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2000 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators

Children with Diabetes and Diabetes123 exhibited at the 2000 Annual Meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators held in San Diego in August 2000. We demonstrated the new personalization features of Diabetes123 and give a glimpse of our patient and professional education program, which is under development. We also talked with the many diabetes product companies who exhibited new and improved products, which we report on below.

Our personalization feature, called "My123", was very well received. Using My123, you can organize the contents of Diabetes123 as you want into folders. You can then share the folders with others. Diabetes educators will be able to use this feature to create customized web sites which they can use with their patients, and registered users will be able to freely share their folders with friends.

  The show floor
The show floor before the crowds came in.
We also have another view.

News from the Show Floor

Hundreds of companies, large and small, exhibited on the show floor. There weren't as many new or improved products to show this year compared with past years. There were a couple of interesting items to report:

New and Investigational Products

1.   Medisense Sof-Tact Blood Glucose Monitoring System

Medisense demonstrated a new integrated, alternative site blood testing system called the Sof-Tact. The Sof-Tact combines a lancing device and blood glucose meter into a single, easy-to-use -- though large -- unit. Our tester, diabetes nurse educator Kris Swenson, found the Sof-Tact to be completely painless and easy to use. To use, both test strip and standard lancet are placed within the unit. Holding the Sof-Tact against your skin, you press a button that generates a slight vacuum, lances the skin, and applies the blood to the test strip. This happens in about five to ten seconds and is completely automatic. Once the test strip has a sample, the unit generates a reading in 20 seconds. Test strips resemble those of the Precision QID but have a hole in the sample area.

Even though the Sof-Tact was large compared with other meters, it was easy to use. Inserting a test strip and a lancet was simple, though the point of the lancet is exposed until the unit's top is closed for testing. The test strip and lancet can be loaded up to eight hours before a test, which can make middle-of-the-night testing a little bit easier. Also, because the entire testing process is automatic, children, adults with limited dexterity or mobility, or anyone who finds manual testing difficult, would find using the Sof-Tact simple.

The Sof-Tact has an external connection point for either a test strip (for finger stick testing, for example) or for connecting a data management cable to download meter data to a computer.

The Sof-Tact is an investigational device and is awaiting FDA approval.


The Sof-Tact promotional poster, showing the the new alternative site blood testing system from Medisense.

Our tester, diabetes nurse educator Kris Swenson, found the Sof-Tact to be completely painless.
2.   Disetronic D-Tron Insulin Pump

Disetronic showed their new D-Tron insulin pump which can use pre-filled Humalog cartridges, pending FDA approval. For many pump users, filling cartridges and getting the air bubbles out of the cartridges is often a challenge. Disetronic realized this and designed their new D-Tron pump to use only pre-filled insulin cartridges. Because of the nature of the pre-filled cartridges, the D-Tron is a bit longer than the Disetronic H-Tron and other insulin pumps.

Disetronic added new software features to the D-Tron, including menu-driven control and extended duration boluses to better cover foods such as pizza. The D-Tron can also interface to a personal computer, and all programming of the D-Tron can be done on the computer, in addition to the on-screen menus. Using the computer, D-Tron users can graphically adjust their basal rates, for example.

For pump users seeking relief from the challenges of filling cartridges and removing air bubbles, the D-Tron may be just the answer. The pre-filled cartridges for the D-Tron are already in distribution channels and should be available to consumers within a few weeks.

Disetronic will also soon be offering pre-filled cartridges for its H-Tron series of insulin pumps for customers who order their insulin and cartidges through Disetronic.


Disetronic's new D-Tron pump, with a pre-filled cartridge on the left.

Disetronic's new UltraFlex insertion set, which is inserted at a 90 degree angle and disconnects at the insertion point.
3.   TheraSense FreeStyle Blood Glucose Monitoring System

With FDA approval behind them and product shipping, TheraSense received a lot of attention from educators eager to learn about their new FreeStyle blood glucose monitoring system. Designed from the start for alternative site testing, the FreeStyle uses the smallest blood sample of any meter on the market today: 0.3 microliters, or one-fifth the size of the next best test strip, used by the LifeScan FastTake.

The small sample size makes it easy to get enough blood from the forearm, for example, where there are fewer nerve endings than in the finger tips. While people appreciate the option of alternative site testing, the tiny sample size makes the FreeStyle an excellent choice for young kids or for anyone who has a hard time getting an adequate blood drop.

TheraSense is also working on a wireless continuous monitoring system (see the photo to the right).

We recently published a review of the TheraSense FreeStyle.
The TheraSense booth, shown here before the show opened, was busy as diabetes educators were eager to learn about the new FreeStyle meter.

Posted August 13, 2000

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