Monday, March 09, 2009

Diabetes design contest

One of my blogging heroines, Amy Tenderich of Diabetes Mine, writes and asks for help publicizing the following contest:

Hi Paul,

This week we opened the 2009 DiabetesMine Design Challenge, a web-based competition calling for innovative design concepts (devices or web applications) that will improve life with diabetes.

This year, the contest is sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), with a Grand Prize of $10,000. It’s also supported by global innovation firm IDEO and by, the Internet journal of emerging medical technologies.

The contest is hosted here.

Here's the press release:

DiabetesMine™ Kicks Off 2009 Design Challenge;

Fostering Innovation to Improve Life with Diabetes

Sponsored by the non-profit California HealthCare Foundation, leading community website DiabetesMine™ offers $10,000 Grand Prize to best new creative tool that will transform life with diabetes

San Francisco, Calif., March 2, 2009 -- DiabetesMine™, a leading informational and community web site for people with diabetes, today announced kickoff of the 2009 DiabetesMine Design Challenge, a competition designed to foster innovation in diabetes design and encourage creative new tools that will improve life with diabetes.

This annual web-based competition is hosted at, and is underwritten by the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF), an independent philanthropy organization committed to improving the way health care is delivered and financed in California and beyond. It is also endorsed by, the Internet journal of emerging medical technologies, and supported by the global design and innovation firm IDEO, with headquarters in Palo Alto, CA.

“CHCF is committed to improving the quality of care for patients with chronic conditions,” said Veenu Aulakh, senior program officer for the Foundation's Better Chronic Disease Care program. “The Web is becoming a major platform for patient interaction and improved self-care through increased access to relevant health information and support. We’re excited to support this interactive, web-based design contest fostering innovation in such a prevalent and challenging condition as diabetes.”

This competition is open to any individuals or organizations passionate about diabetes and product design – whether you're an enterprising patient or parent, a startup company, a design student, an independent developer or engineer, or a pharma R&D pro. Entries from participants under age 18 are also welcome, and will be judged in a separate category.

To help refine and realize their design concepts, three winners will be selected to receive the following prizes:

· $10,000 in cash for the Grand Prize winner;

- plus a mini-workshop with Health and Wellness experts at the global design and innovation firm IDEO;

- and one free access ticket to the “innovation incubator” Health 2.0 Conference planned for October 2009 in San Francisco, CA

· $5,000 cash for the “Most Creative Idea” category winner;

- plus a consulting session with IDEO design experts

· $2,000 cash for the winner of the Kids’ Category (under age 18)

(total cash prizes $17,000)

"We can’t overemphasize the impact of design innovation in the lives of people with diabetes. Desirable form factor, ease of use, and potential incorporation of diabetes tools into other devices – like cell phones – all have the potential to transform diabetes management and quality of life for millions of people,” said Aaron Kowalski, Research Director of the Artificial Pancreas Project at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF).

The Design Challenge concept was born in Spring 2007, when creator of DiabetesMine Amy Tenderich posted an Open Letter to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, calling for the gurus of consumer design to help revolutionize design of diabetes devices. In the weeks and months that followed, numerous individuals and organizations came forward with compelling new prototypes, designs, and ideas. These included new concepts for glucose meters, insulin pumps, lancing devices (for testing blood glucose), devices for transporting medical records or tracking glucose results, diabetes supply carry cases and more.

This year, a seven-member judging panel includes some highly influential individuals in healthcare and diabetes treatment:

§ Veenu Aulakh, senior program officer for the California HealthCare Foundation's Better Chronic Disease Care program, with deep experience in diabetes care

§ Michael Ostrovsky, MD, editor of, the online journal of emerging medical technologies

§ Steven Edelman, MD, a distinguished endocrinologist living with Type 1 diabetes himself, and creator of the nationwide TCOYD (Taking Control of Your Diabetes) conference series

§ Robert Oringer, an entrepreneur and angel investor in the diabetes industry who pioneered private-label diabetes products such as lancets and glucose tablets (Robert also has two young sons with Type 1 diabetes)

§ Ross Jaffe, MD, a board-certified internist and eminent venture capitalist with Versant Ventures in Silicon Valley, leading investments in medical devices, drug delivery, and healthcare information systems companies

§ A senior designer with the global design and innovation firm IDEO, in their Heath and Wellness practice — which helped design Eli Lilly’s Kwikpen product and packaging for GlaxoSmithKlein’s Alli diet product

§ Amy Tenderich of, blogger, author, patient advocate, Health 2.0 consultant, and contest creator

Submissions are accepted in the form of a 2-minute video to be uploaded to the DiabetesMine YouTube channel, or a 2-3 page written "elevator pitch" plus supporting graphics, also to be uploaded online. The deadline for entries is Friday, May 1st, 2009, at 11:59 pm Pacific time. Winners will be announced on Monday, May 18th, 2009.

"We look forward to all kinds of creativity. Good design can be applied to anything, even something as 'low-tech' as a special container for disposing of used glucose test strips. Let the innovation begin!" Tenderich said.

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