The yourSAY research findings issued last week revealed that many Australians felt burdened or tired of monitoring their blood glucose. I wrote more specifically about these findings here. Even though they didn’t necessarily represent my views alone, it was hard not to feel a little exposed when reading them. I expected so much from this research. By the time I reached the end of the report, I was left wondering what happens next.
I was curious to know if there were any discussions or solutions on the horizon to lessen the burden of glucose monitoring for Australians living with diabetes. I put that very question to both Abbott and Diabetes Australia, two of the major parties invested in both this research and in people with diabetes. Both kindly responded to my e-mails, which I will paraphrase below.
I think it’s fair to say that for both parties, research such as the yourSAY provides greater understanding of the needs and attitudes of people living with diabetes. I know that I encounter a great deal of diabetes unawareness myself, in day to day life. These organisations most likely employ some people who do not have diabetes themselves. Research would be crucial to both organisations in their work and what they hope to achieve.
Abbott’s objective in releasing the results was to initially highlight attitudes towards people’s glucose monitoring and current diabetes management. The yourSAY findings set the scene in the Australian market for glucose monitoring solutions to come. Obviously, Abbott are also launching the FreeStyle Libre in the Australian market soon, and I presume that these findings will be used to complement this launch.
Diabetes Australia uses the findings from research projects such as the yourSAY to build advocacy cases with all levels of Government, philanthropists, healthcare companies and other stakeholders. Diabetes Australia also advocates to the Federal Government about the need to increase access to new technology such as Continuous Glucose Monitoring, and to ensure that people who need these technologies can afford them.
I know that it’s still early days, and change does not happen overnight. I can’t say that I know what is involved in developing a new product or building an advocacy case, so it’s not fair for me to comment.
I would, however, like to see limits on the number of test strips subsidised through the NDSS removed. I would like to see diabetes technology encouraged by healthcare professionals, and made more accessible for those who wish to use it. I would like to see more support and resources for people in the public healthcare system – I know that I was weaned off of it once my diabetes management was deemed “satisfactory,” even though I could have benefitted from greater attention.
I’m happy this research is out there. I can only hope that it will create greater awareness, trigger discussions and conversations in the right circles, and create change going forward.