Could that be the cause of his visible weight loss in recent times?
According to Dr. Run Yu, director of the Carcinoid and Neuroendocrine Tumor Center at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, there are two likely explanations for Jobs' weight loss.
"A lot of this is speculative," Yu said to preface his reasoning, "since I don't know Mr. Jobs' condition specifically. But in terms of weight loss, and if the tumor was completely removed, it would be likely that he would have secondary Type 1-like diabetes. That's very common with patients who have had a large chunk of their pancreas removed. I see that very commonly."
Pretty please, with a sugar-free popsicle on top, let's stop the speculation and not go back down the road of What If Apple Made a *Insert Critical Device Here* road. We took that trip around summer/fall '07 and I didn't like how it evolved. If the official letter has gone out from his Steveness as a hormone imbalance, I'm fine to accept that at face value.
Absolutely no need to apologize! The media has sensationalized his health as if it were the successor to the iPod. It is very easy to get caught up in the momentum.
It's the gadget fantasy that I really don't like. Despite how much I loathe glucometer interfaces, navigating pump menus (MiniMed in my own experience) or the required steps to get readings onto a PC (oh wait, I use a Mac), I don't think an Apple-led development is really the answer either. I think the current industry knows the problem best, but needs to shake their razor blade sales mentality to really make devices for diabetics remarkably better.
I don't think it is a "razor blade sales" mentality that is the problem. With regards to the pump, sterility, infusion site issues, and the propensity of insulin to wear out infusion sets over a relatively short period of time seem to be the primary reasons we have to deal with the present sales model. The two former issues being particularly difficult to solve. Whenever you are introducing a foreign substance into the body (besides eating), especially through a break in the skin, there are going to be many parts that have to be replaced on a constant basis.
With regards to test strips, I don't know enough about the technology to form an opinion, but they seem to be more expensive than they should be, given their mass production and high worldwide demand. I think one major contributing factor is that the companies who produce them do not appear willing to standardize on a specific type of strip. While I understand this approach as it relates to the sales of razor blades, since different blades behave differently and give different results, diabetics are only looking for one thing: accurate blood glucose readings. It's a dichotomy, too. Either the strip delivers accurate results or it does not.
This is why I laugh when I see ads touting "no coding!", as if for so long we have all been terribly inconvenienced by looking at the side of a bottle once a week or so and pressing a button on our meters. Wow, this will really change my life! What will you do with the three minutes per year you're going to save on coding time? Do they really need to rub it in our faces that while there really is nowhere else to go with strips today that deliver a very accurate reading in just a few seconds, we're going to start paying a premium beyond the premium we already pay for laughable "improvements" that should have been made years ago with little or no fanfare?
But is the alternative to tell these companies they should work to make their product cheaper and reduce their profit margins by making a standardized strip? I know many people like to place different ethical restrictions on pharmaceutical companies but we need to realize that they are publicly traded companies with shareholders that do not lower their demands for profits merely because the company engages in selling health care products and services. And striving for and acquiring high profits is what allows these companies to research and bring to market the rather amazing devices we use today.
Absolutely fair points in distinguishing between pump supplies and strips. With the pump, the sheer necessity of site rotation alone dictates a minimum supply requirement. And given the complexity of precise insulin delivery for a pump, I am far more inclined to exclude pump supplies from my "razor blade mentality" comments.
On the other hand, I'm not so generous with glucometers though. I feel that each meter is designed, from strip to data, for product lock-in. It's this belief that is the basis for my comments.
Also consider that the batteries we need to power a pump for 24-hour consecutive operation take up space (even an omnipod's three little watch batteries). This dream of smaller, ipod-like flat pumps is currently unattainable I think (though even I was charmed by AdaptivePath's mock-up "Charmr" pump). Our devices suck batteries dry. And batteries account for a large portion of pump size. As we see improvements in battery technology, we will see improvements in pumping.
As for the glucometer and the strips, I totally agree with oneless that the "no code" marketing thing is ridiculous. The once a week I glance at the bottle wouldn't change my life. Coding has never been the difficult part about my diabetes. Watching strips increase in price by over 100% since I was a kid has, however. I remember when my mom would point out that strips were a quarter apiece or fifty cents. Now they're over a buck in most markets. But the no-code strips are not worth a rebrand or a big kick-off. They're not changing the meters to make it happen. They've just changed the chemical process by which they produce the strips.
I think there are a couple high-level problems to solve. First, is the lock-in on everything beyond the strip. Personally, I think this is low hanging fruit in the era of cloud computing and APIs. If a company can embed wifi onto an SD card so you can upload digital pics to Flickr, Facebook and 20 other sites, it's beyond me to understand why we can't have the same tech for glucose readings. I think this is a good area to begin on competitive collaboration. I dream of an opportunity to drop in on a dev team to shout "MASH UP OR SHUT UP." :)
As for the price of strips or a standardized strip, this is beyond my expertise. But if some ground can be broken on collaboration, I think some momentum can be built towards that goal. Meters die. People change jobs. Employers change benefits providers. Users' preferences change. All of these are reasons to commoditize the supplies and data.
Above is a photo of Diabetes Hands Foundation’s own Manny Hernandez with the stars of the Diabetes Co-Stars Video, “Strength in Numbers.” In case you haven’t heard the news yet, there is a new video making it’s way through the … Continue Reading
The Diabetes Hands Foundation and Diabetes Advocates Program is proud to announce and congratulate the members of DA who were granted scholarships to attend diabetes conferences in 2013! Thanks to a generous grant from Novo Nordisk, in 2013 we were … Continue Reading