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Project Zoomer

Welcome to the diabetes patient simulator research project.


Kevin McMahon (me), Sugar Surfing's co-author and publisher, is building a new cloud-based education system including a diabetes coaching and support simulator that I call 'Zoomer' in honor of my daughters (funny story behind her Diabetes alias which I'll share in a future blog post). Darby was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes in 2001 at 27 months of age. Her sister Mackenzie does not have diabetes but effective management of the disease has certainly included her and all members of the extended family. Sharing, empathy and learning are at the heart of Project Zoomer.


The first time this approach was ever used in diabetes care was in my first study in 2002. The patients who participated in this inaugural study of wireless bgm monitoring and peer group data sharing reported many interesting psycho-social effects from this form of feedback. The study was presented as a poster at the 2nd Annual Diabetes Technology Society meeting in 2003 in San Francisco. Yes, it's taken 14 years to try it again and with your help we can fast track it.

I originally called this the 'Triage Plot'. In 2001, I designed it as a way for medical providers to understand how an 'air traffic control' dashboard could allow them to apply scarce resources on their highest risk patients and thereby prevent acute crisis like hospital DKA admissions. Turns out the patients in the study liked it even more than the medical staff. It was put to service in 2002, retired in 2003 and published as a way to teach others many times over the years.

My software development team is planning to launch the Zoomer dashboard in mid-2017. Code is already flying from their fingertips. The image below gives you an idea of the updated look and feel of the very same Triage Plot from 2002. 

Later this year, your data will be displayed coming directly from the manufacturer's systems in innovative ways. It's our challenge to incorporate the Sugar Surfing methodology into everything we do given that every other tool available is designed to support the static method.

One of the key elements of this simulator is to establish what is called, "reference data". Some of this data is created using algorithms and such to reflect certain scenarios. In other cases, real world patient data of various types can also be useful.

Ultimately, anyone on the web will be able to run reports with filters to focus in on virtual patients or groups of patients: peer groups.

The next phase of this plan is to enable hundreds of data scientists and other citizen investigators to 'play' with data and to discover novel and interesting ways to use data to create what I call feedback loops. These new forms of feedback will encourage and support people with diabetes and may also help medical professionals learn how to best work with patients in a future rich with data. Many providers find this future to be somewhat overwhelming. Together, we can show them how to thrive in the future.

To participate in testing of the new system just send a message using the form below. We'll notify you when it's ready.

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