Eva is a Slovenian young lady who, 4 years ago, has been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Along with sharing her experience with diabetes, the challenges of not being able to enjoy the latest technologies, she explains her involvement in local public health campaigns especially with children to dispel the myths around diabetes and ensure a better knowledge of this condition.
1. What medical devices are relevant to your disease area?
For measuring blood glucose level: blood glucose metres, lancets, test strips, continuous blood glucose monitors (sensors).
For the delivery of insulin: smart pens, needles, insulin pumps.
2. Have you seen any developments in recent years in the treatment of the disease, which were helpful to you?
I have been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes for 4 years. During this time, a lot of new blood glucose metres have become available, that are more precise, work faster, and require less blood for measurement. There are also regular improvements in insulin pump technology, such as the ‘closed-loop’ system, which prevent some hypoglycaemic events.
Sadly, none of these improvements were helpful to me, because our insurance company only covers the fee for a new insulin pump after 8 years of use. In the end it can be quite frustrating to hear about new technology in the media or from other sources and not be able to afford it as soon as it is launched to the market.
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 have been involved in many public health campaigns with the topic of diabetes and healthy lifestyle. In my opinion the most interesting initiative in Slovenia is the annual competition in on your knowledge of diabetes, which is organised in primary schools all around the country. This competition offers an insight into the disease to children and helps increase awareness, avoid confusion and misinformation and reduce some of the stigma connected with it.
4. If you had a wish to your government and the medtech industry for the future, what would it be?
My wish would be for equal rights and opportunities for people of all ages, to be able to access the necessary medication and with it the best medical devices for their individual needs. Only then can we say that we have done everything in our power to help them tackle the disease and live a normal life.