SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Glenn Rossman, Cynthia Dunlop

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Sanofi Diabetes is on a Mission to Support Children, Parents and Carers of Children with Type 1 Diabetes through Gaming

The New Mission T1D app, created by Sanofi Diabetes to address the need for greater understanding of T1D amongst children, parents and carers, friends and in the school environment is now available, free of charge, from the Apple UK store.

T1D affects 400,000 people in the UK and more than 29,000 are children1. Educating people who share the lives of children with T1D is essential to ensure the needs of the child are properly understood and appropriately supported in their daily life.

Figures show that 94.2% of infants, children and young people with diabetes do not receive all of the care processes recommended by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE), suggesting that there is more work to be done to drive improvements2. Mission T1D aims to improve the understanding of living with diabetes and helps to share practical information to better support children with diabetes, especially in their school environment.

Dr. Sheridan Waldron, Specialist Diabetes Dietician, says, “Children with diabetes and their families face many challenges in their daily lives as they care for a very complex life-long condition. It is essential that children, parents and carers have the knowledge and skills to manage diabetes but they also need their friends, teachers and other people in the school environment to understand and support them to care for their diabetes effectively. Sharing information and fostering a caring environment at school will help children with diabetes to feel normal, happy and ensure that they reach their full potential in a safe environment.”

The goal of the game

The Mission T1D game by Sanofi Diabetes is aimed at children, parents and carers of children with Type 1 diabetes. It is a fun, innovative game, which takes place in a school setting and features educational messages adapted for primary school-age children. It aims to support a serious message through gaming and play to encourage children with T1D (and their family, teachers and friends) to learn more about how to live with diabetes.

Players make their way through a number of levels by earning points and each level provides short, practical and illustrated messages on living with T1D at school. The game also includes a number of educational videos to reinforce key topics.

The game is designed to allow children living with T1D to share basic knowledge about diabetes within their school environment in order to dispel any misconceptions. Furthermore, their peers can feel involved in helping their classmates through support and a better understanding of what it is like to live with diabetes.

The entire educational pack (game, videos and quiz), when used in a classroom setting, is also a useful toolkit for teachers, creating an understanding of diabetes that can easily be included into the curriculum. The desired outcome is for children with T1D to feel more supported and understood.

At home, parents or carers can also get involved by talking to their child about the app, finding out how it is being used and encouraging its use in and outside of school.

Karen Addington, Chief Executive of JDRF, said: “Type 1 diabetes is a complex and serious condition. Furthermore, when the facts about Type 1 diabetes are not appreciated and understood, extra pressure is placed upon those living with it. Thankfully, technology can play a big role in broadening awareness and understanding among people of all ages.”

Rebecca Reeve, Head of Professional Relations at Sanofi Diabetes says, “As a company, we have entered the diabetes gaming arena to improve health outcomes for children with Type 1 diabetes. We are committed to making a difference to the lives of children who are struggling with the challenge of managing diabetes, especially in an environment where they can easily be made to feel different. We hope that the teachers, parents and carers for whom this game was developed will make it their mission to make this game a success.”

Mission T1D is a free gaming app for iOS, android and PC devices.

NOTES TO EDITORS

Photography is available upon request

About Mission T1D

The goal of the game is to help children living with T1D to understand their condition better and provide opportunities to educate those around them, whether they are teachers, family members or school friends.

The player makes their way through a number of levels, and at each level, the wise man of the school “the sensei” provides short, practical and illustrated messages on living with T1D at school. Players can aim to become a Grand Master at the end of each level by earning points after watching animation / educational videos about T1D. The successful completion of each level unlocks entry to the next level. These videos cover five main topics:

  • What is T1D
  • Everyday life with T1D
  • What is hypoglycaemia and how to help
  • What is hyperglycaemia and how to help
  • How to have a healthy diet, with or without T1D

Players are also invited to test their knowledge and understanding of living with T1D by taking part in the quiz. Two versions are available: one interactive and one downloadable version, which can be used offline, for example with teachers in their classrooms.

About diabetes

Diabetes is a common life-long health condition where the amount of glucose in the blood is too high because the body cannot use it properly. This is because the pancreas does not produce any insulin, or not enough, to help glucose enter the body’s cells – or the insulin that is produced does not work properly (known as insulin resistance)3.

High levels of glucose present in the blood over a sustained period of time damages blood vessels. This can lead to increased chances of developing diabetes-related complications, such as kidney failure, nerve damage, damage to the retina (the seeing part) of the eye and cardiovascular diseases4.

The following blood glucose levels are recommended by NICE and the International Diabetes Federation and are target ranges for people without diabetes5,6,7:

Target levels by Type   Before meals (pre-prandial)   2 hours after meal (post-prandial / post-meal)
Non-diabetic   4.0 to 5.9 mmol/L   Under 7.8 mmol/L
Type 2 diabetes   4.0 to 7.0 mmol/L   Under 8.5 mmol/L
Type 1 diabetes   4.0 to 7.0 mmol/L   Under 9.0 mmol/L
Children w/ Type 1 diabetes   4.0 to 8.0 mmol/L   Under 10.0 mmol/L
   

Symptoms occur because some or all of the glucose stays in the blood and isn’t used as fuel for energy. The main symptoms of undiagnosed diabetes can include passing urine more often than usual (especially at night), increased thirst, extreme tiredness and blurred vision3.

Type 1 diabetes, which accounts for between 10 and 15 percent of all people with diabetes when no insulin is produced at all because the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas have been destroyed by the bodies’ own immune system. Nobody knows for sure why this occurs but it is not linked to lifestyle factors like being overweight. Approximately 150,000 people are diagnosed annually with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes in the UK8,9.

In most western countries, Type 1 diabetes accounts for over 90% of childhood and adolescent diabetes, although less than half of individuals with Type 1 diabetes are diagnosed before the age of 15 years .Type 2 diabetes is becoming more common in adolescents, particularly in the peripubertal period, and accounts for a significant proportion of youth onset diabetes in certain at risk populations10.

There is currently no cure for either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. For Type 1 diabetes, treatment means multiple daily insulin injections or continuous insulin infusions to replace the body’s natural insulin, finger prick blood testing, eating healthily and taking regular exercise11.

About Sanofi Diabetes

Sanofi Diabetes strives to help people manage the complex challenge of diabetes by delivering innovative, integrated and personalised solutions. Driven by valuable insights that come from listening to and engaging with people living with diabetes, Sanofi is forming partnerships to offer diagnostics, therapies, services and devices, including innovative blood glucose monitoring systems. Sanofi markets both injectable and oral medications for people with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes.

About Sanofi

Sanofi, an integrated global healthcare leader, discovers, develops and distributes therapeutic solutions focused on patients’ needs. Sanofi has core strengths in the field of healthcare with seven growth platforms: diabetes solutions, human vaccines, innovative drugs, consumer healthcare, emerging markets, animal health and the new Genzyme. Sanofi is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY).

References renew all ‘access’

1. JDRF Living with diabetes, life with T1 available at http://www.jdrf.org.uk/life-with-type-1-diabetes . Last accessed August 2014

2. National Paediatric Diabetes Audit Report 2010 – 2011. Published September 2012. Available at http://www.hqip.org.uk/assets/NCAPOP-Library/NCAPOP-2012-13/Diabetes-Paediatric-Audit-Report-pub-2012.pdf. Last accessed August 2014

3. Diabetes.co.uk. Diabetes and blood glucose. http://www.diabetes.co.uk/diabetes_care/Diabetes_and_blood_glucose.html Last accessed August 2014

4. Diabetes.org.uk. Diabetes symptoms. http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Introduction-to-diabetes/Signs_and_symptoms/ Last accessed August 2014

5. Guidance for Management of Postmeal Glucose - International Diabetes Federation, 2007. Available at http://www.idf.org/webdata/docs/Guideline_PMG_final.pdf. Last accessed August 2014

6. Type 2 diabetes: The management of type 2 diabetes – NICE Clinical Guideline 66. Available at http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/cg66niceguideline.pdf. Last accessed August 2014

7. Type 1 diabetes: diagnosis and management of type 1 diabetes in children, young people and adults – NICE Clinical Guideline 15. Available at http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/cg015niceguideline.pdf. Last accessed August 2014

8. Diabetes.org.uk. What is Type 1 diabetes? Available at http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/What-is-diabetes/What-is-Type-1-diabetes/. Last accessed August 2014

9. Hex, N., Bartlett, C., Wright, D., Taylor, M., Varley, D. Estimating the current and future costs of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes in the United Kingdom, including direct health costs and indirect societal and productivity costs. Diabetic Medicine. DOI: 10.1111/j.1464-5491.2012.03698.x. Last accessed August 2014

10. Global IDF / ISPAD Guidelines for Diabetes in Childhood and Adolescence, 2011. Available at http://www.idf.org/sites/default/files/Diabetes-in-Childhood-and-Adolescence-Guidelines.pdf. Last accessed August, 2014

11. Diabetes.org.uk. Treating diabetes. http://www.diabetes.org.uk/Guide-to-diabetes/Introduction-to-diabetes/Treating_diabetes/ Last accessed August 2014

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