The Handoff is a weekly roundup of endocrinology and general medicine news covering various developments in subspecialties, as well as pharmaceutical industry, association, and society news.

–A report out of Thyroid has found that thyroid dysfunction – including hypo- and hyperthyroidism – in women increases cause-specific mortality from conditions like breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. 

–Investigators at Georgia Tech have developed a new transplant technology that may benefit patients with type 1 diabetes. A combination hydrogel-protein improves islet cell transplantations, leading to enhanced function.

–Apple, Google, and Amazon have all entered the race to develop the newest, most cutting-edge technology to improve diabetes management. Most recently, developers have undertaken the Alexa Diabetes Challenge, “focus[ed] on finding ways for the Amazon Echo smart speaker – and its Alexa digital assistant – to assist people with type 2 diabetes in living healthier lives.”

–As insulin prices continue to soar, researchers have begun exploring alternatives. A viewpoint article published in JAMA suggests that synthetic human insulin may be a less expensive solution for patients with type 2 diabetes.

–Eli Lilly and KeyBioscienceAG have announced a new partnership: the companies will join together to develop a dual amylin calcitonin receptor agonist (DACRA) to be used as a therapy for metabolic disorders.

–The doctor’s office: a thing of the past? Slate examines the benefits and challenges associated with the “Uberization” of health care as technology start-ups start to take the medical world by storm. 

Structured care programs may be the answer to easing patient transitions from pediatric to adult care. A Canadian multicenter, randomized trial found that, among adolescents with type 1 diabetes, those who received structured care were more satisfied and reported less emotional burden.

–Another point against refined grains: children of women with gestational diabetes – especially women who ate large amounts of refined grains during pregnancy – may be at a higher risk for developing obesity by age 7.

— In a retrospective cohort study of patients with papillary thyroid cancer, investigators at Penn State College of Medicine identified a possible correlation between elevated thyroid cancer rates and the 1979 partial meltdown of Three Mile Island Nuclear Generating Station, observing cancer mutations consistent with radiation exposure

–Visit Endocrinology Advisor’s meeting archive to catch up on highlights from the ADA 77th Scientific Sessions.