I’m in Sydney for the next couple of days for the Diabetes Exchange (DX) program hosted by Abbott Diabetes Care. The event which runs over two days is part of Abbott’s global DX initiative which aims to bring together diabetes bloggers from all over the world. The Sydney event follows on from the initial meeting in Berlin, and next month, there will be an EU event, this time in Stockholm. (How’s your French? Google translate may be able to help you with this wrap up of the Berlin event from my dear friend Andrea.)

I am terribly excited about the Sydney event for a few reasons. Firstly, it’s all about the tech. Make no mistake, we’re here to talk about the Abbott Freestyle Libre monitoring device which (finally) received TGA approval earlier this year and will be launched into the Aussie market in the very near future. It’s exciting technology – and how clever are Abbott in bringing together a group of bloggers who may just share their experience (of both the event and the device) with others?

I am also excited because I will be surrounded by my peers – others who also live with diabetes. I will be with old friends, others that I only know in the 140-characters-or-fewer world of Twitter and others that I have never met (in real like or online) before. I am especially excited that it is an Australian event because it is always fascinating to see and hear the close-to-home perspective and just how different it can be even though we are accessing the same health system while living with same health condition. (I’m also thrilled to be in a room full of Aussies because it means I won’t spend a significant part of the day asking ‘Does that translate?’ as I try to explain something that makes absolutely no sense to anyone from Europe, the US or the UK.)

I have been very fortunate to sit around tables around the world at similar events and the power and value is not because we all agree with each other. In fact, the real magic happens when there is respectful and robust discussion where everyone is given the opportunity to safely share their experience and perspective. I so hope that is the outcome of the DX2Sydney meeting.

I am facilitating DX2Sydney, which is terrific because it means I don’t have to say much. I mainly get to listen and hear others’ thoughts. The agenda is packed full of interesting topics and there is plenty of time for tangents and questions. Well done to Abbott for bringing us all together. This is a terrific opportunity for us as bloggers, but it is also such a brilliant opportunity for Abbott to get some valuable insight into working with PWD. We have a place at this table; there is no issue with industry and PWD talking, engaging and sharing. I’m so pleased to be here to do that!

Our Aussie blogging community may be small – and this may be only the second time that a group of Aussie diabetes social media influencers have been allowed in a room at the same time (the first time being Diabetes Victoria’s innovative Diabetes SoMe Summit back in 2012), but I am so pleased that we are being given the opportunity to lend our voice to the global DX initiative.

You can follow along on Twitter at #DX2Sydney. And I’ll be linking to any blogs or commentary from the other attendees in later posts.

DISCLOSURE

DX2Sydney is being coordinated and run by Abbott Diabetes Care. The costs for me to attend the two day event (travel, accommodation, meals and transfers) have been covered by Abbott. All attendees will also receive Freestyle Libre product so we can trial the new device. 

There is no expectation that I will write about the event or my thoughts of the device. Abbott may have paid for me to attend, but they have not paid for my words on this blog, social media activity or anywhere else. I do, however, promise to try to keep myself nice and not swear. (But that could go pear-shaped any moment!)

DX2Sydney is being held in the ACDC suite of the hotel. Who said diabetes isn't rock 'n' roll?

DX2Sydney is being held in the ACDC suite of the hotel. Who said diabetes isn’t rock ‘n’ roll?

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