At the ADA’s 73rd Scientific Sessions last week I came across this poster called Social Media Use by Individuals with Diabetes by University of South Florida’s College of Public Health (Emily Shaffer-Hudkins, Nicole Johnson & Stephanie Melton).
I would say that this poster fits into the “What we already know, but it’s nice to see data backing it up” category. People surveyed found information related to “coping with diabetes” useful. And they found supportive words/stories/comments helpful. And the “duh” continues with the finding that over 80% of those surveyed identified as type 1s, while only 2% identified as type 2s…which is explained by the age of the survey participants (and ultimately the age of the people using social media).
The purpose of this study was to address gaps in clinical literature and to assist health professionals understand the social support need of people living with diabetes (hallelujah!).
This poster contains information that we’ve known about and have been talking about for years (that when people with chronic conditions find community online, their lives improve), but it is good to see that the psychosocial/behavioral medicine folks are catching on too.
As a person with diabetes we rely on technology to keep us alive. Not just the tech that makes our medicine, but the tech that we rely on to decide how much insulin to dose. At a recent public meeting the FDA acknowledged that there were some FDA cleared blood glucose meters and strips that do not meet the accuracy standards for which they were approved.
This blew my mind. And it reminded me of a video that I made a few years ago (in my bathroom) where I test my glucose with different meters and get pretty dramatically different results:
And the fact that the reading on my left hand didn’t match my right says more about my meter and strips than my body’s asymetry. We rely on the accuracy of test strips to say alive. That’s why I’m joining the Strip Safely campaign and contacting the FDA and my representatives in Congress to tell them that:
The accuracy of test strips is a public health issue.
Quality assurance should be done on strips sold through normal distribution channels.
We need better accuracy standards than the ones created in 2003.
What are you waiting for? The Strip Safely website has sample letters that you can use to contact your legislators too.
I’m not trying to be judgemental with this post. I’m seriously just hoping to unpack some of my thoughts on the topic.
I have good friends (online and off) that sport cute diabetes-related tattoos and I’ve even toyed with the idea of getting one myself. And I’ve read that there is a growing number of people who are using tattoos as a more permanent medical alert. In fact, The Canadian Medical Association Journal reported last May that medical tattooing appears to be increasing, partly because of the cost of medical alert bracelets.
But here’s my question: Do medical responders even look for diabetes tattoos? Is this something they are trained to do? I have heard people say that EMTs aren’t even so good at finding medical alert jewelry when it’s worn around the neck. I struggle to see how a tat would do the job.
As I said a few paragraphs ago, I’m not writing this to be judgemental. I’m really just curious if anyone (any EMTs reading?) has any insight on this.
I do have opinions about people that get tattoos to mark the dates that they were diagnosed (diaversary) or just because they feel that diabetes has become a part of their character. To them I say, “hell yea!”
When I saw this infographic from Jason Miller over at Marketo’s blog, I was skeptical. I’m used to seeing marketing blogs exploiting the use of infographics or top ten lists to make no point. But this one actually contains some useful info.
For starters, the stats about the number of images uploaded per second and per day to Instagram are interesting. Jason says, “…the filter you choose says more about you than the picture you take. The infographic below explains the psychology behind the top 10 Instagram filters, and profiles the personalities of the photographers who use them.”
On Thursday morning, Facebook has a big announcement for us. They are saying that on Thursday they will announce their “new home on Android.” And the rumors have ranged from a simple new Android application for Facebook to an entire Facebook Phone that re-purposes the Android software in the same way that Amazon re-purposed with the Kindle Fire.
Over at TechCrunch, Josh Constine quotes “sources” as saying “it will be a modified version of the Andriod operating system with deep native Facebook functionality on the homescreen that may live on an HTC handset.”
The problem with the Facebook phone concept is that it will not fill a need in the current market. What will this phone offer that the current iPhone or the current Android phones do not? This market is already very saturated. A more integrated Facebook presence is hardly a reason to rush out and get a new phone.
I can certainly understand why Facebook would be interested in having users move to a phone that was either created by them or relied more heavily on the user’s Facebook data (contacts, calendar, photos). But what does the user get out of such a move?
If this is the announcement that Zucky (that’s what all of his friends call Zuckerberg) is planning on making, I’d be surprised if it gets any traction. Tell me I’m wrong…would you use it?
I’m not certain that I completely agree with this cartoon about the old ways we used to do this social media stuff. But that is probably more of me being an over-thinker, and wanting to make things more complicated than they should be. This is a fun simplification that might help some folks understand what each network is.
Sai has a neurological disorder that causes episodic muteness and muscle spasms. His doctor has advised him to have juice when the tremors get really bad to help him stay in control. Like a person with diabetes carrying juice boxes through security, this shouldn’t be a problem. TSA rules allow him and people with diabetes to bring any amount of juice through a checkpoint.
Personally, I’ve never had any issues with TSA security and my diabetes supplies. It’s a long story, but I once flew with 12 vials of insulin and wasn’t even questioned. I have noticed, however, that the level of “concern” a TSA agent has about our supplies is a bit arbitrary. Perhaps depending on the training of a particular airport or maybe even the mood of a particular agent.
Here’s a video explanation of a pretty unfortunate event that happened to Sai at SFO:
This could happen to me. Or any of us that travel with our diabetes supplies. As Sai mentioned on his website, someone with no medical training should not be responsible for figuring out what is medically necessary. He’s pursuing administrative and civil actions against the TSA, and Sai’s fight is one to keep an eye on. The way Sai is treated could easily be you or your friends with diabetes.