My latest video shows how I used the Diabetech HomeCheck A1c test kit to test my A1c at home.
This is the second time I've used this kit to check my A1c levels. Total cost for the kit is $35.34 including shipping to my home and shipping the test sample back to the Diabetech labs.
In the video I show how to use this simple kit. In the video I mention a form that needs the test date not your birth date. My mistake.
I mailed the test to Diabetech on Tuesday and last night, 3 days later, I got the results back my e-mail (I can also ask for them by postal mail) and they showed my A1c had improved from 7.6% in November to 6.8% in May.
It's a great improvement and I really like that I can do this so easily at home. Total time from ordering the kit to getting the results was 10 days. Pretty good and I really liked the results I got.
Full disclosure: Kevin McMahon, the CEO of Diabetech, is a blogging acquaintance of mine. I've paid in full for both these tests and did this review without being asked to by Kevin. I like the product and admire the work that Diabetech has done to make diabetes management easier.
He's going to post the interview once he's had a chance to transcribe it (be patient, this will take time).
Dr. Faustman did an excellent job of explaining how they arrived at the approach being trialled, to use BCG as part of a possible type 1 diabetes cure. The current trial (and remember that many trials fail) is to determine whether a low dose of BCG has any effect on the bad T-cells. The trial completion and trial results won't happen until sometime next year. Remember, these are phase 1 trials and many phase 1 trials fail.
I asked her how much it would cost to complete phase 2 trials. The price tag is $25 million. That's a lot of fund raising and asking people for support.
They can't do trials in multiple centers because the equipment they've developed for testing results is not portable. In one case they moved a piece of equipment across the lab. It took 9 MONTHS to recalibrate it and get it working again.
We saw the equipment (no photos allowed). It's complex and large. The size of a full sized fridge on its side. To take a blood sample and extract the T cells takes an entire day. This is not fast work. They're doing it in a methodical and painstaking ways. At the same time she's taken some bold steps to move forward when others might have held back.
Each time I've met Dr. Faustman I've been impressed by her ability to clearly explain complex processes and experiments in layperson terms. She clearly understands the urgency of this work, but she needs to do it 'the right way' so that the results cannot be questioned. Remember when her original work was published in 2001, 2002 a lot of scientists did not believe the approach would work. It's now been replicated in several other labs.
I know the timescales aren't fast enough for any of us. This type of scientific experimentation takes time and a lot of effort. The lab has had delays in the past because they were waiting for funding. The best way we can speed the process up is to continue to fund the work.
I'm hoping to run in a triathlon later this year and use that for fund-raising. I also use the (small) ad revenue from my diabetes search engine to support the lab. There are many other ways to sponsor the work of the lab.
Once David blogs about the interview, I'll update this post with a pointer to it.
They're working on developing a closed loop system where readings from a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) are used to directly control an insulin pump. Currently those of us with CGMs and insulin pumps have got an open loop system, we need to take the readings from the CGM and decide whether we need insulin or food.
Clearly this is a difficult problem to solve. How would such a system know if you were sick? What would it do when you're about to exercise? How would it handle changing insulin needs for children who are growing?
Now you have a chance to learn more about this project. On July 21st and 22nd the FDA, NIH and JDRF are holding a public workshop 'focused upon the state of the art in the research and development of an artificial pancreas'.
The Diabetes Technology Blog is focused on using technology to live life to the full with diabetes. I review new diabetes technology including: blood glucose monitors; continuous glucose monitors; blood sugar meters; diabetes software and living with diabetes.
I was born in Ireland and now live in the US.
I have had Type 1 diabetes for over 36 years. I struggle with my blood sugar, the same as most people with diabetes.
I wear a Cozmo 1800 insulin pump and a Dexcom SEVEN Plus CGM to track my blood glucose levels.
I'm blessed by God, and every day brings the possibility of a cure.