Novo Nordisk Teams Up with HITLAB to Challenge Innovators to Develop Voice-Activated Technology for Diabetes Care with $75,000 in Prizes


Diabetes affects 422 million people worldwide, including 14 percent of the U.S. adult population and a growing proportion of people in low- and middle-income countries such as ChinaIndiaBrazil, and Indonesia.

Managing diabetes requires strict adherence to dietary, physical activity, and medication protocols.

For people living with diabetes, voice-activated technologies are an important way they can manage their disease. That is why Novo Nordisk has teamed up with HITLAB (Health Innovation Technology Lab, Inc.) to launch the 2017 HITLAB World Cup of Voice-Activated Technology in Diabetes presented by Novo Nordisk.

“To successfully manage diabetes, people living with it need to be mindful of and track myriad things throughout their day, from blood sugar levels to counting calories,” said Amy West, Senior Director, Patient Centric Marketing & Digital Health, Novo Nordisk. “We at Novo Nordisk are constantly striving to provide solutions that minimize the burden for people living with diabetes, and believe that digital health, and specifically voice-activated technologies can be important tools for managing diabetes.”

Concepts should focus on enhancing patient outcomes, lowering healthcare costs without compromising quality, making the management of patients more efficient, or improving health and quality of life.

For more than 15 years, HITLAB has helped leading organizations ideate, create, and evaluate technology-based solutions to pressing healthcare challenges. It has hosted the annual HITLAB World Cup Challenge since 2006. Last year, 74 teams from 14 countries presented technology innovations that ranged from a tech-enabled dynamic scoliosis brace to a tool that uses 3D imaging and data analytics to better diagnose ear infections. Past winners have since raised over $50 million in follow-on investment funding.

“This is the first time we are focusing the World Cup on a single disease—diabetes—and specific area of technology,” said Stan Kachnowski, HITLAB chair. “The need couldn’t be greater, and I am sure ideas are in development all around the globe. Together with Novo Nordisk, we want to accelerate the rate of breakthrough technologies that will help millions of people living with diabetes worldwide.”

Prizes totaling $75,000 will be awarded. Winning entries should demonstrate an ability to effectively address the unmet needs of the type 2 diabetes community. Projects must show how the voice-activated technology solution differs from current practice, technology, or services available to consumers, and they must provide a sound, sustainable business model.

The submission period is currently open and will close on Wednesday, October 11. Finalists will be announced on October 23. They will make pitches at the HITLAB Innovators Summit, which will be held in New York City. Pitches are judged by an impartial panel of healthcare experts assigned by Novo Nordisk and HITLAB.


HITLAB is an innovation and teaching lab dedicated to improving the quality and accessibility of healthcare worldwide. We help leading organizations ideate, create, and evaluate technology-based solutions to pressing healthcare challenges.

Our team of public health professionals, statisticians, clinicians, engineers, economists, strategists, designers, and anthropologists is determined to address healthcare needs across the globe. We work with a wide variety of stakeholders in both the public and private sectors to design and disseminate studies, programs, and products that improve healthcare access and delivery.

Every year, the Lab hosts the HITLAB Innovators Summit, which brings together leaders in public health, medicine, technology, and design to discuss health issues and solutions in a two-day live event. The Summit offers a series of carefully curated talks, panels, and collaboration opportunities to engage the most creative minds in health and technology. It culminates in the HITLAB World Cup, an international challenge of unparalleled diversity where innovators present original solutions to pressing global healthcare challenges.