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Making a Medical Breakthrough: Type 1 Diabetes and the 3D Printing Revolution

3D printing promises to rewrite the playbook for treating Type 1 Diabetes thanks to the 3D Printer Islet Cell Transplantation (PICT) Pen.

The Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH) is the first hospital in Australia to get its own 3D PICT Pen and you're invited to a presentation from the key players responsible for its innovation, fabrication and use in transplantation.


  • Professor Gordon Wallace, Director of the Intelligent Polymer Research Institute, University of Wollongong, Executive Director at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Electro-materials Science, Australian Laureate Fellow and 2016 winner of CSIRO Eureka Prize for Leadership in Innovation and Science.
  • Professor Toby Coates, Director of Kidney and Islet Transplantation – RAH, Professor of Medicine at University of Adelaide, transplant physician, nephrologist and leading researcher in the field of transplantation
  • Rosie Hicks, CEO, Australian National Fabrication Facility (ANFF) – the ANFF was established under the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy, and links 8 university-based nodes to provide researchers and industry with access to state-of-the-art fabrication facilities.
  • Juewan Kim, PHD candidate, Health and Medical Sciences Faculty, University of Adelaide

Event details

  • Date: Wednesday 6 December
  • Time: 12pm – 1:30pm
  • Venue: Royal Adelaide Hospital, corner North Terrace and West Terrace, Adelaide
  • Cost: This event is free but tickets are required for entry for all attendees
  • Click here to register.

Travelling with diabetes — Personal story

travellerMark is 31 years old, works as a physiotherapist and is a seasoned traveller. Mark has had diabetes "live with him" for 19 years and currently administers insulin via an insulin pump.

About Mark

When Mark was 22 he set off on a 2 year European adventure on a work visa. He certainly made the most of this time and his new found freedom by exploring many countries including England, Scotland, France, Spain, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Italy, Malta, Croatia, Hungary, Belgium, Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Austria, Monaco, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Turkey!

Getting off the beaten track

Since his first adventure at a very young age he has had the opportunity to back pack through South America, North America, Asia and Northern Africa on a couple of different big trips from 2009 until 2012. His favourite part of travelling is ‘getting off the beaten track’ especially in continents like South America and Asia. He describes these countries as offering wonderful countryside and undiscovered little villages that home incredibly genuine, friendly and welcoming people. These people are usually very poor. Mark believes that these experiences make you realise that you can live a very simple life but also be very happy.

Enjoying active adventures

During his travels Mark has trekked the Everest base camp in Nepal, Machu Picchu in Peru and an amazing 6000m in the Andes in Bolivia. He has surfed in Norway and the Philippines, snowboarded in Canada, USA, Norway and Switzerland and sailed in Croatia. He has also been deep sea diving in Columbia and mountain scrambling on Volcano’s in Peru and Columbia!

His favourite travel destination

This is a hard one for Mark to answer, as you can imagine. He loves Columbia for its incredible variety (stunning Caribbean coast, amazon jungle/basin, Andes mountains, huge volcanos, coffee fiends and amazing people), and Nepal for its sheer vastness and beauty of the Himalayas and simple living. On the whole for continents he loves South America for the pure variety of landscapes, amazing cultures and people... plus the food!

Mark's advice for those keen travellers

“Just do it!! As long as you are prepared when you go, even with major unexpected circumstances you should be fine with your diabetes control and supplies.“

How Mark prepares for his travels

When preparing for a trip Mark believes that the most important thing without doubt is thorough preparation before you head off. Before he heads off overseas he always follows this simple checklist.

Mark's checklist for traveling

  1. Very simply, take at least double everything you think you may need (2 finger prickers, double pump consumables, batteries, double the insulin etc.)
  2. Have back up for your insulin delivery: I take a couple of insulin pens and supplies in case something unforeseen happens with my pump...which has happened before. I had one pickpocketed (somehow!?) at a party in Brazil.
  3. When travelling on planes take all of your insulin on board with you to avoid the insulin freezing or getting too cold in the cargo section.
  4. When travelling I always keep my diabetes gear separated between my main travel pack/locker and day-pack so that if one bag gets stolen or lost you always have a full supply elsewhere.
  5. Use your insulin / diabetes consumables evenly between your two supplies incase you lose one lot and the other is very low.
  6. I am aware it is recommended to keep your insulin refrigerated whenever possible and I agree with this, but I want to share that on two trips over 12 months I've kept my insulin unrefrigerated (due mainly to no regular availability) in insulated lunch boxes from the supermarket and insulin efficiency has not changed at all. You still need to be aware of avoiding extreme temperatures at both ends of the spectrum of course.
  7. Also be aware that if you are going to be in England for an extended amount of time, you can register with a doctor there and through the NHS get free insulin and diabetes consumables.
  8. Because my pump is Medtronic, I also have a couple of cards with contact offices around the world and their phone numbers, and also carry the email of my Australian contact person.

Additional information


New MediTracker app keeps patients with diabetes safer

Patients with diabetes can now benefit from MediTracker, a next-generation smartphone app that provides direct access to their GP medical summary as held in their general practice.

A growing number of doctors, allied health care providers and specialists are using MediTracker to improve patient care and give their patients greater control of their health.

The highly respected publication, Medical Republic, says, "The launch of MediTracker could be the start of the connected-patient revolution that will fundamentally alter the way medicine is practiced in Australia."

MediTracker's key benefits for your patients living with diabetes

Medical summary in their smartphone

  • Easy access to an up-to-date medical history, previous and current health conditions, as well as care plans, appointments, prescribed medications, allergies,and immunisations. The app displays pathology results retrieved from the patient's record in the practice's clinical software, subject to controls in place at the general practice. MediTracker does not retrieve GP notes, documents, or any records marked confidential.

Track key test results

  • Patients can track measurements and pathology tests ordered by their GP, including blood glucose and HbA1c, in graphical form.

Stay safer

  • MediTracker keeps patients safer 24/7; on clinical handover, out of hours, on travel, and in emergencies. By putting the patient's medical summary in their hands, the right information is accessible to the right people at the right time, critical for ensuring patient safety. This information is available to the patient anywhere, anytime, even when offline.

Better patient outcomes

  • MediTracker links to Apple Health and Google Fit and, through these, to the growing ecosystem of digital and wearable devices. With patient consent, this data can be uploaded and shared with the patient's care team via the cdmNet cloud. Evidence indicates that access to such self-monitored data can lead to better patient outcomes, reduced readmission rates following hospitalisation and lower mortality.

World-class information security measures

  • The MediTracker network uses SSL/TLS encryption for data transport, the same level of encryption used by leading banks and government agencies. All data is hosted in Australia on dedicated (non-shared) hardware in an ISO27001 certified facility. Patients are provided PIN/Touch ID security within MediTracker in addition to the usual device level security.

For patients to start using MediTracker, their GP practice must first install the MediTracker Connector. This lightweight software is available for free download, click here.

Setup takes less than a minute and has no noticeable effect on computer performance.

MediTracker costs patients $5.99 per annum to stay connected to their GP.

Encourage your patients to try the app for free for one month.

Click here to find out more.

Additional information


Diabetes and travelling

travellingHaving diabetes should not limit you from seeing new sights or experiencing new adventures. Sure the idea of travelling to far destinations, new climates, new foods, and possibly crossing different time zones may seem very overwhelming if you are living with diabetes; however careful planning can help your trip go more smoothly.

There are several things to consider before you go, whether you are travelling by plane, train, boat or motor vehicle, within Australia or overseas, here are some tips to help make you travel as safe and hassle-free as possible.

Preparing for your trip

Talk to you Doctor. If you are planning on travelling for an extended period, talk to your Doctor or Diabetes Educator about your travel plans. This may include a discussion on any vaccinations that you may require, and preparing a plan for how to adjust the times and doses of your medications if you are travelling in different time zones.

Carry a doctor's letter

Ask your Doctor to write a letter outlining your medical condition, current medications (including dosage and how often you take them) and any equipment and devices that you may need to use for your diabetes (such as blood glucose meter, lancets, insulin pen/syringes and pumps) that you will require and should carry with you at all times. Take several copies of this letter or have it available on an electronic device (such as smart phone) should you be required to present it at security or medical services if required. It may also be important to think about whether the letter may need to be translated into the language of your destination. 

Click here to visit the 'Google Translate' website.


Speak to your Doctor or Diabetes Educator about your National Diabetes Services Scheme (NDSS) allowance for supplies. Estimate what medication, test strips, insulin and syringes you will require for your entire trip and pack more than you think you will need. Ensure that the date on your supplies do not expire while you are away, as this may also result in some costly out of pocket expenses. If you use an insulin pump, some companies may loan you a pump while you are travelling; otherwise it is very important to have a backup plan in case the pump fails. Ensure that you have contact details of relevant manufacturers should you require advice while travelling.

Click here to visit the NDSS website for more information.


You should make sure your travel insurance covers any pre-existing conditions, and all medical expenses for injury or illness as well as covering for damage and theft of valuables, and any cancellations to flight plans. Should you become ill, a general insurance policy will not cover you for pre-existing medical conditions.

Click here to visit the 'Smart Traveller' website.

Reciprocal Health Care Agreements (RHCA)

The Australian Government has arrangements with a number of countries providing travellers with benefits similar to Medicare, but these are normally only for emergency treatment arising from your visit and do not replace your need for travel insurance. Check that the country that you are travelling to have a RHCA with Australia.

Click here to visit the 'RHCA' website. 

In transit

The airport

Airports should not pose a problem for people living with diabetes. Ensure that you have supporting documentation (Doctor’s letter) confirming your medical condition and need for supplies, which can be provided to security when required. There have been concerns regarding the effects of security screening (x-ray and body scanners) on insulin pumps. If you are currently using an insulin pump and/ or a continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) device, it is recommended that you contact the manufacturer of the particular pump for advice. It is also recommended to contact the airline in regards to using the device on board the aircraft.

Click here for more information about airport security and insulin pumps.

Equipment and storage

It is important to carry all essential equipment and medications in your hand luggage and within reach. The best place for you to store them is in the seat pocket in front of you, and don’t forget to take them with you when exiting the plane.

Insulin storage

When travelling overseas, insulin needs to be in pharmacy-labelled packaging and stored correctly. Insulin vials (pre-filled pens or insulin cartridges) either opened or unopened, generally last for one month when stored at room temperature. Any excess insulin should be kept in the refrigerator. Storing insulin in your luggage risks exposure to freezing temperatures, and could damage the insulin, and is not recommended. Investing in an insulated bag to keep your insulin cool is a good idea; otherwise contact your airline to discuss storage of insulin for longer trips.

Sharps disposal

Disposing of sharps is also important when travelling; some airport/aircraft restrooms and some hotels have complimentary sharps containers, however some do not. Carry a travel size sharps container with a lid to dispose of your sharps responsibly.

Eating while travelling

While travelling, try to maintain your normal diet and continue monitoring your carbohydrate intake. Always wait until your meal is in front of you before you have any insulin or oral medications that may cause a hypoglycaemic event. If there are not enough carbohydrates served with your meal, ask for extra. You should keep some additional carbohydrate snacks on hand that can be used to supplement or replace your meal if necessary, so packing extra snacks may be required. Ensure that you keep hydrated when travelling, and avoid local water in certain countries, bottled drinking water is best.

Further information

Further information regarding travel and diabetes should be discussed with your General Practitioner (GP) or Diabetes Educator.

Read the original article

Click here to read the original article. Published in Diabetes SA Living Magazine – July 2017, page 26.

Additional information 



Media release

6 November 2017

Important announcement – Diabetes SA is set to fund diabetes research for all South Australians.

As part of our mission, Diabetes SA through the generous support of its members and the community of South Australia are very excited to announce the first round of research funding.

The Association is inviting applications from health professionals and researchers to support new or continuing research that is directed towards prevention, detection, management of diabetes and the identification, delivery and performance of services for people with diabetes.

Funding will be up to $100,000 per year for two years with funding available from April 2018.

Applications opened 3 November 2017 and close 22 December 2017.

The key Diabetes SA priority research areas will be:

  • the development of intervention or prevention strategies that reduce the risk of diabetes in the South Australian community or a defined group
  • the development of tests, tools and/or methodologies for the early detection/diagnosis or assessing risk in an individual of diabetes
  • the investigation of new and innovative ways of treatment and management of diabetes
  • the examination of the psychosocial consequences of diabetes at the individual or community level
  • the examination of the organisation, effectiveness and/or optimisation of delivery of multi-disciplinary diabetes services to the community.

The key outcome of this research will be to provide better outcomes for people at risk or living with diabetes.

For more information visit or find Diabetes SA on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

Diabetes SA is a not for profit, member based Association that is largely self-funded, our mission is to educate, advocate, support and fund research that provides better outcomes for people at risk or living with diabetes.

Empowering people to live well with diabetes and raising awareness for those at risk is our vision for all South Australians living with or at risk of diabetes.

Media: For further information, please contact Angelique Pasalidis CEO, Diabetes SA on 08 8354 5815, email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

More information

Click here for more information


What you need to know about type 1 and type 2 diabetes

SAHMRIThis free diabetes public lecture is organised by South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI).

Join SAHMRI's panel of experts as they discuss how new research into Type 1 and 2 Diabetes could potentially help you and the ones you love.

Topics covered include:

  • 'Getting to the Heart of Diabetes' - Dr Joanne Tan, Senior Postdoctoral Researcher, SAHMRI, University of Adelaide
  • 'Advances for children with Type 1 Diabetes' - Professor Jenny Couper, Head of Paediatrics, University of Adelaide
  • 'Lifestyle factors that contribute to Type 2 Diabetes' - Professor Gary Wittert, Head Centre for Nutrition and Gastrointestinal Diseases, SAHMRI, University of Adelaide

This event will be followed by a Q&A session with the audience. If you would like to submit a question for the Q&A session prior to the event please email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Event details:

  • Date: Thursday 7 December 2017
  • Time: 6pm-7.30pm
  • Location: SAHMRI Auditorium, North Terrace, Adelaide

Please note: If you are unable to attend this Public Lecture, a video recording will also be made available on the SAHMRI website following the event.



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