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Iron Man becomes a diabetes hero

Iron ManMISSISSAUGA, Ont. – Siemens Healthcare, in collaboration with Marvel Custom Solutions, is raising awareness about the importance of diabetes diagnosis and monitoring through a new educational initiative, “Become a Diabetes Hero.”

Through the program, healthcare professionals have access to an information kit – which includes an all-new custom comic book starring the world-famous Iron Man – aimed at engaging and empowering their young patients, parents and caregivers by increasing the understanding of diabetes and the critical role that point-of-care (POC) hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing plays.

POC refers to in vitro diagnostic testing that occurs outside of the central laboratory, such as in physician offices, emergency room and outpatient clinics.

“With a simple fingerstick of blood, diabetes can be easily diagnosed and managed with HbA1c testing, allowing the physician to discuss results with the patient and take immediate action,” explains David Stein, Ph.D, CEO, POC Business Unit, Siemens Healthcare, Diagnostics. “As a global leader in POC HbA1c testing, Siemens is excited to collaborate “As the global leader in POC HbA1c testing, Siemens is excited to collaborate with Marvel Custom Solutions on this program to enable healthcare professionals to facilitate education and discussion with young patients and their caregivers.”

A cornerstone of the “Become a Diabetes Hero” information kit is the 8-page custom comic book, Early Warnings, featuring Iron Man and Marvel Custom character, Daisy, a young girl who develops diabetes and manages her disease.

Other materials in the kit include a set of coloring pages for young patients to complete in waiting rooms or take home, an information pamphlet and a program poster for display in exam rooms. The comic book and short animation featuring Iron Man and Daisy are also easily accessible at: http://www.healthcare.siemens.com/point-of-care/diabetes-hero.

“For over 75 years, our heroes have faced diabolical villains with courage and determination. Following in their footsteps, we are proud to work with Siemens to develop an entertaining and educational story that adolescents can use to help monitor and manage diabetes,” says Bill Rosemann, Creative Director Marvel Custom Solutions.

“Siemens’ insight and passion were critical to helping us bring this important issue to life in a compelling adventure that will speak directly to young readers and their parents.”

Diabetes is a growing concern among children and adolescents. It is estimated that 440,000 children worldwide have diabetes, with 70,000 new cases diagnosed each year.

Canada alone, was found to have one of the highest incidence rates of type 1 diabetes for children under 14 years of age. Youth aged 13 to 17 going through puberty may be more vulnerable to the development of type 2 diabetes.

If the disease is not properly managed, children with diabetes can eventually experience serious complications, including cardiovascular disease, nerve damage and kidney damage.

HbA1c testing measures average blood glucose control for the past 2 to 3 months to show how well a patient is managing diabetes. A patient with high A1c levels is at greater risk for developing diabetes-related complications.

The limited edition “Become a Diabetes Hero” materials are available to healthcare professionals in English through their local Siemens representative.

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