1. What medical devices are relevant to your disease area?
For people with diabetes, blood glucose meters are essential to managing the disease well. Beyond that, people use either insulin pens or insulin pumps, and some also use devices that measure the blood glucose on a more continuous basis, so called continuous glucose monitors (CGM) or flash glucose monitors (FGM).
2. Have you seen any developments in recent years in the treatment of the disease, which were helpful to you?
Yes, the CGM! I’ve been using a CGM since 2012 and that has made a huge difference in my life! It helps me control my blood sugar better and is especially helpful when it comes to dealing with low blood sugars (hypos). I have mild hypoglycemic unawareness, which means I have a hard time noticing when my levels are too low, but the CGM sets off an alarm and suspends insulin delivery to help raise the blood sugar. That has been very helpful for me, especially at nighttime! My new GCM even predicts when a hypo is coming and tries to prevent it.
3. What initiatives to educate people about the disease have you been involved in or seen, which you think might be interesting for other countries to learn from?
I think using social media to educate people is very efficient. The organization I am part of, Ung Diabetes, (youth organization of the Swedish Diabetes Association) recently had an Instagram campaign where we let a new person do a guest take-over of our account for a week each. They posted pictures of their everyday life with diabetes to show people what their experience of living with diabetes is like. The aim was to show that diabetes is an individual disease that different people experience differently, and to increase people’s knowledge and understanding of diabetes.
4. If you had a wish to your government and the medtech industry for the future, what would it be?
To think more long-term and more about quality of life when making decisions about medical devices, and to involve patients in the decision-making process. Medical devises are expensive, but the benefits to people with diabetes and their loved ones are numerous, both in the present, and in terms of preventing complications from the disease in the future. We also need to make sure there is equal access to these devices across the country – it shouldn’t matter where in Sweden you live, what hospital you belong to or how big your wallet is.