Juvenile Diabetes Research Breakthroughs

This past month Vision Care Specialists’ leadership team attended the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Dream Gala to benefit Type 1 Diabetes research.  Our Chief Financial Officer, Michael Finch is a former president of Rocky Mountain JDRF.  He delivered the keynote speech at this year’s gala which raised an impressive $575,000.

The focus of Michael’s speech was to highlight some of the amazing research and treatment breakthroughs funded by JDRF over the past year.  Diabetes and diabetic retinopathy are the leading cause of blindness in the U.S. impacting approximately 24,000 Americans each year.  Vision Care Specialists provides comprehensive diabetic eye care to many patients to help them prevent Diabetes related vision loss.

Some of the impressive new treatments highlighted at this year’s JDRF Gala include:

  1. The Artificial Pancreas – JDRF launched the Artificial Pancreas Project seven years ago to develop a device that would test blood glucose levels and deliver insulin real time, with little or no human intervention. This device has passed human trials, and is being launched abroad today, with launch in the US in the next few years.
  2. Encapsulated Insulin – Encapsulation puts insulin producing cells into the body with a protective barrier so that they resist immune attack. Last fall, four people received the first ViaCyte product through a small device implanted under the skin. If successful, this device will allow people with Type 1 Diabetes to live test free and insulin free for up to two years.
  3. Smart Insulin – Smart Insulin is a concept that JDRF provided with early seed money, through an investment in a company called SmartCells. Smart Insulin responds to glucose levels in the blood, turning on and off as needed. If successful, Smart Insulin would give people virtually perfect blood glucose levels, making today’s insulin obsolete. SmartCells was recently acquired by Merck.

Vision Care Specialists has a serious commitment to helping patients with Diabetes maintain eye health.  Our team is equally commited to supporting the great research underway at the JDRF and others to prevent and treat Type 1 Diabetes.  If you or someone you know is at risk of Diabetes, Vision Care Specialists can help.  Contact us today at 303.991.9600 or schedule an appointment online.