One thing we love about the new year is all of the great advances in diabetes treatment and management we have to look forward to. 2014 is no exception, and promises to have some great new products that will help people with diabetes live even better. As people with diabetes continue to rally as a community and come together, more and more companies are coming forward to make really cool products for us. Even better, we’re starting to shed the clinical image many companies have of people with diabetes. A lot of these products aren’t simply functional, they’re almost fun, and certainly designed for real people in real life – a far cry from the dry, hospital-like design we’ve seen in the past. This might not be a big deal to a lot of people, but it makes the products a lot easier to use, and helps people with diabetes shed the image of long-term patients. That, I think, is the biggest breakthrough this year – we aren’t patients, we’re people, and we want to be treated as such!
Here are some cool things to look for in 2014:
Level Life Glucose Gel – Remember what we said about being treated like people? Finally, theres a glucose supplement company that realizes we’re much more likely to reach for and use a product if it looks tasty, not like something you’d find on a hospital dinner tray. Besides the great design, these individually portioned glucose gels (15g carbs to a pouch) come in four flavors that sounds like something we’d actually want to eat.
Dexcom G4 Platinum – Ok, so this isn’t exactly new, but we still love it. Not only does the Dexcom G4 platinum look like a sleek gadget, it’s packed full of things other CGMs only wish they did. 20 foot range so you can set it down when you’re home and not carry it around? Check. Seven-day sensor duration? Check. Customizable alerts and alarms? Done. It makes you wonder why other CGMs look like something out of a bad 1990s sci-fi movie.
On a personal note, I actually use the Dexcom as my personal meter, and can’t say enough good things about it. It’s been tremendously useful, and has been a pleasure to wear.
Tartoos - Choosing injection sites for children, no matter the age, can be difficult. Enter Tartoos, a cool new product that makes things a little less difficult and a lot more fun. These temporary tattoos come in a grid pattern and help you remember the next site for an insulin injection. Before injection, just rub off the one you’re planning on using, and use a different one next time. They come in several colors and designs, and can help make managing your childrens’ diabetes much simpler.
Pentrim - Most insulin pens haven’t changed the way they look since they were initially released. Sure, some companies have tried to make them a little sleeker and a little more elegant, but none of them really look…fun. I think if there’s one thing we want to see more of, it’s companies that make products that are functional AND don’t feel so cold and clinical. Enter PenTrim, a company that makes wraps for the Novo Nordisk FlexPen. So far, there are only two designs, but it’s a good start and is a nice way to remind yourself and others that living with diabetes doesn’t mean that you’re locked in a hospital room all the time. It’s a way to add some light and hope to the experience of having diabetes, and that can lead to a much better life.
Diabetes care and management has come a long way. It wasn’t that long ago where if you needed insulin shots, you had to be able to operate a syringe that you carried with you at all times. Still, while progress is being made, it’s coming slowly and in spurts. I think everyone in the diabetes community should come together in 2014 and demand that our devices catch up to the rest of the technological world.