I knew there was a day soon where we would see several alternatives to pricking fingers for regular blood glucose monitoring. Isn’t it neat when new technology and healthcare cross paths? Have you heard of the GlucoTrack glucose measuring device by an Israeli company, Integrity Applications? Looking through the history, it appears as though it’s been going through testing for several years and approved for use in several countries. It is completely noninvasive device that looks like a smart phone with a headset. You just clip the measuring device on one ear lobe and a minute later, the screen displays your current blood glucose.
The device supports up to three users but each user needs a personal ear clip since they are calibrated separately. Then the user just needs to re-calibrate the device every six months when they change to a new ear clip. The device has a USB port and downloads data to your computer and also uses a touch screen display like a smart phone.
The GlucoTrack uses a combination of three technologies to get an accurate reading of the patient’s blood glucose: Ultrasound, Electromagnetic, and Thermal. The results are weighted and it uses a patented algorithm to display blood glucose results. On their website, they have several poster presentations from conferences. From October 31, 2013 at the Annual Diabetes Technology Meeting, they demonstrated how various factors that affect tissue characteristics such as age, gender, and body mass do not produce a variance in blood glucose results.
Though it does have CE mark approval, the GlucoTrack is still undergoing research before it is approved for use in the USA. Please comment below if you have heard of the GlucoTrack or similar noninvasive blood glucose measuring devices.
Have you had patients complain about calf cramps at night? They can be incredibly bothersome and painful. When I see a patient with diabetes and ask about pain, I am often told about annoying calf cramps. They can come without warning and wake a person up from a sound sleep. Most people will wriggle and stretch and get up from bed to try to walk them out.
What causes them? There are several possibilities. Here are a few common ones:
What to do? It is best if the cause of the cramps can be identified and managed. But, there are those situations when it isn’t determined. Sometimes, it is necessary to just treat the symptom.
In either case, I have found a substantial decrease in report of cramps if calf muscle stretches are done routinely before going to bed. Interestingly, when I did a search for the evidence, I didn’t find support. But, since this is a pretty low-risk intervention, it seems worth a try. This is the stretch I most often suggest to manage those annoying cramps:
• Stand facing the wall at arm’s length from the wall, feet shoulder-width apart.
I love the virtual meeting!! AADE did a great job providing access to the general and selected breakout sessions. This morning, I spent some time listening to Thursday’s sessions and catching up on the electronic newsletter. I have thoroughly enjoyed all the breakout sessions, but wanted to mention a few highlights from “Nutrition Adequacy of Various Popular Diets”. I listened to this presentation since I do not have a background in nutrition, but I am constantly reading articles or peer-reviewed publications on the topic. I think it is important to be able to teach and answer questions for patients about nutritional information.
Here are the selected highlights from this session:
• Diabetes has increased by 69% over the past 20 years.
It was interesting to learn about the various religious fasting days, which can be up to 180 days in a year. There was great information about potassium, calcium, vitamin K, zinc, and fiber intake.
Listening to the selected sessions reminded me about how exciting the AADE meeting can be and I hope to attend the meeting again in the future.
AADE14 has wrapped up. As I reflect on the meeting, I feel so good about the general session speakers, breakout sessions, the exhibit hall, the 5 K run/walk, and the social events. The Celebration of Giving was a great time! The dance floor was packed! If you didn’t go this year, definitely put it on the schedule for next year.
But, my main reflection for this blog is going to be about, I almost hate to put the words here for fear you will stop reading, the Business Meeting. There was a nice turnout. We didn’t have anything that had to be voted on. So, the meeting agenda focused on getting thoughts from the members about the future of diabetes education/educators and AADE. We have just started work on the 2016-2018 Strategic Plan. You will see more about the process and be able to provide input as the work progresses. The business meeting gave us a chance to hear what diabetes educators think are key trends for our future.
I jotted down notes as the attendees spoke. I am sure some of the trends/comments will resonate with you; others may be things you haven’t thought of. Here are some of the trends put forth:
What great ideas! Can you think of other trends that should be shaping our future as we move forward in the creation of AADE’s Strategic Plan for 2016-2018?
It’s a little difficult to give up hiking beside a mountain stream, fly-fishing and river rafting during the summer in Montana to head to the air-conditioned rooms and warm, moist outdoor air of the southeast, but off I go to attend AADE's Annual Meeting. Each year as I assess the greater financial contribution I need to make to attend the Annual Meeting, and time away from family, I realize that I make the choice to attend because I feel so good about being there. I love diabetes educators as a lot, and feel at home chatting with everyone from those who live in Florida to those who live in Alaska and Hawaii and all states in between. The bond in being a diabetes educator is strong, regardless of discipline. Our jobs are about helping people and each day I go home after a day at work, camp, or as a volunteer for Tour de Cure feeling a sense of contentment.
The Annual Meeting offers a wonderful place to learn more, relax with old acquaintances, meet new people and get re-energized and ready to return to work with new ideas and approaches. This year, for those of us that have been in diabetes education for eons, a new Masters level has been added. I look forward to an update on the most recently introduced medications, insulin pumps and other great technologies. I’ll network with other CDEs who volunteer at diabetes camps across the nation, and perhaps even find yet another one to attend! I will go to some committee meetings, judge research posters and moderate sessions. And when I return home I will hopefully be better informed, certainly recharged, and looking forward to incorporating both new and reaffirmed practices that will meet the needs of my patients.
Hope you are attending AADE's Annual Meeting either in Orlando or virtually and enjoying all that the Annual Meeting has to offer. And if you can’t make it this year, I encourage you to consider attending in 2015!
You can feel the energy in the air!! Diabetes educators from around the world are gathered for 4 full days of education and excitement. I love the tagline for AADE14 – REFRESH.RECHARGE.RENEW.
I always look forward to AADE Annual Meetings and I’m bummed when I can’t attend! I have really loved the option of the Virtual Meeting since I am a mom of two little ones. Traveling several days with a baby at home can be a challenging childcare puzzle. I’m sure many of you can relate! I have done the Virtual Meeting since it has been offered and every year the user interface continues to improve and it is really quite simple to navigate. I love being able to fit it in to my schedule or watch a session after my kids have gone to bed.
“Nutrition Adequacy of Various Popular Diets” is one of the sessions offered and I’m really looking forward to that one. Fad and trendy diets have always intrigued me and I love staying up to date on the latest ones so I can educate my patient on the pros and cons as well as dangers. I want to know about the trends before my patients ask my opinion.
I’m also looking forward to learning about “Musculoskeletal Complications of Diabetes”. We don’t hear enough about the musculoskeletal complications. There have been many times when a patient with diabetes is sharing with me a list of ailments that they have and asking if it is related to diabetes. Of course, I refer them to their physician- but I would love to learn more about the connection between joints and muscles and blood glucose control since there is not much information about this type of complication.
It’s not too late to register for the Virtual Meeting! I would highly recommend it if you cannot attend the annual meeting this year.
When I think about what I am most looking forward to at the Annual Meeting, my first thought is what I can learn at the educational sessions and in the exhibit hall. But, I have to be honest; I am most looking forward to refreshing, recharging and renewing with other diabetes educators.
As I reflect on the past annual meetings I have attended, I can think of meeting people in a variety of situations; at the airport, waiting for a session to start, at a reception or social event, and even in line in the ladies’ room! It is amazing how a chance encounter can forge a long-term relationship.
This week, I look forward to seeing friends and colleagues I have met in the past and to starting new relationships. If you can come to AADE14, I hope you learn much in the sessions and exhibit hall. And, I hope you meet and start relationships with other diabetes educators who can become a major part of your professional and personal future.