Innovation Challenge Blog

Congratulations to Connect & Coach™, winner of the 2013 Data Design Diabetes Innovation Challenge – Prove It!

After an exciting Demo Day yesterday in Washington, DC, I’m thrilled to announce Connect & Coach™ as the winning concept of the Sanofi US 2013 Data Design Diabetes Innovation Challenge – Prove It!. Connect & Coach™ is the first hybrid clinical and consumer application for Registered Dietitians and Certified Diabetes Educators to help educate the diabetes community. This morning, Sanofi US awarded the winning team $100,000 to further develop its novel solution.

This year’s challenge asked innovators to think creatively about how best to harness data to address diabetes in the US. The Data Design Diabetes process is geared toward fast learning, and we saw the five finalist teams make progress at lightening speed throughout the course of the Challenge. It was exciting to watch the teams present an incredibly innovative group of diverse solutions that showed potential to improve health outcomes for people living with diabetes. It’s amazing how much ground the teams were able to cover in the span of just a few months.

The CDC estimates that by the year 2050, one in three Americans will have diabetes, and an epidemic this massive in scale calls for unprecedented levels of rapid innovation. Connect & Coach™ has shown tremendous potential to impact diabetes care by shifting nutrition counseling to the communities where it is needed most. I was impressed by the team’s mission to not just create an app, but an ecosystem for improving health outcomes through its platform at both the clinical and consumer level. I’m eager to watch as the team continues to cultivate its solution.

This year’s winner announcement marks another milestone for Sanofi US in supporting entrepreneurship to foster innovations in diabetes. Past winners of Data Design Diabetes, and n4a Diabetes Care Center, have achieved enduring growth and success following their participation in the Challenge. I’m confident that Connect & Coach™ will be no different, and look forward to watching their next steps.

Join me in congratulating Connect & Coach™ as they continue to make improvements in data-driven diabetes care! Stay tuned to the blog for the story behind their solution.

ABOUT Michele Polz

As Head of Patient Insights US Diabetes, Michele is respon­si­ble for iden­ti­fy­ing and understanding the true needs of people living with Diabetes. She specifically focuses on insights that can be tested and validated through existing solutions: Marketing, Value Added and Commercial solutions. Michele is an advo­cate for putting the patient first.

In 2011, Michele launched Data Design Diabetes, a next-generation innovation chal­lenge that brings together the rich­ness of open data, the values of human-centered design, and the leading-edge method­ol­ogy of the top inno­va­tion accelerators.

Prior to her career with Sanofi, Michele served mul­ti­ple roles with Lexis-Nexis, over­see­ing client devel­op­ment mar­ket­ing, busi­ness analy­sis and per­for­mance man­age­ment, and direct mar­ket­ing. She is thrilled to bring an out­side per­spec­tive to the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and healthcare indus­try.