Diabetes mellitus is one of the most serious problems facing the health
of the general US population. This year over 7 percent of the
population, or 21 million people, will be diagnosed with diabetes and
among these individuals, 15 percent-25 percent will develop a Diabetic
Foot Ulcer ("DFU") during their lifetimes. This is a very serious
problem since DFUs are the leading cause of non-traumatic amputation.
Since over 20 percent of patients with a DFU require an amputation, it
is expected that between 650,000 to over 1 million unfortunate
individuals will face having an amputation each year. Moreover, these
patients also face a higher risk of additional amputations and a higher
5-year mortality rate of 39 percent to 68 percent.
The Heritage Medical Research Institute confirms that this is an even
more serious problem among this country's veterans who are three times
more likely to have diabetes as compared with the general population.
Not only do veterans account for over half of all hospitalization for
LE ulcerations, but almost two-thirds of all hospitalization for LE
amputations in the VA healthcare system is among veterans with
The 64 percent LE amputation rate among veterans with
diabetes is considerably higher than the 50 percent amputation rate
among diabetes in the general US population. It is therefore not
surprising that the costs of treating diabetic patients with LE
amputations have steadily increased in the VA system from 1989 to 1998
and is expected to increase unless we are able to prevent DFU.
"More than 80,000 foot amputations are performed every year on people
with diabetes. Most of these are preventable, and one of the culprits
for amputation is right below your nose: your shoes....'One person in four or five with diabetes will develop a diabetic
ulcer," said Leese, adding that shoes that don't fit are a big part of
this problem.' "
In a famous, Nobel Prize-winning and historical experiment,
people demonstrated that they are twice as afraid of losing something
as they are optimistic about gaining something. It seems the fear of
loss, as an emotion, is twice as strong as faith in gain. (Source)
On Sept. 25, Nike unveiled what it said is the first shoe designed
specifically for American Indians, an effort aimed at promoting
physical fitness in a population with high obesity rates. The Air
Native N7 is designed with a larger fit for the distinct foot shape of
American Indians, and has a culturally specific look. The N7 name is a
reference to the seventh generation theory, used by some tribes to look
to the three generations preceding them for wisdom and the three
generations ahead for their legacy.
The design features several “heritage callouts” including sunrise to
sunset to sunrise patterns on the tongue and heel of the shoe. Feather
designs adorn the inside and stars are on the sole to represent the
I would call this a great example of micro-niche marketing. I would also call it a brilliant publicity move by Nike.
Biggest niche market ever
Why not be like Nike?
Diabetes and the diabetic population could be considered one of the
biggest niche markets today. Everyone and their grandmother is jumping
on the diabetes marketing bandwagon. On www.monster.com and www.careerbuilder.com, there are job openings specifically listed as “diabetic marketing managers.” The diabetic market overall is booming.
But what about the niches?
The American Marketing Associations’ definition of marketing is an
organizational function and a set of processes for creating,
communicating and delivering value to customers and for managing
customer relationships in ways that benefit the organization and its
Health care providers are stakeholders in the care of their patients
with diabetes. They are also your customers. Create, communicate and
deliver value with your niche marketing efforts.
Who are two primary stakeholders? They are diabetic nurse educators
and primary care physicians. Did you know that primary care physicians
are the number one provider of diabetic care, managing 90% of care? If
the stakeholders are convinced of the value you are offering, you have
succeeded. The publicity or awareness generated by successful
communicating can be worth its weight in gold.
Case in point. Stakeholders in the Native American community had this to say about Nike’s Air Native N7 shoe.
Kelly Acton, MD, MPH, director of the national diabetes program for
Indian Health Services, said she was dubious of working with a
corporation at first but said she was delighted with the result, saying
Nike “‘bent over backwards’ to design a shoe and respect public health
John Dickson, a member of the executive council of the Native
American Leadership Alliance in Washington, D.C., said in a news report
“The reason I like it is that, even if there is not a big Native
American market, it gives people the impression there is a constituency
that deserves attention.”
According to Nike, the company anticipates selling at least 10,000
pairs and raising $200,000 for tribal programs. At $42.80 wholesale, it
represents less of a financial opportunity than a goodwill and branding
Nike gets it. They realize that there are other markets out there
similar to the Native American market, like say, the worldwide diabetic
market. Don’t be surprised if, after they have ridden the Native
American wave, Nike debuts a diabetic sneaker.
The medical school has not yet named an individual to fill this position.
The professorship is named in honor of one of the country's foremost leaders in the prevention of lower-extremity amputations in diabetics. Sanders is chief of podiatry service, acute care and specialty services at the Lebanon VA Medical Center in Lebanon, Pa.
Local Health Science Center podiatrist Larry Harkless began fund-raising for the endowment during the American Diabetes Association's Scientific Sessions conference held in 2000 in San Antonio.
As a result, according to Market Watch Magazine. The award recognizes wine, spirits and beer brands that showcase the most promise in their respective categories, based primarily on increased brand awareness and sales growth figures.
" Barefoot more than doubled its growth from one million cases in 2005 to more than 2.4 million cases in 2006, largely due to word-of-mouth and distribution successes." (Gotta love that word of mouth.)
So, are you putting Barefoot Wine in your gift baskets?
Last night I saw an "OnStar" commercial about their email diagnostics program for your vehicle (I think it was the one with Jeff Gordon) - didn't think a lot about it until this morning I got this email about:
The American Diabetes Association announces a new Web-based diabetes management tool, My Diabetes Connector (sm), that allows people with diabetes to track and monitor blood-glucose levels in collaboration with members of their health care team -- no matter where they are located.
Developed by MyCareTeam, Inc., this online application lets users upload information from multiple blood glucose meters directly to their computer and share the data with their personal Care Team -- including doctors, nurses, caregivers, and family members -- in the form of easy-to-read charts and graphs.
Original article: A retrospective study of 770 diabetic
patients hospitalized for lower extremity infection during the period
1995 to 2004. The study focused on monthly incidence of admissions for
diabetic foot sepsis and non-traumatic non-neoplastic major lower limb
amputations correlated with the monthly average humidity and
1285 episodes of hospitalization and ensued 208 corresponding major
lower limb amputations showed that warm and humid weather of Hong Kong
exerts a seasonal variation on the diabetic foot infection
presentations. Warm temperature aggravates the severity of infection
and precipitates amputation. More intensive patient education and
clustering of medical services in late winter and spring might reduce
the incidence of diabetic foot amputation, which is a preventable
Marketing is marketing. Hospitals have to do it too.
In my "Everything I Learned About Marketing, I Learned from McDonald's (Branding using specialized patient management programs" talk, I talked about the importance of packaging and promoting what essentially are McDonald's two products (hamburger and chicken) to a variety of different target markets.
"Happy Meal" versus "Hamburger, small fry, small drink, cheap plastic toy made in Asia in a cardboard box."
It's all in the name.
From the Associated Press
Special Teams Fight Diabetic Amputations
"...'Tuesday in the office, they're fine. Friday, they're in the emergency room with gangrene in a toe,' says Dr. Peter Sheehan, diabetes chief at New York's Cabrini Medical Center.
It's a little-known statistic: Foot problems — wounds that won't heal, infections, warping bones — are the most common reason diabetics are hospitalized.
And many of the 80,000-plus amputations of toes, feet and lower legs that Americans diabetics undergo each year are preventable, say specialists who brought more than 900 health providers to a meeting last week to figure out how to do just that.
One recommendation: For hospitals to create diabetes limb-salvage teams.
It sounds simple. But it involves pairing specialists who seldom work side-by-side — like podiatrists and vascular surgeons — to shave weeks off the time it can take to get proper care for a festering foot.
'It gets them everything they need right away, without months of waiting (between doctor appointments) while the wound is going downhill,' says Dr. John Steinberg, a podiatrist with Georgetown University Hospital's limb-salvage team....
Infection is the chief reason for amputating. But there are no firm guidelines on when a limb is beyond salvaging — and a 2001 study of Medicare-covered diabetics found large differences in amputation rates in different parts of the country....Between those vascular and ulcer-patching surgeries, patients see a lot of other doctors. Endocrinologists get blood sugar controlled enough to allow surgery. Infectious disease specialists find the right antibiotic cocktail. Orthotists design casts and special shoes to keep pressure off the foot's weak spots...Treating a simple diabetic foot ulcer can cost $8,000; an infected one, $17,000..."
BEAVERTON, Ore. - Nike
on Tuesday unveiled what it said is the first shoe designed
specifically for American Indians, an effort aiming at promoting
physical fitness in a population with high obesity rates.
The Beaverton-based company says the Air Native N7 is designed with a
larger fit for the distinct foot shape of American Indians, and has a
culturally specific look. It will be distributed solely to American
Indians; tribal wellness programs and tribal schools nationwide will be
able to purchase the shoe at wholesale price and then pass it along to
individuals, often at no cost....