KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 – Ascensia Diabetes Care, a global specialist diabetes care company, recently launched a global innovation competition for innovative digital solutions to support diabetes management and improve the lives of those living with type 2 diabetes.
The competition, named Ascensia Diabetes Challenge, aims to find new ideas to address and manage the global epidemic of type 2 diabetes. Winners of this contest will walk away with a prize fund worth close to RM1 million (EUR 200,000) in total to support the development of their ideas.
Maximilian Lim Swee Leong, Business Manager of Ascensia Diabetes Care Malaysia, said “In today’s world, it is an undeniable fact that more and more people are embracing the digital transformation. It has changed the way we look and live our lives. Similarly, in healthcare, there are vast opportunities to leverage on technology and innovate products in a way that was not possible in the past.”
“As we all know, diabetes is one of the top five epidemic diseases in Malaysia. The National Health and Morbidity Survey 2015 by the Ministry of Health revealed that approximately 17.5% Malaysians aged 18 and above have diabetes. This marked an increase of 2.3% compared to 15.2% in 2011. Clearly, there is a need to seek for new ways to manage this disease.”
“Ascensia is launching this global challenge to find the best solution for diabetes. As the world’s leading diabetes care solutions provider, we are committed to continued research, innovation and development of new solutions to help the diabetes community.
“Through this challenge, we hope to find, support and nurture ideas from budding innovators that have the potential to revolutionize diabetes management. As Malaysians are technologically savvy and creative, we are confident that Malaysian innovators can fare well in this global challenge, if not win it,” Lim added. Ascensia Diabetes Challenge is open to all Malaysians. To participate, one needs to submit their entry at www.ascensiadiabeteschallenge.com.
A judging panel, made up of independent experts from diabetes and digital health from across the world, as well as members of the Ascensia Medical, R&D and Commercial teams, will assess the entries and determine finalists and the winner. Dr. William Polonsky, a clinical psychologist; Dr. Masood Nazir, a general practitioner with special interest in diabetes and digital health; and Robin Swindell, a type 2 diabetes blogger, have been confirmed as the first three judges.
Dr. William Polonsky, President and Co-Founder of the Behavioral Diabetes Institute, San Diego, USA, explained, “Behavioral interventions are the key to enhancing self-management in type 2 diabetes, and digital solutions are desperately needed as a means to engage patients over the long-term and enable sustainable behavior change.
Unfortunately, current digital solutions have not yet been able to fully address the needs of patients or effectively support self-management and long-term behaviour change. I am thrilled to be part of the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge to try and find the next innovations to address the burden of type 2 diabetes.”
Robin Swindell, a person with type 2 diabetes and active blogger from the UK said, “Like most patients with type 2 diabetes, I only see a healthcare professional for a couple of hours a year at most. For the rest of the time, we rely on self-management. We need to find innovative digital solutions that can better support self-management for us.
“Solutions need to be able to be personalized and fit into their lives. I am delighted to be involved in this challenge and hope it will unearth an innovation that can make a real impact for me and other patients.” Ascensia has partnered with yet2, an open innovation services company, for this global challenge. yet2 will be managing the submission process and initial review of entries. Leveraging on their experience in innovation challenges, they will review the entries, manage intellectual property screening and support the judging process.