Day 2 at the Australasian Diabetes Congress

Welcome to day 2 of the Australasian Diabetes Congress, the annual scientific meeting of the Australian Diabetes Educators Association and the Australian Diabetes Society. I’m lucky enough to be here as part of Diabetes Australia’s ‘People’s Voice’ team of consumer reporters.

Tech news first! It was great to catch up with Sylva and James from Ypsomed, who this morning announced some infusion sets with Luer Lock connectors. This opens up the Orbit range of infusion sets to people using other insulin pumps with Luer lock connections.

Leanne from AMSL Diabetes also had the chance to catch up with her favourite customer. Dexcom G6 and Basal IQ, the low glucose suspend update to the Tandem t:slim insulin pump, has not yet received regulatory approval. The hold up may have something to do with all CGM products on the market requiring reclassification from Class 2 to Class 3 from the powers that be (or something like that). Leanne wouldn’t speculate on a timeframe for approval, but in the meantime we have a new hashtag going, #BasalIQForFrank. Get behind it!

On my way to this morning’s session, I ran into superstar endocrinologist Kevin Lee after some back and forth interaction through the #OzDOC. He was exactly as I imagined online. Great to meet you, Kevin!

I sat in on the National Association of Diabetes Centres (NADC) symposium this morning and was glad for the opportunity to gain a better understanding of the work that they do.

The first part of the session dealt with findings from the Australian National Diabetes Audit. The audit has collected data from over 6,000 patients to date from diabetes service centres around Australia. Each centre then receives a custom report comparing their performance to other centres across the country. I felt the measures surveyed were comprehensive, and it was particularly pleasing to see measures such as quality of life and diabetes distress covered. The gaps identified among patients were unsurprising: difficulties around blood glucose monitoring, taking medication, physical activity and following a prescribed diet.

The second part of the session dealt with the type 2 diabetes ‘models of care’ toolkit. This project identified existing models of care that were providing improved care delivery, patient satisfaction and improved outcomes – exploring how these models could be applied to different geographical locations and more integrated diabetes care across providers. Well done, team NADC!

After morning tea I went into a session on diabetes and the gut microbiome, which seems to be the latest craze. In people with type 2 diabetes, delivery of prebiotics and probiotics had shown promising results. Things like improved fasting glucose, hba1c, triglycerides and other markers. However when Iranian research was removed from these findings, prebiotics and probiotics showed no benefit for type 2 diabetes.

The session touched on artificial sweeteners. My understanding was that because the composition of each person’s gut is different, some people absorb the sweeteners while others build up a defence to them. Which might explain the theory as to why some people are unaffected by artificial sweeteners, while other people (like me) spike. Lucky I prefer the real stuff!

This afternoon I was presenting at a ‘Consumer Voice’ symposium which looked at collaboration in diabetes care with three other panellists. It was great to hear fresh (to me) perspectives in optometrist Amira, and Diabetes Australia’s Chris who shared his personal experiences with type 2 diabetes in Aboriginal communities. In line with previous years, it is generally the diabetes educators who tend to come along to sessions like these and want to learn from lived experience. While it would have been nicer to see more healthcare professionals tag along, I do want to thank the Australian Diabetes Educators Association for providing us with this platform.

Disclosures: Diabetes Australia covered my travel, three nights accommodation, some meals and registration costs to attend the Australasian Diabetes Congress as part of their ‘People’s Voice’ initiative. I gave up my own time to attend the Congress and am sharing my own thoughts here, as always.


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