Friday, July 13, 2012

Friends For Life 2012 Products

At the Friends for Life Children with Diabetes expo hall there were a ton of new products. I didn't get time to walk around to each and every booth but I DID do a little snooping around when I got the chance. The new T-Slim insulin pump by Tandem was there in force. As many of you already know, the TSlim insulin pump is hot off the presses and only just came into the markets recently. I remember when they were marketing this a couple of years ago. I thought it would be a pretty snazzy pump but I also knew not to get too excited. I held my horses until it recently ACTUALLY became available. I have to interject in here that yes, it's available IN THE STATES. Not available in Canada and by the way FDA approval works, we'll be lucky if it becomes available up here in less than 5 years. I'm not exaggerating. The Omni POD only just came out in Canada in the fall. a mere 6 or 7 years after it's been available in the states. So I don't hold my breath for stuff like that. 
It's had some pretty great feedback though. It's SO sleek looking and resembles that of an apple touch screen product which is taking all markets by storm. I regret to say that I did not go over to the booth to play with one. I looked from afar because I just know I will love it and then I'll be disappointed with not being able to obtain it in Canadia.

I dropped by the Medtronic booth just to have a glance. I am a proud Medtronic pumper already. The woman showed me the new CGM sensors that everybody has been talking about and I said to her, "That's real nice, maybe in a few years we will have it in Canadia." She laughed and said, "so true."

Sorry for the bitter trend... switch topics!

Aaron with Jerry the Bear

I got to meet a real stellar human being though. One Aaron Horrowitz with co-creator Hannah Chung who created Jerry the Bear. Now Jerry the Bear has a long history. He is a bear with diabetes that can be used as a learning tool for children with diabetes. Aaron won the Diabetes Mine Design Challenge in 2009 for the most creative entry. I'm sad that I didn't get a video of Jerry in action but trust me when I say he's super cool! He's an interactive bear with a broken pancreas. You can feed him food, bolus insulin and watch his glucose level fluctuate real time! I was really quite amazed.

A brief explanation of what Jerry does

Then I discovered some sweet stuff. As always there is money to be made from fast acting low treatments. I had heard about Glucolift but never had the chance to try them. I kept thinking, gross, another nasty glucose tablet. I tried the Orange Cream flavour and by golly it was delicious! Can "glucose tablet", "orange" and "delicious" all go in the same sentence? It sure can with these bad boys. Forget the awesome fact that they are all natural, they taste great! Oh and they make a carrying case that you can open with.... wait for it.... ONE HAND! it's not rocket science but it's more than the other companies. A new product I'm actually looking forward to treating lows with. Know what's more awesome? Chris Angell the creator also has T1D aaaand he's a great dresser!

I also walked away from a booth with a gel pack resembling GU but more runny called Level Life. Apparently I'm like the last person on the planet to learn about this product. I sometimes use gels for lows but most gels are made with a longer lasting carb for performance. Level Lift is a very fast acting 15g carb gel that goes down easily and is mighty tasty. I had to wait for a low to use it but it happened. At the booth as I was talking to people. It was mighty tasty AND fast! I'm totally ordering some of these. I can carry them while running and cycling easily. They also seem less likely to burst. I've had GU's explode before. As well as Glucolift, the creator of Level Life, Ethan has diabetes too! He's also a nice dresser.

I'm totally sneaking in my You Can Do This Project bracelet in there.

Although this is a proprietary chart, I totally agree. With the exception of the delicious Glucolift tabs.

The last thing I saw that I would like to have is the iBGstar glucose meter. Now it's made by Sanofi which is a company that I obviously support. *wink wink*. And it's a glucose meter that plugs into the bottom of an iphone. You can use it on it's own and then plug it in to upload data which turns everything into charts and graphs and pretty things to look at. Guess what though? It's actually available in Canada! go figure! I haven't seen it yet though but it sure is a nice looking (and tiny) device. I wonder how good the accuracy is?

Disclosure: Nobody asked me to blog about their stuff. I just wanted to share some awesome things!


  1. sounds like you had a great time! great feedback. since i usually use Sweetarts for treating lows, i may have to try out the Glucolift tabs myself! wish i had attended. maybe next year!

  2. Thanks for the "tour" of the booths!
    I'm so glad you got to be there and I'm sure you made a difference to lots of people.

  3. Jerry the Bear, still kinda freaks me out though... :-p

  4. Thanks for sharing these new products! I've started hunting for new glucose products to treat lows as I'm now finally figuring out that glucose tabs aren't all that great and tend to be a little slow for my liking. Will have to give the Glucolift and Level a try!! I'm also anxious to get my hands on an iBGstar...test strips aren't yet covered in Manitoba though. Booo...

  5. I love how small the iBGStar meter is when it's not connected to the iPhone. That feature alone made me want to buy one!

  6. Okay, so I've had a love affair with t:slim since I first discovered it last year. Stupid FDA!
    That bear looks totally awesome, and something that might actually benefit someone with me who's no doubt going to have to explain to thumb-sucking alien baby why I've got things stuck in me all the time.
    Where can I get those gels?
    And yeah, Mario's been all over that meter since he saw a friend who works at one of the university's out here tweet about it – anything Mac related, he loves :)

    ps. I think I'm the only T1 who doesn't belong to the DOC; may need to get a tutorial from you in the future on how to get involved :)


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