Written by: Alicea Starr
Type 1 Diabetes (T1D) is a chronic autoimmune condition impacting the pancreas’ ability to create insulin. Like many immune system disorders, prevention is generally not possible. Unlike Type 2 Diabetes, T1D is not preventable through diet and an active lifestyle. Nevertheless, T1D is on the rise across all racial and ethnic groups, with the highest increase in Black and Hispanic youth.
Through recent advances in knowledge and understanding of this disease, early detection is possible long before the disease begins showing symptoms or requiring insulin. Once diagnosed, one can take immediate action to slow the progression and severity of the disease. Intervention and treatment are key to avoiding some of the many long-term side effects including damage to the eyes, heart, lungs, and kidneys. Unfortunately, due to socioeconomic factors, young people living in low-income communities are often diagnosed long after symptoms begin presenting themselves, increasing the health complications that may accompany an untreated individual.
In response, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) has created an innovative program called https://www.jdrf.org/t1d-resources/t1detect/T1Detect - a screening education and awareness program to help more people access diabetes testing through a simple at-home blood test. The education component of the program will specifically target low-income communities where routine wellness exams are less likely to occur, with additional outreach efforts targeting racial and ethnic minority groups. The test kits are sent directly to homes and available at a drastically reduced price of $10 to anyone unable to afford the full price kit.
The screening is especially important due to a recent medical breakthrough in the treatment of T1D. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new treatment for use in delaying the onset of T1D in at-risk individuals. According to JDRF, since the discovery of insulin over 100 years ago, T1D has been managed by treating the symptoms. For the first time, there is a therapy approved to treat the autoimmune process behind T1D, altering the course of the disease.
This decision also highlights the importance of screening. Individuals who get screened for T1D can learn about the risk for developing T1D and explore therapeutic options. Read more.
Allscripts was proud to join JDRF as one of the inaugural sponsors of T1Detect, as a part of our strategic philanthropic mission to advance health equity. Allscripts’ funding will help activate and inspire messaging within underserved communities and health care institutions on diabetes risk factors and the importance of being screened. As a result of this commitment, JDRF has awarded Allscripts with their 2022 Corporate Community Excellence Award.
Allscripts is proud to work with JDRF to address social inequities in diabetes testing and diagnosis within underserved populations. Allscripts believes that healthcare becomes better for all when we support great organizations like JDRF in driving change, funding science, improving behaviors, and addressing gaps in care, to build healthier communities.