Every November, the diabetes community comes together to recognize both National Diabetes Month in the U.S. and World Diabetes Day.
World Diabetes Day falls on today, Nov. 14, to mark the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting. Banting discovered the insulin hormone along with Charles Herbert Best in 1922.
In an effort to drive awareness and understanding of the chronic condition, a number of medtech companies in the diabetes space undertake efforts each year to celebrate and draw attention to the day and month recognizing the community. We compiled lists in 2021 and 2022 to share some of the initiatives brought forward by these companies.
On World Diabetes Day in 2023, here is what medtech’s diabetes community is doing:
Abbott (NYSE:ABT) launched its new “Countdown at a Crossroads” initiative to mark National Diabetes Awareness Month.
The initiative features an animated installation promoting diabetes awareness at the Oculus Center in New York City. This installation features the faces and stories of people impacted by diabetes. Among them is comedian and talk show host Sherri Shepherd.
Shepherd, a diabetes advocate, uses Abbott’s FreeStyle Libre continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to manage her condition.
“Using a FreeStyle Libre sensor to monitor my glucose levels has helped me get a better grasp on my Type 2 diabetes and ultimately improve my quality of living,” Shepherd said. “Many people living with diabetes aren’t aware of this incredible life-changing technology and Abbott’s efforts to make it accessible. The goal of ‘Countdown at a Crossroads’ is to change that – and I am energized to help by fostering awareness.”
Ascensia Diabetes Care
Ascensia, which makes the Contour blood glucose monitoring system and distributes the Senseonics Eversense CGM, launched an art and photo competition to highlight the community.
The company opened submissions in support of World Diabetes Day, theming the competition around the condition in real life. Ascensia said it aims to capture the “genuine challenges, successes and day-to-day realities” experienced by people with diabetes.
Competition winners will be able to donate €6,000, €3,000 and €1,000 for first, second and third place respectively to a diabetes charity of their choice.
“World Diabetes Day is an important day to us at Ascensia and we are proud to support IDF on this initiative for the eighth consecutive year,” said Rob Schumm, CEO of Ascensia Diabetes Care. “This will be the third year that we have run our art and photo competition and I cannot wait to see everyone’s submissions,”
Dexcom unveiled a global portrait gallery as part of its “#SeeDiabetes” initiative. It aims to offer a look at people living with diabetes from all walks of life. Australian model and Dexcom technology user Bambi Northwood Blyth serves as creative director. Portrait photographer Fernando Sippel photographed users from around the world.
Dexcom said the initiative reinforces its commitment to broaden access to critical diabetes technology. It also aligns with the theme for World Diabetes Day for the past three years: “Access to Diabetes Care.”
The initiative features a number of notable Dexcom users, such as musical artist and actor Nick Jonas, Grammy-winner Patti LaBelle, actor Victor Garber and more.
“As a Dexcom Warrior living with diabetes, it’s an honor to bring to life this unfiltered and genuine representation of what life is like for the millions of people living with diabetes globally,” said Northwood-Blyth. “In addition to the powerful imagery, each portrait is paired with a deeply personal narrative that highlights the realities of living with diabetes, and how access to technology like Dexcom CGM can lessen the burden of this disease and greatly improve your quality of life.”
To recognize World Diabetes Day, Insulet will appear at the Nasdaq Stock Market for the ninth consecutive year today. Jim Hollingshead, Insulet president and CEO, and a group of global Insulet employees and customers will mark the day by ringing the Nasdaq’s closing bell. They also intend to speak about the importance of raising diabetes awareness, plus Insulet’s mission.
“Our commitment to people with diabetes extends beyond our innovative insulin delivery technology,” said Hollingshead. “World Diabetes Day may be just one day on the calendar, but for those living with diabetes, every day requires resilience and strength. By raising awareness today, we pave the way for a world where care, support, and understanding are accessible to all who need it.”
Throughout the month, Insulet also has plans for a series of campaigns and events to raise awareness for diabetes.
Among its efforts, the company endorsed an international campaign to eliminate diabetes stigma and discrimination. Insulet also began a social media movement called the “#JustMyType” campaign. It intends to feature content on its social media channels and encourage others to participate on their own channels. #JustMyType creates awareness and increases the representation of people with diabetes online.
Introduced in 2021, the movement encourages people with diabetes to help drive awareness and understanding of the chronic condition. The company instructs people to take a video or photo while bouncing a blue balloon in the air with the hashtag #BlueBalloonChallenge. Notable advocates including actress Jennifer Stone and former NFL player Kyle Rudolph took part.
For every #BlueBalloonChallenge post on social media, Medtronic will donate $5 to Life for a Child organization. Life for a Child partners with diabetes centers across 44 countries, including Tanzania, Mexico, and India to help young people with diabetes who have no other care available.
“Today, we reaffirm our commitment to working hand-in-hand with the diabetes community, healthcare professionals, and organizations worldwide to help ease the burden of diabetes,” said Que Dallara, EVP and president, Medtronic Diabetes. “Together, we can transform the future of diabetes care, one innovation at a time.