It’s day two of the 2015 EASD conference in Stockholm. Sunday and Monday showcased some impressive symposia – including industry announcements – and yesterday the official opening ceremony started the conference proper.
We arrived in Stockholm around midday on Sunday after 26 hours in transit, so the afternoon was spent settling into our hotel which, bizarrely, has only round windows giving the odd sense that we are in a boat. Seventeen floors above ground level. In the sky. Weird, but gives an incredible view of each morning’s sunrise!
In keeping with EASD tradition, the conference is very science-y. There is little about the psychosocial aspects of diabetes and minimal input from people with diabetes. I have developed a twitch in my right eye because I keep hearing the word ‘diabetic’ and as much as I try to tell myself to get over it, it just doesn’t sit right with me coming out of the mouths of clinicians.
There is much mention of the ‘patient perspective’ and on Monday there was an entire symposium dedicated to it. Unfortunately, there wasn’t an actual ‘patient’ on the panel, which surely is weird. It is, right?
But despite the limited presence of PWD in the official programme, there are a lot of satellite events and activities taking place.
Yesterday was #DOCDAY, an event organised by Bastian Haulk from he German online community. He had hired a space in downtown Stockholm and invited bloggers, advocates and others with diabetes to come along, network, chat, and talk about what we are all doing in our different communities and the larger DOC. Bastian asked me to say a few words at the introduction and I highlighted for me what is the most important thing when we are talking about the DOC: No one owns this community. No one is more important or more relevant or more powerful.
Sure, some of us are very fortunate that we get to actually meet IRL and attend conferences, but we do it as part of our jobs – whether it be like me (through my work at a diabetes organisation mixed with my online work) or through independent consulting or other work.
But regardless if you are in the room or following along on Twitter, everyone has the same right to be here and to be part of it.
Two separate blogger summits have been organised by industry – I will be attending the Johnson and Johnson DOC Exchange event tomorrow and Friday. These activities showcase just how smooth PWD and industry can work together – disclaimers and all that sort of stuff out in full view!
The Exhibition Hall here is, as expected, huge. Whilst the usual suspects are all here in force, there are also a few new faces on the scene. The Keleido pump is something to watch – if, for no other reason, than the gorgeous colour spectrum! More in coming days!
While we’re talking new stuff, check out this gorgeous range of clothing from Anna PS (Scandinavia). Anna is delightful and started this company to address a gap in the market, producing high quality t-shirts, bathers, underwear and more to accommodate diabetes devices such as pumps, CGM receivers, pens etc. The clothing is of the most beautiful designs – the fabrics are divine. (And yes, she ships to Australia!)
There is a lot on show and a lot being presented and as in previous years, I have found this conference a lot more daunting than other meetings like ADA or our own ADS-ADEA. but there is plenty to write about and share. More in coming days.