Long-Awaited Diabetes Technology Network (DTN IRL) Finally Arrived in Ireland!

For the first time ever in Ireland a conference focusing on diabetes technologies was held recently in Dublin and a new healthcare professional (HCP) group “Diabetes Technology Network Ireland (DTN IRL)” was launched.


The conference for HCPs was developed by Consultant Endocrinologists Tomás Griffin, Hannah Forde and Una Graham who co-operated to bring the UK-based “Diabetes Technology Network” to Ireland. Supported by Diabetes Ireland, 160 healthcare professional delegates took part in the inaugural conference to hear about plans to develop a DTN Ireland network and learn from a range of national and international experts in diabetes technology.


Delegates learned from international speakers Professor Partha Kar, Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology from Portsmouth who shared his inspirational thoughts on how to begin to improve access to diabetes technology for people with diabetes, highlighting his UK experience as Type 1 Diabetes & Technology lead for NHS England, and Professor Rob Andrews (University of Exeter), well-known expert in exercise and diabetes, who presented on managing type 1 diabetes and exercise with hybrid closed loop technology.


Ms Sonya Browne, Diabetes Nurse Specialist, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin, shared very practical tips on how to expand diabetes technology and insulin pump services in a very busy diabetes clinic and Mr Ken Barclay, a person living with type 1 diabetes and huge technology enthusiast shared his perspective on how technology can change individual’s lives.


Professor Orla Neylon, Consultant Paediatric Endocrinologist, University Hospital Limerick shared her expertise with adolescents and young adults providing tips for using technology in transition services, Dr Tomás Griffin, University of Galway, explained how to interpret the data provided by automated insulin delivery systems, and Dr Christine Newman, Consultant Endocrinologist, Galway University Hospital, explained how to manage diabetes with technology during pregnancy.


Dr Kevin Moore, Consultant Endocrinologist from Tallaght University Hospital and Naas General Hospital who led the group developing Type 1 Diabetes clinical recommendations in Ireland, outlined the most important aspects of this newly launched guideline https://www.diabetes.ie/new-updated-recommendations-for-improving-access-quality-and-safety-of-care-for-adults-with-diabetes-have-been-launched/) and expressed his hopes for implementation of the guidelines which would significantly improve access to care for people with diabetes.

Attendees also availed of a hands-on experience during a technology speed-dating session with companies showcasing their products to delegates.


It was acknowledged that the landscape of technology, in particular in managing type 1 diabetes is changing at an unprecedented pace. Dr Tomás Griffin said “we have come a long way in a short period of time from having limited access to Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) to today where there is an unprecedented expansion and uptake in Hybrid Closed Loop therapy”. However, there are not many opportunities in Ireland to learn about them and the goal of DTN Ireland is to enhance access to technology for people living with diabetes. The primary goals of the diabetes technology network Ireland are to develop a network to:

  • Learn together from best international guidance and expertise;
  • Share best practice through guidance documents and pathways on diabetes technology development;
  • Support healthcare professionals in the delivery of technologies by delivering practical education on diabetes technology utilization;
  • Be a voice to advocate for better diabetes technology utilization and uptake for people with diabetes in Ireland;
  • Work with relevant stakeholders to increase access to diabetes technologies in Ireland.

Dr Kate Gajewska, Diabetes Ireland manager for Advocacy and Research, said: Knowing how challenging for some people living with diabetes it is to access diabetes technologies, mainly insulin pumps and hybrid closed loop systems, and that a post-code lottery exists in Ireland due to various reasons such as lack of resources, work-overload, but also lack of training and experience with pumps and CGMs, we are thrilled to see so many people willing to learn and improve their knowledge. We are sure that the DTN IRL launch will help the diabetes community access the best available treatments based on their needs.


Dr Tomás Griffin continued “we were delighted with the positivity shown by delegates towards the development of a DTN Ireland Network and we received a lot of feedback from them on areas we need to address to support the many diabetes teams around the country. We will be taking all of the feedback on board and developing a plan to support our colleagues in delivering access to the most appropriate technology to people with diabetes.