Inspired by AADE15!
It took me a few days to catch up after AADE15, mostly with longer nights of sleep. It was totally worth it! In New Orleans, I woke early to get prepared/organized for the day and then ran with my AADE friends at 5:15 a.m. Thanks, Joanne and Deb! Then, off to General Sessions, the exhibit hall, breakout sessions, receptions and evening events with friends, music and dancing. It is so hard to decide what was best about AADE15: learning, connecting, fun!
The General Sessions that started each day were notable. Before the conference, when I talked to 2015 AADE President, Deborah Greenwood, she was so excited about the speakers in the line-up for General Sessions. But, I have to admit, I only knew one of the four, Ann Albright. The meeting was focused on technology, and three of the speakers were involved in technology. I wasn’t sure of what to expect, but I couldn’t have been more impressed or excited after each session! Here is a very brief overview:
Wednesday: Susannah Fox, Chief Technology Officer for the US Department of Health and Human Services, talked about her work at the Pew Research Center, learning about the social impact of technology in health and health care, people engaging with healthcare providers and each other with connected health through social media. This is going to be a big part of our future!
Thursday: Kamal Jethwani, MD, MPH, talked about his work at Brigham and Women’s at Massachusetts’ General Hospital, engaging patients through connected health, using simple technology (i.e., smart phones) to improve care. What opportunities we have in diabetes care, and he had the coolest bluish-green shoes!
Friday: Ann Albright, RD, PhD, Director of the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, was awarded with AADE’s 2015 Lifetime Achievement Award for all of her incredible work in the diabetes field. She then presented on the National Diabetes Prevention Program, jazzing it up with music! We even danced a bit. What an inspiration she is. We can do so much for the 86 million Americans who have pre-diabetes. This has to be our future!
Saturday: Jeff Arnold, Chairman and CEO of Sharecare, presented on mHealth (mobile health) and how people can make positive changes in their health through technology. Jeff, the founder of WebMD, talked about how Oprah called and…Need I say more? I thought I would be overwhelmed by this topic but it opened my eyes to how people with diabetes (PWD) can improve health. There are great tools out there to help us and PWD.
Do we need to be the ones to create new technology? No. But, maybe you will. Do we have to adopt it all? No. But, take advantage of what you can to help yourself and PWD. I have watched us as a group move from paper charts and clunky, slow technology to a group that is savvy with electronics and technology (sometimes getting there by connecting with teenagers or techy adults). There is no gender, age or social limitation when it comes to using technology.
These sessions are not available for future viewing due to restrictions from the speakers and their employers. This is incentive for me to start planning to go to AADE16 in San Diego. I hope you can join us as we get together next year on Friday, August 12-Monday, August 15, 2016.