As organizers of the Healthcare Innovation World Cup, we have the enviable task of reading ingenious approaches to tackling diabetes prevention, diagnosis and management around the world. Because the competition is global, it’s fascinating to see how the innovations may apply to issues many individuals with diabetes face, but are borne of circumstances as unique as home countries themselves.
While one innovation may address issues with abundance of food options, another contends with lack of healthcare accessibility in rural or remote areas of the developing world. Other applications seek to help patients and providers communicate despite a lack of telephone infrastructure or keep medications at correct temperatures without electricity.
Note – innovators and entrepreneurs with bright ideas to improve diabetes prevention, diagnosis or management still have about a week to enter the Healthcare Innovation World Cup, which offers $75,000 in prizes. Initial entries close on March 31, and participants can enter here: www.healthcareinnovationworldcup.com.
Here, we share three early entries that illustrate some of the diversity of diabetes solutions originating in different parts of the globe.
Members: Kumar Asheshanand, Mohit Dhawan, and Nishant Pal
Xlead is developing a mobile app that helps direct people with diabetes to nearby establishments that promote healthy lifestyles, such as yoga and fitness centers, food establishments that sell nutritious offerings, as well as medical centers. The app may be especially helpful to use when traveling to new cities. It incorporates GPS and SMS technologies and is designed to work even without an internet connection.
Team: MICHAEL means INNOVATION
Members: Michael Iyanro and Abigail Alabi
Michael’s team is working on the Myro Diabetes Health Solution, a social venture that integrates business and clinical innovations to create a scalable chain of diabetes clinics targeting middle and low-income patient populations in West Africa. The model is a combination of three integrated services: mobile vans that create a direct link with patients and introduce low-cost screening devices; physical clinics near cities and slums where people can go for diabetes and management; and specially formulated, ready-to-eat fortified food.
Team: Biologic Models
Members: Casey Steffen, M.S. and Mary Vouyiouklis, M.D.
Country: United States
Biologic Models is creating a Hemoglobin A1C Kit that targets educational deficits surrounding the globally preferred diabetes diagnostic tool, the HbA1C test. It gives healthcare providers a physical model to explain the A1C test and the effects of elevated blood sugar on the body. The interactive model rewards patients for achieving A1C goals and provides a visual metaphor for the unseen consequence of poor blood sugar control.