The big diabetes question my startup wants to eliminate
” Are you focused on type 1 or type 2? “
It’s a question I’m often asked in an investor conversation. It’s generally a proxy for: are you focusing on the big market, or the smaller one?
But early on in our journey at Quin we decided not to constrain our thinking with types.
Our starting point is that diabetes isn’t a disease. It’s an umbrella term for chronic high blood glucose. And type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes are umbrella terms too. Hundreds of different conditions could be hiding under those umbrellas.
In general, type 1 means your body doesn’t produce enough insulin, and type 2 means your body doesn’t use insulin properly. Surely you could have both of those conditions at the same time?
These are murky waters. With so little known about what diabetes is and what causes it, we’ve decided not to give too much weight to the diagnosis of type 1 or type 2. Instead, we just focus on the human challenges of living with it, starting with the ones that come with taking insulin.
There are many. Roughly 10% of people with diabetes take insulin. If you’re not one of them, imagine this: you take a hormone several times a day to stay healthy and alive. No one can tell you exactly how much of it to take and when. If you take too much the consequences can be severe, and likewise if you take too little. Sound challenging?
Solving this human challenge – regardless of what diagnosis has been given to the person living with it – will create new insights to tackle the next set of challenges in understanding what diabetes is and what causes it.
At Quin, we aim to create a world where the “type 1 or type 2?” question is no longer asked. Where so much human knowledge has been harnessed through tackling the human challenges of living with diabetes that more granular diagnoses are possible. Followed by targeted treatments and possibly even cures.