetes
It is incredible when I think that nearly 100 years have passed since the discovery of insulin. Since then, insulin saved the lives of millions of people living with diabetes around the world.
Medical technologies play also a key role in diabetes care and management. They contribute to improving the quality of life of people living with this condition. They have greatly facilitated the need of continuous glucose monitoring and delivery, a treatment supply which otherwise, would mean serious health complications in the short-term as well as in the long-term.
Devices such as insulin pumps or Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) systems are essential for the proper control and management of diabetes. These blood glucose-monitoring devices serve delaying or even preventing diabetes-related serious complications by better glucose control; data obtained from them can be used daily to make decisions on how to manage diabetes.
Besides, I believe in the enormous potential some latest medical technologies have in improving quality of life among people living with diabetes. For example, at the forefront of diabetes management research, we find the Artificial Pancreas Devices (APD) as one of the most promising and emerging future for diabetes management and care, which replaces manual self-blood glucose monitoring and the use of insulin shots at the same time as it provides both insulin and glucagon hormone automatically. At IDF Europe, we are involved in the OPEN project consortium, which establishes evidence-based information surrounding the impact of Do-it-Yourself Artificial Pancreas Systems (DIY APS) a patient-led innovation for people with diabetes and wider healthcare systems.
No need to say that the safety and reliability of these devices are of utmost importance.
I personally take the opportunity of MedTech Week 2019 to, of course, celebrate the role of medical devices in improving the lives of people of diabetes; but also to remind the industry and all relevant stakeholders on the need to involve patients in the review process. As patients and users have first-hand experiences with medical devices, it is essential that their expertise is taken into account when assessing new high-risk devices.
Prof Dr Sehnaz Karadeniz, Regional Chair Europe, International Diabetes Federation
She is Chair of the International Diabetes Federation European Region 2016-17. She has been actively involved in the field of diabetes for the past 20 years in a series of medical, scientific and social projects both at national and international levels. She joined the board of IDF European Region in 2007.