Attendees heading to this year’s annual meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators can expect an expanded focus in several key areas, including mobile and digital health, prediabetes care, and strategies for improved patient engagement.
The annual meeting, taking place from Aug. 12 to 15, will bring together more than 3,500 nurses, pharmacists, dieticians, nurse practitioners and diabetes educators to the San Diego Convention Center in California to also hear from experts on topics ranging from preconception and pregnancy health, sleep and its role in metabolic health, looking beyond HbA1c measurements and preparing young adults with diabetes for college.
“The conference is really going to cover the very young to the very old, in terms of the patients we serve, and all aspects of the care for those patients,” Perry M. Gee, PhD, RN, CPEHR, a nurse scientist with Dignity Health and a member of the planning committee for AADE, told Endocrine Today. “You don’t have to be an expert in diabetes to attend the conference. There is something for a novice and something for top researchers. Plus, we have a lot of fun sponsor events.”
Perry M. Gee
With a theme of “Embrace Change, Strengthen our Future,” organizers this year put a special focus on the changing face of health care and rapidly evolving technology, Gee said.
“We have over 15 sessions and that deal with digital health, connected health, and not just the future, but where it’s at today and how to embrace it,” Laurel Fuqua, RN, MSN, senior vice president of clinical affairs at InSpark Technologies in Oceanside, California, and a member of the planning committee, told Endocrine Today. “Diabetes consumers are online, and they’re looking for information. They’re becoming much more self-empowered in terms of getting that information. It’s really important for diabetes educators to understand what’s out there, how to evaluate it and how to help their patients evaluate it.”
“Diabetes educators as a group are already ahead of the curve in that particular area,” Gee said. “The past and the current AADE presidents are both very technologically savvy ... and [the sessions] go along with our overall theme. We need to be able to serve patients by understanding what they are going through.”
The 4-day meeting will also include updates in cutting edge research, Fuqua said, including the latest information on genetic testing for type 2 diabetes and preventing hypoglycemia, plus sessions on career growth and opportunities.
“Diabetes educators can come to this meeting and they can get updated on the science and technology and new drugs, but also enhance their growth and development of their careers,” said Fuqua, who will also participate in a Sunday panel titled “Where the industry jobs are and how to get them.”
Building on last year’s meeting, there will again be full days devoted to prediabetes and type 1 diabetes management.
“I think that there is something for everyone at every level,” Fuqua said. “The planning committee was very diverse, and the population that we serve is very diverse, and I think that this meeting really represents that.”
On Sunday, Dave deBronkart, a cancer patient, blogger and nationally known leader of the e-patient movement better known as “e-patient Dave,” will speak about patient engagement.
“He found out last year that he has prediabetes,” Gee said. “So we’re really excited to have him here talking about his experiences.”
The Endocrine Today and Healio.com staff will provide coverage from AADE 2016, including reports on the sessions, onsite video interviews and much more. For more information on the AADE agenda and registration, visit www.AADEmeeting.org. – by Regina Schaffer