The Alexa Diabetes Challenge, a competition searching for innovators to develop a type 2 diabetes care platform utilizing the Amazon voice-enabled device, has awarded a grand prize of $125,000 to Wellpepper and its Sugarpod concept. The Challenge was sponsored by Merck & Co., supported by Amazon Web Services and run by Luminary Labs.
“Technology advances are creating digital health opportunities to improve support for people managing life with a chronic disease,” said Tony Alvarez, president of the Primary Care Business Line and Customer Strategy at Merck & Co. “One purpose of the Alexa Diabetes Challenge was to identify new ways to use the technology already present in a patient’s daily routine. The winner of the Challenge did just that.”
The Sugarpod device concept includes an interactive diabetes care plan that provides users with personalized tasks based on preferences. Each task is delivered through the Alexa device as well as via email, text or mobile application. Additionally, Wellpepper designed a paired prototype of an Alexa-enabled scale and foot scanner for the detection of foot problems associated with diabetes.
“Sugarpod helps newly diagnosed people with type 2 diabetes integrate new information and routines into the fabric of their daily lives to self-manage, connect to care, and avoid complications. The challenge showed us the appeal of voice solutions for patients and clinical value of early detection with home-based solutions,” said Anne Weiler, co-founder and CEO of Wellpepper.