Any time there is something even remotely new in diabetes – from a new-fangled device, new education program, new research study, new funding model – it is referred to as a ‘game changer’. The so-called game of diabetes has transformed so many bloody times that just as you think you are on top of the latest and greatest, sure enough it all gets changed up again once someone releases a new app or data management system.

I kind of wish we would stop using the term ‘game changer’ because diabetes isn’t a game. At least, it’s not one that I particularly want to play. Games are meant to be fun and entertaining. Diabetes is not fun. And it is certainly not entertaining.

Also, what is referred to as a game changer is rarely anything that makes any real impact. In fact, in most cases, it’s just a matter of moving pieces around a board without anyone actually advancing towards the finish line. Are these alleged game changers really just a matter of doing the same things in a slightly different, perhaps more technologically-advanced, way?

CGM or Flash glucose monitoring aren’t game changers – they’re just different ways of monitoring glucose, in the same way that home blood glucose monitors were just a different way of monitoring glucose. The aim is the same: monitor glucose levels.

Insulin pumps aren’t game changers – they’re just a different way of delivering insulin, in the same way that pens and disposable syringes were. The aim is the same: deliver insulin into body.

New education programs aren’t game changers – they’re just different ways of delivering the same information in a slightly different way. The aim is the same: provide education to people with diabetes, often education that is not necessarily what people want, or in a way they want it.

And the result of all these so-called game changers also seems the same. Not necessarily optimal results most of the time. Do not pass go; do not collect $200.

We’re moving around the pieces and changing the rules, but what has really and truly changed? Is it that we have better outcomes? Perhaps it’s that there are more ladders than snakes on the board now?

I’m guilty of using the term. I have referred to Loop as a game changer because although the aims are the same, the result has been to somewhat lessen my diabetes burden and that shouldn’t be minimised.

But I still have diabetes. I still have to do a lot to manage it. The way I manage it may be simplified now, but a lot of it is still the same.

Games are meant to end. There is a winner and a loser, and I really don’t like to look at diabetes in those terms.

Surely the only true game changer in diabetes is going to be when there is a cure. But until then, it’s the same board, just with ever changing pieces, ever changing design, and ever, ever, ever changing rules.

Look at this! Googling ‘Diabetes Games’ I came across this from Jamie Naessens on her blog ‘Flying Furballs’. I love that rather than there being a ‘jail’ square, you get a free cupcake instead! Click on image to be taken to the original source.

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