Diabetes Innovation

Investing in ideas business concept and financial backing of innovation as an open lightbulb symbol for funding potential innovative growth prospect through venture capital.

Blog post by Jennifer Shine Dyer MD, MPH

Here is the reality:

  • Life-saving insulin is now difficult for most Americans with insurance to afford,
  • the Medicare ‘doughnut hole’,
  • increasing insulin copays,
  • high deductibles requiring payment at full price which has increase exponentially over the past 5 years

All of these are different examples of new struggles that are getting worse. The situation has forced everybody into spending a lot more
time trying to understand how we’ve gotten to this point and how the dollar flows once a doctor writes a prescription. The situation has gotten very complicated, because each patient has a different story based on how they pay for insulin. Furthermore, innovative technologies such as artificial pancreas treatments are being denied by payers due to ‘their experimental nature’ and perceived high costs.

With so much financial pressure, it may seem that this is not the best time for diabetes innovation, but it is, in fact, the perfect time to develop meaningful solutions. Digital technologies and artificial intelligence are permeating our consumer lives faster than ever. Our expectations are high (as they should be) which makes inconvenient and suboptimal diabetes technology no longer acceptable. The necessary technologies exist and there are patients/families out there who desperately need something better.

In my experience, the technologies that improve communication between caregivers (parents, teachers, coaches, spouses, kids) have been the ones that have been the most transformative in my patients lives by helping to increase independence while living with diabetes: allowing a couple to go on a date for the first time since diagnosis being able to spend the night, less benching during a game are just a few examples. These are the moments that define our lives with or without diabetes.

Please join me and fellow HCLDR guest host Christopher Snider, Community Manager at Tidepool, on Tuesday January 9th at 8:30pm ET (for your local time click here) as we discuss the following topics:

  • T1 If you could fix anything about diabetes management, what would you tackle first and why?
  • T2 How can communication between diabetes caregivers be improved?
  • T3 What do you think is a critical factor for prescribing and adopting new diabetes technology?
  • T4 If you were judging a pitch contest from new innovative healthcare startups, what would be the criteria you would use in your evaluation?

[Editors Note, Colin Hung: This week’s HCLDR chat was inspired by the New Orleans Health Innovators Challenge (NOLAHI) in diabetes. Thank you Alex Fair of Medstartr for making us aware of this initiative. Below is additional information about the challenge from NOLAHI.]

Top healthcare organizations in New Orleans are committed to combatting the diabetes epidemic through innovative health technology and are calling for digital solutions as part of the inaugural NOLA Health Innovators Challenge (NOLAHI). The deadline to submit solutions at www.nolahi.org is Monday, Jan. 15, 2018. The Challenge will culminate at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week in March 2018 when finalists will pitch their solutions. Finalists will have a chance to win $36,000 and connect to pilot programs, incubator accelerators and more. If you or someone you know has an innovation for diabetes care, enter now. Got questions? Tweet
@NOLA_HI or email Sally Lindsay at slindsay@nolaba.org.

About Jennifer Shine Dyer MD, MPH

Jennifer Shine Dyer MD, MPH is a pediatric endocrinology physician in private practice, social media enthusiast (@DrJenShineDyer), Stanford artificial pancreas researcher, and app developer/mobile health entrepreneur in Ohio with a patient-centered focus looking to make health outcomes better for people living with diabetes or other chronic diseases. As an entrepreneur, she created the startup EndoGoddess LLC in 2011 which entered into partnership with a larger local mobile software startup, Duet Health (eProximiti), shortly thereafter. Together they developed the EndoGoddess App in 2011 and then the EndoGoal App in 2012 for patients with diabetes who require insulin therapy and need motivation for glucose and insulin tracking. They also developed the EndoGoal App Rewards Program which offered users weekly cash rewards based on revenue collected by family and friend ‘sponsors’. All app programs were based on BJ Fogg’s health behavior model with the following features: rewards motivation, gaming motivation, multi-media informative diabetes content, social media links, and push notification medication reminders. EndoGoal App (powered by Duet Health) was awarded $20,000 from Ohio 10-xelerator New Venture Accelerator for development/commercialization in 2012. In 2012, Dr. Dyer also raised $5,000 via crowdfunding to conduct a clinical trial with startup clinical research platform Genomera to evaluate the effectiveness of EndoGoal App in improving diabetes-specific health outcomes such as the hgba1c % measure. In 2013, while gaining more followers, EndoGoal won a finalist spot in the NYC Global HIT Innovation Challenge securing further funding. In May 2016, Duet Health was acquired by MedData Inc. Currently , Dr. Dyer is creating a new diabetes-specific ninja video game for kids with diabetes at COPEDS in collaboration with The Ohio State University College of Engineering and Computer Science. The game is an entrepreneural project within COPEDS that Dr. Dyer plans to commercialize.

About Christopher Snider

Diagnosed with diabetes in 2002, my patient advocacy journey started with finding other people with diabetes on Twitter and through personal patient blogs. Soon after discovering that I was not alone with this disease, I began developing my own voice on my personal blog, A Consequence of Hypoglycemia. That initial act of sharing has inspired other opportunities for story sharing, empathy building, and patient advocacy. I built a platform that promotes the anonymous sharing of secrets from chronic disease communities called My Disease Secret. Currently, My Disease Secret reaches the diabetes, cancer, chronic pain, arthritis, cystic fibrosis, lupus, IBD, multiple sclerosis, sleep disorder, and mental health communities. As Community Manager at Tidepool, I share product updates, collect and share stories from the Tidepool and broader diabetes community, and help foster an open dialog between patients, providers, researchers, and developers with the goal of making diabetes management a little bit easier.


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