Two finalists were announced last week in the Data Design Diabetes Challenge (DDDChallenge) sponsored by Sanofi-Aventis, and Chewable.

The two companies each received an additional $10,000 as finalists, as well as one month residency at the Rock Health incubator. During this residency they will conduct a “community uptake exercise”, in which they will evaluate their prototype in a real world context with people living with diabetes.

According to the DDDChallenge Blog, “The community uptake stage reflects the focus of the Challenge to bring in relevant expertise and support at each stage of concept development, and to highlight the importance of building human-centered healthcare services.”

Plans for each finalist’s community uptake exercise will be co-created with Challenge organizers and outlined in advance on the Challenge blog. At the end of the final stage, the judges will evaluate how each finalist’s concept was received in a real world situation, and how the finalists responded and reacted to feedback from their users.

ginger_io_alt transforms a mobile phone into an automatic self-monitoring tool for tracking real-time movement patterns and social interactions passively, without user input.

I have written about before and consider the Cambridge-based start-up to be among the most innovative mobile health start-ups. The company’s algorithms are capable of inferring a patients condition based on subtle variations in the ways and places they use their Smartphone. They have recently overhauled their website, emphasizing their new Beta Program for leading health care providers, plans, pharmaceutical companies and patient advocacy groups.


Chewable is a mobile gaming service that helps people with diabetes understand the best food choices, and tracks their progress toward meeting healthy goals through food interactions.

New York-based Chewable launched their company Tumblr three months ago with the quote;

“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.” -Jean Billat-Savarin ~1800


It seems the team behind the Chewable app has taken this basic idea and turned it into an interactive game. The app is still in private beta, but somehow it captures the items bought by users at the grocery store and assigns them a “food persona” in the form of a mini-avatar based on those purchases. It then uses this digital persona to provide users recommendations on real-world food choices that could be beneficial to their overall health. This type of consumer data collection has major potential for monetization through partnerships with health food markets or healthier restaurant and more organic fast food options. Chewable could potentially offer users incentives in the form of eCoupons or Groupon-style deals to make healthier decisions.

Both of these start-ups offer exciting new apps with major potential to build sustainable businesses, so we will watch their development closely. Stay tuned for updates on the community uptake trials and the announcement of the Challenge winner.

Chewable Twitter: @getchewable Twitter: @ginger_io