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Top 3 Ideas Impress at Lyfebulb-Novo Nordisk Innovation Summit

By Jeemin Kwon, Brian Levine, and Payal Marathe

Winning ideas aim to improve insulin safety, monitor for foot ulcers, and incorporate user insight into product development

At the second Lyfebulb-Novo Nordisk Innovation Summit, judges picked three winners out of twelve entrepreneur finalists (approximately 100 submissions overall!), all with big ideas to shake up diabetes care. First place went to Med Angel, a company that makes smart sensors that monitor the temperature of insulin (and other drugs). Second place went to Bonbouton, a company that makes shoe insoles that monitor for developing foot ulcers, a diabetes complication characterized by a wound on the foot. Finally, third place went to an online platform called Savvy which helps healthcare companies learn from their users during product development. Read on to learn more about these inventive ideas.

First place: Amin Zayani, CEO and Founder of Med Angel

What is it? Med Angel makes a smart sensor to measure insulin temperatures so that people can have peace of mind about keeping insulin safe. Users can select their type of insulin in the free smartphone app, which displays a heart in three colors: green for good (about 36 - 46°F for most insulins), blue for too cold, and red for too hot.  Med Angel guarantees sensor accuracy for two years. Pilot users typically have ordered multiple sensors – one for the fridge and one to carry with them. Information collected from early customers has shown that insulin freezing in the fridge is more common than one might expect – something to look out for!

Is it available? The temperature sensors are available for $49 on the company website or Amazon. Sensors may also launch in CVS pharmacies in March 2018. Med Angel is working to get the price lower, but this could take several years.

Second place: Drs. Malcolm Nason and Linh Le of Bonbouton

What is it? Bonbouton makes temperature-sensing shoe insoles to help people with diabetes monitor for foot ulcers. By catching increases in foot temperature, which can indicate developing foot ulcers, the insole alerts people to seek treatment to avoid progression to a full-blown wound. Alerts would also be sent to healthcare providers. Good foot care practices like this help prevent complications such as amputations.

Is it available? This product is not yet available – it is currently being piloted in two podiatry offices in New York City. Bonbouton is setting up the insoles to be covered by insurance companies in the future.

Third place: Dr. Jen Horonjeff, CEO and Founder of Savvy

What is it? Savvy is an online co-op that allows drug and device companies to learn from people with diabetes. People who buy at least one $25 share of Savvy and pay monthly dues for the ability to contribute insights to companies become co-owners of the co-op. 

Is it available? The website is live and if you want to contribute your own experience and insights to help drug and device companies make better products, you can create an account here. Buy-in is currently $25, and first-year membership fees are currently waived.

If you’re interested in reading about the other ideas presented at the Lyfebulb-Novo Nordisk Innovation Summit, check out their website here

[Image 1 credit: Lyfebulb-Novo Nordisk Innovation Summit]

[Image 2 credit: Med Angel]

[Image 3 credit: Savvy]

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