Finalists announced in Ascensia Diabetes Challenge

By Editor
4th April 2018
Type 2 diabetes

The six finalists in a global innovation competition seeking digital solutions to support type 2 diabetes management have been announced by organisers Ascensia Diabetes Care

The shortlisted entries in the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge were selected from 116 submissions and were chosen by a panel consisting of external experts and members of the Ascensia Medical, R&D and Commercial teams.

The selected companies will now present their solutions at the finalist event in April to determine the winner, which will subsequently be announced at the American Diabetes Association 78th Scientific Sessions in June.

Michael Kloss, CEO of Ascensia Diabetes Care, said: “We’ve received entries from entrepreneurs and start-ups around the world who are at the forefront of healthcare innovation. We have been delighted by the quality and variety of the submissions we have received, which offer digital solutions that could revolutionise a number of aspects of type 2 diabetes management. We are now looking forward to the finalist event and hearing more about these truly innovative ideas.”

We have been delighted by the quality and variety of the submissions we have received, which offer digital solutions that could revolutionise a number of aspects of type 2 diabetes management. Michael Kloss, CEO of Ascensia Diabetes Care

With type 2 diabetes currently accounting for around 90 per cent of the estimated 425 million people with diabetes globally, new innovative ways to manage this condition are urgently required to meet the substantial and growing burden to the individuals and our healthcare systems, the company said.

Through the challenge, Ascensia is looking to support the companies and entrepreneurs developing the next leap forward in digital solutions that could facilitate better type 2 diabetes management and improve the lives of people with diabetes.

This global challenge attracted a high calibre of submissions from across North America, Asia and Europe, representing some of the latest technology and innovative thinking entering the field of type 2 diabetes management. After much deliberation by the judging panel, the following finalists were selected:

Foodient by Whisk: An artificial intelligence powered Digital Dietician that connects people to the world’s leading grocery retailers. It is being developed to help type 2 diabetes patients easily find food they love and is nutritionally tailored, so that they can make sustainable behaviour change.

Nick Holzherr, Whisk Founder and CEO, said: “It is exciting to have our capability recognized by an organization with Ascensia’s global reputation and scale. We’re looking forward to collaborating in the fight against type 2 diabetes while helping more people to enjoy cooking and eating healthier food.”

For more information about Whisk, click here.

GlycoLeap by Holmusk: A digital health program that is a simpler way to lose weight and lower A1c. It combines expert human coaching with mobile technology to empower people with type 2 diabetes live a healthier life. GlycoLeap is powered by a scalable, engaging and effective technology platform for data-driven, personalised health coaching.

Nawal Roy, Glycoleap CEO Holmusk, said: “GlycoLeap supports people with diabetes during the majority of their time when they are away from the hospital or clinic, so they can stay healthier and have a higher quality of life. We’re excited and humbled to be selected as a finalist for the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge, because Ascensia’s mission to improve the health and lives of people with diabetes deeply resonates with us. We’re thankful for the opportunity to showcase GlycoLeap to the world, and we believe this will enable us to positively impact the lives of many more people in the future.”

For more information about Holmusk, click here.

QStream: A team-based mobile game developed at Harvard Medical School that can prompt meaningful behavior change in people with type 2 diabetes. QStream is proven to generate significant and sustained improvements in blood glucose control among patients who use it.

Rich Lanchantin, Chief Executive Officer of Qstream, said: “Qstream is thrilled that Dr. Kerfoot, on the basis of his ground-breaking research, has been selected as a finalist in the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge, and we look forward to working with Ascensia to implement our innovative digital solution to improve the lives of people with type 2 diabetes.”

For more information about QStream, click here.

My Diabetes Coach by Macadamian: A voice first diabetes management platform that uses Amazon’s Alexa to help those with type 2 diabetes better manage their care. The data captured through an integrated wearable device, a mobile phone, and dialogue with the patient provides a personal and empathetic virtual coaching experience that is enabled through artificial intelligence.

Timon LeDain, Director of Emerging Technologies & Products at Macadamian, said: “Being selected as a finalist for the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge is further validation of the potential that Macadamian’s My Diabetes Coach, that has been developed in collaboration with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, can have in benefiting people suffering with type 2 diabetes.”

For more information about Macadamian, click here.

Path Feel by Walk with Path: An active feedback insole that provides vibrational, or haptic, feedback to the user during walking. This can aid people with diabetic neuropathy in being able to feel the ground and achieve balance. Path Feel is a connected digital solution and integrates data from the insole, which can be used to personalise and enhance care.

Lise Pape, Walk with Path Founder, said: “We are delighted that Walk With Path, and our solution, Path Feel, an active feedback insole to improve balance, has been selected as a finalist in the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge. This is a fantastic opportunity for us to explore our solution further with Ascensia Diabetes Care, with the aim of improving the lives of people with diabetes. We look forward to the event in Basel and meeting the Ascencia Diabetes team and the other finalists.”

For more information about Walk with Path, click here.

xbird: Medical artificial intelligence software that analyzes micro-movements, collected by smartphones and wearables worn by people with diabetes, and cross references them with historical blood glucose data in order to predict and detect potential hypo- and hyperglycaemic events. The solution creates actionable insights for both doctors and patients.

Sebastian Sujka, xBird CEO & Founder, said: “We are delighted to be selected as a finalist for Ascensia’s Diabetes Challenge. It is a great to see that real efforts are being made to use the latest digital technology to improve diabetes therapy and we are proud to be part of it.”

For more information about xbird, click here.


The six finalists will all receive a €10,000 cash prize to support the further development of their ideas. Following the finalist event, prizes for the winners and runners-up will be awarded from the total prize fund of €200,000, with the opportunity to partner with Ascensia Diabetes Care.

For further information on the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge, the judges and judging criteria, click here.

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