% of time spent by people with diabetes with a medical professional in a year

If you have been to a diabetes conference in the past few years, there’s a good chance that you have seen this slide as part of a presentation.

This was a slide I first put together a few years ago, to convey a “back of the envelope” calculation I had done that essentially amounted to the percentage of time that a person with diabetes spends in the company of a medical professional in the course of a year. My estimate had all along been 0.1%. Today, I took the time to validate this looking for hard data from CDC, the American Journal of Managed Care, and other reputable sources, to REALLY back this finding.

I am sad to report that I was wrong: the percentage is even lower! 🙁

So this is what I searched:

Now, the math for the year 2010:

  • Minutes in a year = 24 x 60 x 365 = 525,600
  • Minutes in a year x number of people with diabetes, PWD = 10,932,480,000,000 (10.9 trillion)
  • Minutes in a year spent by PWD in visits to physician offices, hospital outpatient and emergency departments = 37.3 million x 20.7 minutes = 772,110,000
  • Percentage of a year’s time spent by PWD in visits to physician offices, hospital outpatient and emergency departments = 0.00007062532929 = 0.007%!

So I have been GROSSLY overestimating the number all these years! 🙁

What does this mean?
99.993% of the time, a person with diabetes is self-managing their condition on their own. Think about it… most people would call that nearly 100% of the time.

Everybody Talks: a #diabetes podcast for all types

Most of the time diabetes discussion focuses strongly on a single type: type 1 or type 2. But as best as I know, this is the only podcast where the voice of type 1 and type 2 diabetes is captured and shared in response to a variety of issues that everyone with diabetes is affected by.

In Everybody Talks, Mike (type 1 diabetes) and Corinna (type 2 diabetes) discuss and react to interviews with the weekly guests that Diabetes Hands Foundation interviews. Theirs are refreshing friendly voices that accompany on my commute. I only wish they had his daily, but I will settle for the weekly podcast for now!

So, if you haven’t heard Mike and Corinna, subscribe to Everybody Talks for free on the iTunes Store. And, if you have already heard it, and liked it: take a minute to review it and tell others about it, so that more people touched by diabetes may learn about it.

A clean bill of eye health

A few months ago, I had an eye opening experience at a Children with Diabetes conference: Dr. Ben found a spot in my retina that I have been working to try to revert.

In the past few months, I have increased my physical activity by a lot, mostly walking every day, and pushing myself to try to improve my BG levels (not an easy task as anyone touched by diabetes knows). I have become specially fond of my FitBit, which has enabled me to keep close track of how many steps I take. This is a screenshot of my FitBit dashboard:
Screenshot 2015-06-18 14.53.36

In the course of 2015, I have walked an average of 9,800 steps per day, which would have allowed me to walk all the way down to Los Angeles and back to San Francisco (if I were Forrest Gump), since January 1, 2015.

Today, I saw my eye doctor, and he gave me a “clean bill of eye health”. He said he didn’t see ANY trace of the spot that Dr. Ben had identified last year. This is great news, and I wanted to share it with all my friends and colleagues.

For this, I want to thank my wife Andreina and my son Santiago, for their neverending support; my friends at Diabetes Hands Foundation and the #DOC, for reminding me that I am not alone and that I can do this; and the Livongo family, for being such a passionate, dedicated, and smart group of professionals to work with… that root for me when I jump on the walking desk we have in the office! 😉