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What Would You Design to Improve Life with Diabetes?

By Hae-Lin Cho

Lyfebulb-Novo Nordisk Innovation Summit celebrates innovations in diabetes care developed by and for people with diabetes​

The first LyfeBulb-Novo Nordisk Innovation Summit took place in Copenhagen, Denmark late last year. The summit promotes “patient entrepreneurship,” encouraging people with diabetes (and their loved ones) to drive new innovations that make a meaningful difference for daily life with diabetes.  

Ten finalists were invited to Copenhagen to present their submissions – the primary goals of which ranged from improved glucose monitoring to fitness tracking and community-building. Details on all ten projects can be found below. Excitingly, many are already available – check out the links to learn more, and let us know what you think!

The LyfeBulb-Novo Nordisk Innovation Summit Finalists

Focusing on Emotional wellbeing:

  • Find Your Ditto, the award winner of the summit, is a mobile and online app co-founded by Brianna Wolin that connects people with chronic conditions like diabetes to peers living in the same region with the same condition(s). The app is currently in beta testing; Wolin plans to first release the app at universities for $5 per user and then within hospital systems for $10 per user.

  • AnnaPS, founded by Anna Sjöberg, produces clothing with hidden pockets designed to conveniently and discreetly hold insulin pumps, insulin pens, and glucose monitors. Shirts, pants, and other products are available online and ship worldwide.

Diabetes Management Tools:

  • The digital exercise program FITSCRIPT uses exercise data from the Fitscript Diabetes Training Center to provide exercise guidance tailored specifically to people with diabetes. It was founded by Charles O’Connell, a former college varsity athlete with type 1 diabetes.

  • OneDrop, founded by Jeffrey Dachis, is a diabetes tracking app (free download for iOS and Android) that recently added an unlimited test strips service for an impressive $33-$39.95 per month. A Bluetooth-enabled blood glucose meter sends results to the One Drop app, which also gives free in-app coaching. Read previous diaTribe coverage here.

  • The Timesulin timer (available here) is a cap for standard insulin pens that displays how long it’s been since a previous insulin injection, helping to prevent worry and skipped or double doses. Timesulin Dose Capture, a new product that will send dose data to a user’s smartphone, is still in development. Founder John Sjölund is as passionate as they come.

Non-Invasive Technologies:

  • The CEO of Socrates Health Solutions, Scott Smith, introduced a non-invasive self-monitoring blood glucose monitor called Companion. Companion consists of an ear clip sensor that sends blood glucose data to mobile devices. It is currently in research and development.

  • Smartzyme co-founder Shilo Ben Zeev is currently working to develop a new continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) sensor that lasts 72 hours and is less invasive (microneedles): the Go Patch GO. It is currently in research and development

  • Elipse by Allurion is the first non-invasive gastric balloon. The procedure involves swallowing a small balloon that fills in the stomach to promote feeling “full” and eating less; it is passed naturally in a couple of months. Co-founder Dr. Shantanu Gaur hopes that Elipse will be submitted to the FDA soon, following the results of a clinical trial currently underway in the US.

Engaging Outside Groups:

  • Fit4D, founded by David Weingard, is an online and mobile diabetes coaching system. It allows Certified Diabetes Educators (CDEs) to connect directly to people with diabetes through a variety of channels – text, phone, email, video content, etc. – to provide personalized support. Pharmaceutical companies, Accountable Care Organizations, and insurance companies can provide this service to their members.

  • Matthew Loper’s Wellth App educates healthcare providers and insurers about the populations they serve to ease the transition towards value-based care, with the goal of improving health outcomes while cutting costs.