Ascensia Diabetes Care has announced the launch of the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge, a global innovation competition that is seeking innovative digital solutions to support diabetes management and improve the lives of those living with type 2 diabetes. The challenge aims to find new ways to help tackle the management of the global epidemic of type 2 diabetes by unearthing undiscovered solutions from diabetes innovators. Finalists, runners-up, and the winner will all receive cash prizes to support further development of their ideas from a total prize fund of 200,000 euros (roughly $235,750 USD).
Through the challenge, Ascensia aims to support companies who are developing the next big leap forward in digital solutions that could facilitate better type 2 diabetes management and help relieve the burden it places on individuals, healthcare systems, and society. Although solutions and therapies in this area continue to improve year on year, many of the emerging technologies currently in development need further investment to ensure they can play a critical role in helping people with type 2 diabetes to better self-manage all aspects of their condition.
“At Ascensia we are excited to be launching this challenge, as we want to encourage innovation in our field and rethink how digital technology can help people with type 2 diabetes manage their day to day lives,” said Michael Kloss, CEO Ascensia Diabetes Care. “This challenge represents the modern approach to finding innovative solutions for people with diabetes, alongside our own R&D. This challenge will not solve the diabetes epidemic on its own, but it is a critical step in the development of new diabetes solutions. It aims to find, support and nurture ideas from start-ups that have the potential to revolutionize diabetes management. We hope this challenge can generate novel ideas from undiscovered sources, and with Ascensia’s support, we want to be able to bring them to a global patient population.”
The competition will seek submissions from Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific with entries open from October 1, 2017 for Europe and November 6, 2017 for Asia Pacific and the Americas.
A judging panel, made up of independent experts from diabetes and digital health from across the world, as well as members of the Ascensia Medical, R&D and Commercial teams, will assess the entries and determine finalists and the winner. Dr. William Polonsky, a clinical psychologist; Dr. Masood Nazir, a general practitioner with a special interest in diabetes and digital health; and Robin Swindell, a type 2 diabetes blogger, have been confirmed as the first three judges, and additional judges will be announced shortly.
Dr. William Polonsky, President and Co-Founder of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, San Diego, USA, explained, “Behavioral interventions are the key to enhancing self-management in type 2 diabetes, and digital solutions are desperately needed as a means to engage patients over the long-term and enable sustainable behavior change. Unfortunately, current digital solutions have not yet been able to fully address the needs of patients or effectively support self-management and long-term behavior change. I am thrilled to be part of the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge to try and find the next innovations to address the burden of type 2 diabetes.
Robin Swindell, a person with type 2 diabetes and an active blogger from the UK said, “Like most patients with type 2 diabetes, I only see a healthcare professional for a couple of hours a year at most. For the rest of the time we rely on self-management. We need to find innovative digital solutions that can better support self-management for us. Solutions need to be able to be personalized and fit into their lives. They should also offer quantitative data that can help us to better understand and manage our condition and provide motivation. Digital solutions have the ability to address these needs. I am delighted to be involved in this challenge and hope it will unearth a new innovation that can make a real impact for me and other patients.”
Ascensia has partnered with yet2, an open innovation services company, to launch this global challenge. yet2 will be managing the submission process and initial review of entries. They will use their experience with open innovation challenges to facilitate the review of entries, manage intellectual property screening and support the judging process.
Michael Kloss added, “As a company that is focused on diabetes, we want to be driving the agenda in diabetes innovation, demonstrate our ongoing support for the diabetes community as a trusted partner, and show our commitment to continued research, innovation and development of new solutions.”
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