Every year, since 2009 Roche has been organizing a Diabetes Social Media Summit. I have blogged about a couple of times before:
A comment from my friend Mike Hoskins (who now serves as Managing Editor at DiabetesMine.com), made me think that this year's summit which is scheduled to take place at the end of July in Indianapolis, right before the AADE Conference in the same city, is a great opportunity to open up the summit to the entire community.
What would you like us to ask Roche at the 2012 Diabetes Social Media Summit? Please post your questions here and we will make sure to raise your concerns, issues, thoughts, and anything you would like to have brought up.
Here are the replies from the Roche Social Media summit, based on the questions above:
In terms of glucose meter accuracy, we heard form Jennifer Aspy, who heads Roche US BGM business. The specs of their new meter (15/15%) are tighter than the current FDA standards (20/20%) and they also resolved the maltose interference issues that the chemistry in their strips faced before.
In terms of the pumps, we heard from Nancy Dean, head of their Insulin Pump business in the US. She confirmed that the Solo that got approved by FDA will not become commercially available. As for the Combo pump, it will be available in the US, starting mid-to-late October, 2012.
In terms of affordability and their response to Walmart's cheaper test strips, they find their strips to offer higher quality. Those in attendance at the summit had a chance to visit their test strip manufacturing facility in Indianapolis: the general consensus was that it was a a product for which they go to great strides to ensure quality and reproducibility. They seek to support patients through prescription discount cards, working to increase the number of formularies that carry their products; supporting a range of charities that help people touched by diabetes; and producing educational tools as well as meters and pumps, to support patients. (disclaimer: Diabetes Hands Foundation, the nonprofit that runs TuDiabetes, has received support from Roche for the No-Sugar Added Poetry program, and in 2012, for the third year in a row, for Big Blue Test).
In terms of interoperability standards, Roche has held a board seat at the Continua Health Alliance, an industry conglomerate with more than 220 member companies. The alliance has had a big focus on technology, with much opportunity yet in terms of the adoption of standards. They told us that the first Continua-compliant, USB and Bluetooth-compliant BGM is already available outside the US, so this is good news in terms of Smartphone integration beyond the iBGStar. Having said this, unfortunately there are no patient representatives in the Alliance, something that we asked them to help change.
In terms of ethical behavior, they have posted their social media guidelines online, which one of the attendees pointed out as having become a case study in public health schools. They see the alternative to not talk to patients as not an option. As for payments to healthcare professionals, they are done through legal service agreements, abiding to regulatory guidelines (for example, there are no gifts to healthcare professionals; lunches are just lunch meetings, not treats, etc.) Jen Dyer, an endocrinologist in attendance at the summit, confirmed how her generation of specialists has experienced this evolution first hand.
In terms of their approach to incorporating the voice of the customer in the design of new products, they get customer feedback through multiple channels (customer support as well as focus groups). They also get feedback via social media, through the likes of Rob Muller, who is a member on TuDiabetes.
Thanks for the update, Manny. I am researching a new Pump, meter, and CGMSs for myself. This info from the Summit will be very helpful to me.
Manny , repeat what I posted on June 19 unless your discussion is only USA related ?? The answer as a pump advocate would be very helpful;I have been asked the question .
Thanks for the interesting update Manny. I'm very plesed to hear about a new and more accurate meter. It will take a massive change to get me to shift meters (the One Touch Ultra Mini fits into my running shorts...) but more accuracy is great! The industrial side of things is also interesting to me so I appreciate the report on that.
Thanks for following this up, Manny. If there really is a more accurate meter on the way, that is good news. I am an accuracy freak, so increased precision is something that always gets my full attention. Must be the Bernstein influence. :D
Actually, they already launched the meter. It's the Nano, which (it turns out) they are advertising on TuDiabetes this month. There are three very interesting (relatively new) options:
-The AccuChek Nano
-The OneTouch VerioIQ, and
-The Sanofi iBGStar.
Thanks for this manny.
Hope you and the family are well.
Sounds like they towed the company line, but useful information none the less
I have had the combo pump for about a year now, not a bad piece of kit but not perfect.
In retrospect I should have probably gone for the animas vibe, as although the remote is great on the combo, the bluetooth takes about 45 seconds to connect and by then I have usually reached into my pocket and entered bolus information, data manually ha..
Customer services has been first rate though.
We have had the nano in the UK for several years, a great little meter, very small (sure it would fit in your running shorts acid rock)..
The existing software is pretty woeful for it though, preferred the Bayer contour USB and use this as a back up to my combo remote.
Am looking forward to the day when I can have a reliable cost effective CGM, pump and meter that can be operated from my smart phone and that wirelessly syncs to my laptop.
Find the reliability issues of CGM, the increase risk of scar tissue on my previous pump sites and the cost of the consumables prohibitive at present. Plus I am not sure I need another set of data to fret about ha.
Take it easy.