Latino Diabetes Community Scientists
The Sansum Diabetes Research Institute was founded in 1944 by Dr. William D. Sansum, the first physician in the U.S. to both produce and administer life-saving insulin. Today the Institute is a world leader in research and innovation, education and care for adults and children living with all forms of diabetes. Current areas of focus are: type 2 diabetes in minorities (www.MilFamilias.com) and (www.LatinoDiabetes.sansum.org), digital health, artificial pancreas development, diabetes in pregnancy, and diabetes and exercise (www.excarbs.sansum.org).
Citizen scientists - a project to reduce diabetes disparities within the Hispanic/Latino communities in the U.S.
At present, U.S. Hispanic/Latino adults have a greater burden of diabetes and associated complications compared to the general population. The reasons for this disproportionate impact are likely to be influenced by challenges related to access to care, low rates of research participation, the social determinants of health, and low health literacy. The aim of this project is to determine the value of local Latino/Hispanic “Citizen Scientists” trained in diabetes, clinical research methods, and the use of wearable technologies to (a) help generate real-world evidence of the impact of the social determinants of health on the disproportionate Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) burden on U.S. Hispanic/Latino families and (b) overcome existing health literacy barriers to increase access to and understanding of this new knowledge.
To address these diabetes disparities and democratize critical knowledge, the Sansum Diabetes Research Insitute has proposed a novel strategy. The program aims to equip Latino Citizen Scientists with the knowledge and skills that enable them to implement research instruments and deploy state-of-the-art wearable technologies that collect real-world data on factors (such as blood glucose levels, physical activity, sleep, etc.) related to the risk of progression of T2D with the emphasis on social determinants of health. With guidance, these same Citizen Scientists will then interpret the collected data and relay pertinent findings in an accessible way to participants, peers and the Latino community across the nation. Subsequently this approach will guide interventions to reduce the disproportionate burden of T2D being faced by this population.