Virta Health: Artificial Intelligence To Reverse Type-2 Diabetes

Virta Health: Artificial Intelligence to Reverse Type-2 Diabetes

Virta Health: Artificial Intelligence to Reverse Type-2 Diabetes

Photo Credit: Andriy Popov/123RF
This post is part of our new Future of Artificial Intelligence series which interviews the leading founders and executives who are on the front lines of the industry to get a better understanding of what problems the industry is facing, what trends are taking place, and what the future looks like.
The following is an interview we recently had with Jackie Lee, PhD, Data Scientist at Virta Health
1. What’s the history of Virta? Where and how did you begin?
JL: The idea for Virta Health started with our CEO and co-founder, Sami Inkinen, who discovered that he had prediabetes in the same year that he won the triathlon world championships in his age group. For someone who was fit and had done all the “right” things to be healthy, this came as quite a surprise. This set off a period of discovery for Sami, which led him to our other co-founders Drs. Steve Phinney and Jeff Volek, who had a combined 70 years of research on metabolic health and insulin resistance. It was clear to Sami, Steve, and Jeff that type 2 diabetes could be reversed. The question was, how do you scale it?
2. What specific problem does Virta solve? How do you solve it?
JL: Virta helps people reverse type 2 diabetes—without drugs and without surgery. To do this you have to start with the right science. Type 2 diabetes is considered chronic and progressive, but we actually repair our patients’ metabolic health using a nutritional intervention focused on carbohydrate intake and nutritional ketosis, changing the paradigm from management to reversal. Scaling our solution is Continue reading

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10 advances transforming the lives of diabetics worldwide

10 advances transforming the lives of diabetics worldwide

10 advances transforming the lives of diabetics worldwide
From an oral insulin capsule to a noninvasive glucose monitor, Israeli entrepreneurs and researchers are making life easier for diabetics.
November 14 is World Diabetes Day and the month of November is National Diabetes Month in the United States. While there is not yet a cure for diabetes, many Israeli researchers and companies offer improved approaches for avoiding, managing and treating the condition.
Diabetes is a chronic disease that occurs when the pancreas cannot make insulin the hormone that regulates blood sugar or when the body cannot make good use of the insulin it makes.
As of 2015, approximately 415 million adults in the world have diabetes and that number is expected to rise to 642 million by 2040. At least 90 percent of cases are type 2 diabetes, characterized by insulin resistance and/or deficiency. In addition, more than 542,000 children in the world live with type 1 diabetes, an autoimmune condition where the body attacks its own insulin-making cells.
Diabetes is the leading cause of heart disease, stroke, kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations and new cases of blindness among adults. Those with diabetes have twice the normal risk of death; in 2014, diabetes was listed as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.
Here are some significant diabetes developments reported in Israel in recent years.
Oramed Pharmaceuticals hopes to revolutionize the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes through its proprietary oral insulin capsule developed through research at Je Continue reading

4 Things to Know About ACA Repeal and Diabetes

4 Things to Know About ACA Repeal and Diabetes

4 Things to Know About ACA Repeal and Diabetes
Posted on April 24, 2017 by American Diabetes Association
Update (5/31/17): On May 4th, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The AHCA has now moved to the Senate where Senators are currently considering potential changes to the legislation. If you havent already, please sign up to become an advocate and contact your Senators to urge them to protect health care for people with or at risk for diabetesand all Americans.
Over the past several months, all eyes have been on Congress and the White House, as debate has swirled around the repeal and replacement of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). As advocates for the nearly 116 million Americans living with or at risk for diabetes, we at the American Diabetes Association are committed to protecting access to adequate and affordable health care for everyone no matter his or her health status, income, age or employment.
As you may have seen in the news, members of Congress returned home for their annual spring recess without passing legislation in the House of Representatives to repeal and replace the ACA. However, Congress returns to Washington on April 25 and a new vote on ACA repeal could happen within their first week in session.
If you or a loved one is affected by diabetes, heres what you should know:
Since December 2016, we have continuously urged Congress to not repeal the ACA without replacing it simultaneously with an alternative plan that does not result in a loss of coverage or benefits for people with, Continue reading

‘Diabetes affects Indians at a younger age and progresses much faster’

‘Diabetes affects Indians at a younger age and progresses much faster’

India is among the countries which has the largest burden of diabetes in the world, says Dr. V. Mohan, the chairman and chief diabetologist at Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialities Centre, a WHO Collaborating Centre for Noncommunicable Diseases Prevention and Control, in Chennai.
A Padma Shri recipient (2012) for his extensive contributions to the field of diabetes research, Dr. Mohan has recently been felicitated with the highest award for biomedical research in India -- Dr. B. R. Ambedkar Centenary Award -- by the Indian Council of Medical Research.
An alumnus of Madras Medical College, Dr. Mohan is also the president and director of Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, an ICMR Centre for advanced research on diabetes. He speaks to The Hindu about the disease, its implications, prevention and research in the area.
How has you extensive work in the field of diabetes helped the common man, especially with India having such a huge burden of the disease?
I have been working in the field of diabetes for nearly 40 years. I first started working on diabetes research as an undergraduate student helping my father, Prof. M.Viswanathan, who is considered the ‘Father of Diabetology’ in India.
Our initial studies were clinical, but they helped us understand the Asian Indian phenotype of diabetes better and laid the groundwork for my future research in this field. In my early years, I worked on a condition called “Fibro Calculus Pancreatic Diabetes”, which is a type of diabetes secondary to stones inside the pancreas. It is a rare form of diabetes, but my work helped to understan Continue reading

Starch-Based Vegan Diets And Diabetes: The Science-Backed Truth No One Wants You To Know

Starch-Based Vegan Diets And Diabetes: The Science-Backed Truth No One Wants You To Know

Top 3 Diabetes Myths, Busted: Fruit, Starchy Vegetables, and Blood Glucose
Almost 10 percent of Americans have diabetes and that number is growing. Unfortunately, the myths surrounding diabetes are as widespread as the disorder itself.
For the past 50 years, people diagnosed with all forms of diabetes have been advised to eat low-carb diets high in fat and protein, and to avoid eating high-carbohydrate foods like fruits, potatoes, squash, corn, beans , lentils , and whole grains .
Despite this popular opinion, more than 85 years of scientific research clearly demonstrates
that a low-fat, plant-based whole foods diet is the single most effective dietary approach for managing type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This means that a low-fat dietnot a low-carb diethas been shown across the board to minimize oral medication and insulin use, stabilize blood glucose, and dramatically reduce long-term disease risk in people with diabetes.
Myth #1: You Develop Type 2 Diabetes From Eating Too Much Sugar
Eating sweets is not a direct cause of type 2 diabetes. People develop type 2 diabetes over time by slowly developing a resistance to insulin, the hormone that escorts glucose out of your blood and into tissues like your muscle and liver. I like to think of type 2 diabetes as a very advanced form of insulin resistance in which glucose remains trapped in your blood because your body cannot use insulin properly. In this way, elevated blood glucose is a symptom of diabetes, and NOT the root cause.
The real cause of insu Continue reading

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