Day three the main exhibition hall was open for the first time, meaning we could go and visit the many companies exhibiting at EASD 2015. As we showed at ADA 2015, these conferences are a rather breathtaking sight.
The main pharmaceutical companies hosted the biggest stands in the hall; Medronic, Sanofi, Boehringer-Ingelheim, Lilly and Novo Nordisk were the most prominent in the show and with the most to display to the thousands of gathered healthcare professionals.
The first stand to catch our eyes however was the Mylife Diabetes Care stand, who were one of the largest exhibitors of insulin pumps at the show. Along with the Omnipod which has seen a considerable rise in popularity in the past 18 months here in the UK, they were also showing off the new ‘Ypso pump’, which while similar in design to several other manufacturers, instead operates using a simple touch screen symbol interface and pre-filled insulin cartridge.
Also displayed on the stand was Mylife’s new cannula design with a 360’ rotation on it, to prevent the age-old pain of getting tangled on a door handle.
The Mylife Ypso pump at EASD 2015
Whether the Ypso pump can take on the more established manufacturers like the Omnipod before it we will have to wait and see, as they are still awaiting their CE mark, however it is certainly an interesting bit of kit.
A real stand out display of the room was the launch of Kaleido insulin pumps. Based in the Netherlands, Kaleido was established to ‘inject some colour into insulin pumps’. Seeing that past devices looked perhaps a little clinical, Kaleido has entered the room with its rather colourful new pump with some great new features.
Aside from the colourful cases and batteries, the pump combines patch technology and tubing systems with a short two-inch tube linked to the battery, which then connects to your cannula. Using this style means the past issue of tubing on door handles is removed but also the bulk of a full patch pump, seemingly the best of both worlds. A small but effective observation was that all demonstrators were wearing cannulas on their arms, something that has previously been difficult with other pumps.
The Kaleido also comes with two batteries in two colours so you don’t get them mixed up when one needs recharging; insulin pumps joining the eco world. Again this was a small but significant feature that emphasises Kaleido going ‘against the grain’ in the right way. Its colour options and easy to use interface would certainly make it an attractive pump to younger users who were potentially not interested in insulin pump therapies before.
A vast range of colours available for the Kaleido pump, launching in 2016
With intentions to launch in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in 2016, Kaleido is yet to be given its CE mark but definitely keep an eye out for it!
A common feature on several stands, notably Boehringer-Ingelheim and Novartis Pharma, was the inclusion of video games consoles and immersive experiences as a way of showing attendees the functions of their products and ideas.
Boehringer-Ingelheim while launching new Type-2 Diabetes medication with the message ‘help equip them for the journey ahead’, had a Temple Run style game where players had to drive a car through a field collecting points. It may be simple and not particularly scientific, but there was certainly a lot of focus on the stand throughout the conference.
‘Help equip them for the journey ahead’ – Boehringer-Ingelheim at EASD 2015
Novartis Pharma were a little more forward thinking in their use of tech; several ‘pods’ were set up around the stand for attendees to sit in and get a full immersive experience using an Occulus Rift headset, something we had seen previously at ADA 2015 from MSD, though not on this scale. The experience allowed you to glimpse ‘inside the pancreas’ and see how their new drug (research) affects insulin beta cell activity, and further proving how strong Type-2 medication can be.
An infographic at Novartis Pharma about activity and Type-2 Diabetes
Interestingly Novartis were the most vocal of the major pharmaceutical companies to address activity and its importance in the treatment of Type-2 Diabetes. With an interactive board displaying facts and figures regarding patients from all over the world including the UK, Novartis launched their ‘Time 2 Do More’ campaign, a way to engage patients in more activity. Alongside the display was a set up of two cross trainers, encouraging attendees to take part in a 2 minute running test, answering questions throughout for more points (a humble brag, GBdoc registered in the top 10 highest scores of EASD 2015).
‘Time 2 do more’ challenge by Novartis Pharma at EASD 2015
Merck Sharp and Dohme (MSD) were by far the largest of the Type-2 directed stands. Showcasing ‘Januvia’ (now the world’s leading type-2 drug) albeit it in a less interactive way than we saw at ADA, and ‘Janumet’, a mixed drug from Januvia and Metformin.
Much of the MSD stand was reserved for presentations being held by their invited speakers throughout the event, however the show displays featured standard information on the drugs, as well as the potential side-effects that come with them. Refreshing however was seeing that each of the displays stated that the drugs were only effective and should only be used in combination with increased activity and exercise, further emphasis on a greater recognition for the need of exercise in Diabetes management.
Medtronic fresh from the release of the 640g and celebrating it being the latest, most advanced pump available to patients, dedicated much of their stand to the pump and its cannulas. While little mention was made of a new updated Enlite sensor, there was a very noticeable presence of advertisements for pump therapy with Type-2 Diabetes, which up to now has rarely been mentioned in Europe.
It is easy to be cynical about pharmaceutical companies, but there is certainly increased attention now being directed at activity and getting patients to do more of it, which can only be a good thing in the long term.