Crowdfunding for Patient Education HbA1c Teaching Model Brings Diabetes Education to LifePharmaguy interviews Casey Steffen, M.Sci., Manager at Biologic Models, about his crowdfunding campaign, which is designed to encourage supporters to share “rewards” that explain the HbA1c test through a series of custom illustrations, 3D animations, posters and teaching models that explain protein glycation and the blood test.

Aired LIVE on: Thursday, April 17, 2014

New Business Podcasts with Pharmaguy on BlogTalkRadio
Visit this Pharma Marketing Talk Segment Page and listen to the live show or the archived audio podcast afterward. This show and ALL Pharma Marketing Talk shows are available as podcasts via PMT on iTunes (FREE!).


Hb Models
Dear Colleague,

As some of you may know, for the last few years I have been developing a teaching model to help people with diabetes understand the HbA1c blood test. Around the world, this is a blood test given to nearly every single person living with diabetes. It is used on the front-lines of diabetes prevention and diagnosis. Yet, a vast majority of patients are still confused by their test results. I was one of those patients. It wasn’t until my own endocrinologist saw a photo of the scientific model of hemoglobin I created that she was able to explain how glucose systemically will binds to proteins like hemoglobin (Hb). This is the protein that is measured by the HbA1c test and the implications of the abundance of this protein are directly connected to the many diabetes related complications. My understanding of diabetes and the effects of elevated bloods glucose has profoundly changed. My mission is to help as many people as possible understand protein glycation and the HbA1c test. If you’ll continue reading, I’ll explain how together we can do so.

Statistically, we know some percentage of patients will respond to new information and change behaviors to achieve improved health. To reach a large number of people, I have launched a crowdfunding campaign as a way to promote HbA1c awareness and encourage a grassroots distribution of educational products. It is in the hands of doctors, nurses, and educators that this HbA1c educational material can do the most good. Since many of you work directly in the healthcare industry, you are potentially someone that can help advance this cause the most. I would so greatly appreciate your support:

The campaign is designed to encourage supporters to share “rewards” that explain the HbA1c test. I’ve created a series of custom illustrations, 3D animations, posters and teaching models that explain protein glycation and the blood test. Sending people to the campaign website is the first and most important support needed. Lots of people will learn something new simply by watching our video and reading the campaign.

As always, thanks you so very much for your time and consideration. I appreciate all of you are very busy and many have already heard about our work developing the A1c model. Since that time, we have tested our teaching models with diabetes camps and in clinical settings. We know it to be effective at explaining complex information related to protein glycation and the HbA1c blood test to patients of all ages and backgrounds. Now is the time your support is most needed. If you know someone whose life has been touched by diabetes, or know a healthcare professional that can benefit from this information, please consider sending them a link to the campaign. Thank you graciously for your time.

Casey Steffen M.Sci..

Questions/Topics of Discussion

  • Tell us more about the HbA1c model. Why did you decide that this was an important way to educate diabetes patients?
  • In your opinion, what i the role of scientific models of proteins in continuing medical education of physicians?
  • There are other aspects of you campaign to educate patients about the HbA1c test. Tell us more about that and about your crowdfunding initiative. Why did you decide this was the way to go?
  • How do you envision working with pharma to get these models into the hands of physicians?

Guest Bio

Casey SteffenCasey Steffen Chief Creative Officer, Owner, and Medical Illustrator at Biologic Models, has over 15 years experience working in 3D animation.

His career began as an intern in college at Presto Studios in San Diego CA. He continued working in the video game industry for four years to then attend the University of Illinois at Chicago where he received a Masters of Science in Biomedical Visualization in 2004.

Mr. Steffen then continued on to become the Creative Director at CCG Metamedia, a medical education agency in Manhattan.

At Steffen Visual Effects, our philosophy of production is simple: Fuse together storytelling techniques found in film and television with scientific data and educational narratives. It’s something we like to call, the science of storytelling.