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SXSW Speakers on Diabetes Design, Advocacy, and Solving Tough Problems

Updated: 8/14/21 5:00 amPublished: 3/29/16

Our team attended the SXSW Interactive conference earlier this month, keeping our eyes and ears out for all-things-diabetes in this exciting conference filled with cutting-edge technology, the latest in entertainment media, advances in healthcare, and more. SXSW had only a handful of events specifically focused on diabetes, though we picked up gems in talks ranging from automated insulin delivery (Dana Lewis) to new glucose meters (OneDrop’s Jeff Dachis) to advocacy (Jane Adams). See below for some of our favorite quotes from SXSW, and click here for more from the thought-provoking panel discussion led by our very own Kelly Close, “Smashing One-Size-Fits-All Diabetes Care.”

“I would love to see more work moving into computers and allowing caretakers to do ‘human’ work. Fundamentally, computers are good at being computers and humans are good at being humans. We need to free our human caretakers to be more human because as much automation and algorithmic magic we’re going to do, I still need a lot of human contact in my diabetes care.”

– Mr. Scott Johnson (mySugr; Scott’s Diabetes)

 “I don’t want companies to design a product for me. I want them to design a base product that allows for customization that I can do myself.”

– Dana Lewis (Founder of #DIYPS and OpenAPS. About 40 people globally are now using the open source automated insulin delivery system.) 

“Patient advocacy at the FDA is like nothing I have ever seen before. Patients are not only storming Washington but are coordinating their efforts to impact regulatory agencies. This is real and this is happening.”

– Jane Adams (Senior Director, Federal Affairs, J&J)

“It’s a mistake to believe that digital health can solve all the problems in healthcare. We’re talking about basic issues like food scarcity and education; I would never sit up here and pretend that technology and apps are going to solve all of society’s problems. Some are more basic.” 

– Malay Gandhi (Managing Partner, Ensemble Labs)

“We’ve seen technology enable other fields to scale – healthcare and chronic disease has been more elusive. Not only do patients and doctors need to have access to new solutions and tools, they have to trust them and want to use them every single day. That means we have to create solutions in diabetes that are as addictive as the iPhone.”

– Kelly Close (Founder, The diaTribe Foundation)

“If you love your diabetes gear, you’ll use it. Right now, the equipment is awful and expensive. Empowering people with things they love is better than disempowering them with a lack of information or things they hate.”

– Jeff Dachis (Founder, One Drop)


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