Roche Redux, Part 1.
Last Sunday, I traveled to Indianapolis for the fourth annual Roche Social Media Summit. Those invited represented a cross-section of the diabetes online community – adults with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, parents of children with type 1 diabetes, and even a trained health care professional now creating mobile health solutions. Roche covered all travel, food, and lodging expenses, as well as provided a couple of giveaways that I will touch upon in the next few days.
As I mentioned earlier this summer, it took me by surprise to be invited again. Let’s face it, just about everything in my little world has changed since I last attended in Orlando two years ago. Yet for some reason, the powers that be at Roche felt this was a voice to be heard again. (As much as I talked during the sessions, then and now!)
The way I see it, the business part of the summit allows two things to happen. The patient voice is heard by upper management on concerns about safety, accuracy, and cost of the products the company develops. In turn, the medical device manufacturer is able to explain their side of the story through presentations on research & development as well as a manufacturing plant tour.
What happens as an informal “side effect” is some of the diabetes online community being able to hang out for a couple of days and get to know each other in person, beyond diabetes. It allowed me to reconnect with those I already met, it allowed me to meet some for the first time, and also introduced those whose stories I had not yet read.
I left this year’s Social Media Summit knowing that while my name and blog focus has changed, the passion to support and to empower others is still valued within this amazing diabetes online community.