Sanofi is sponsoring the the DiabetesMine Patient Voices Contest in order to solicit public ideas for new diabetes-related medical devices, as reported by The Huffington Post. This contest is indicative of a trend that sees device and pharmaceutical manufacturers, including Roche and Medtronic, turning to crowdsourcing for inspiration, potentially adding more weight to patient input in healthcare marketing, research and development.
The first Patient Voices Contest was underwritten by the California HealthCare Foundation, and supported by IDEO, a leading design firm with close ties to Stanford University, according to the news source. The contest encouraged diabetic participants to submit ideas for products that could improve their lives. The competition ultimately awarded more than $50,000 in prize money to innovators.
This year, Patient Voices has placed more focus on the specific needs of diabetics. The contest is asking for submissions of two- to three-minute videos from patients and caregivers, where they discuss the challenges of current devices, and what they want from new ones. Organizers will select 10 winners to go to the DiabetesMine Innovation Summit in November, where they will meet with device designers, as well as people who work in marketing, research and development.
"No one knows better how gadgets, devices and apps can help patients than patients themselves," Amy Tenderich, founder of the blog DiabetesMine, told the news source.
Meanwhile, Sanofi is managing the Data Design Diabetes Innovation Challenge, its own design competition. The company used crowdsourcing input to create this contest's criteria for prospective competitors, a company website said.
Diabetes is one of several chronic diseases affecting Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency estimates that 70 percent of annual deaths in the U.S. are due to these conditions, which include heart disease, stroke, cancer and arthritis. Furthermore, nearly 26 million Americans live with diabetes.