Innovation, Momentum Spreads Out Of World Diabetes Congress In Dubai
We’ve introduced you to and talked with David Edelman of Diabetes Daily a number of times here on Discuss Diabetes and he’s become a good friend and a respected resource in the diabetes community. Since I knew David was attending the World Diabetes Congress in Dubai, I asked him if he would share some of what came out of the congress with us back here in the U.S. Here’s his rundown from his trip to Dubai:
I had a great time at the 2011 World Diabetes Congress in Dubai! Over 15,000 people in research, health care, business and advocacy have gathered to coordinate global action on diabetes. Here are some of the hot topics of conversation:
- It’s standing room crowds for behavioral modification sessions. There were a number of sessions (fewer than we need) about how to help patients get motivated and stay on track. The key theme: start where the patient is and help them move forward in a sustainable way that works for them. The worst way to help? Lectures, criticism, and scare tactics.
- The Young Leaders Program launches. While we have been exploring sessions and conducting interviews, 86 young adults have spent 18 hour days training to make an impact in their communities. The brand new youth leadership training program is dedicated to creating a new generation of leaders who are empowered to bring political action to their local communities. This is an extraordinarily impressive group of passionate diabetes advocates. If anyone can push governments to support people with diabetes better, this group can.
- Incretins are the Next Big Thing. Kelly Close, founder of the remarkable newsletter DiaTribe, was buzzing about the sessions on incretins: “They are certainly the darling of the diabetes pharmaceutical world right now and one can see why – there’s no weight gain (even some weight loss!) and those magic words, glycemic dependent, mean that at least in type 2 patients, they don’t contribute to hypoglycemia. Everyone’s waiting for the long-term cardiovascular outcome trials to report, which will take several years, but we’re certainly hearing ruminations about this class protecting the heart. Though I think the studies may not be designed to show that, I love thinking about drugs that could be good for our hearts. Too many people with diabetes die of heart disease. It also seems like incretins are extending lives. This remarkable finding must be proven of course.”
- Touring the Global Village. In the convention hall (which was surprisingly packed the entire time), there is a booth setup for almost every country in the world. We spent hours meeting advocates doing the real work on the ground. Hearing their stories gave us a sense of the immense scale of the diabetes challenge. It was heartening to see the impressive men and women who are rising to the immense challenge we face.
- The 5K Run/Walk brings out the masses. Skydivers fell from the sky at heart-stopping speeds, twirling and skidding to a stop to kick off the big race. We’re still glowing from the inspiration of joining our peers from 112 different countries for a beautiful, five kilometer jog through Dubai’s Zabeel Park. It was especially enjoyable to see youth from area middle schools participate.
- Watching the cross pollination of ideas first hand. Cherise Shockley met a health care professional from India who asked what she did for a living. Shockley shared her experience as a patient advocate and the Diabetes Social Media Advocacy program (a weekly Twitter chat at 9 pm ET. To participate, just search for #DSMA on Twitter). He then asked what the best way was for health care professionals to try to help patients understand how serious diabetes is. Do we shock them? Cherise shared her personal experience that the fear tactic doesn’t work. Patients want health care professionals to talk to them like they’re people. Help them find a solution that works in their own lives. The World Diabetes Congress provides an enormous opportunity for physicians a world away from online social media to learn from the patient experience and change the way they work.
You can find more coverage of the World Diabetes Congress at DiabetesDaily.com.
All I can say is WOW! The World Diabetes Congress sounds like it was an inspirational and action-driving event. I’ve come to learn that the diabetes community and the groups that surround it are one of the most passionate groups you will find. So I can only imagine 15,000 of those people in one place being something very special. I’d like to thank David for filling us all in.
All the best,
Disclosure: David received no compensation for this post. All opinions contained in this post reflect those of the interviewee, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies or affiliates.