The World Cup challenges innovators in healthcare and information technology to develop creative solutions for global public health issues. This year, the competition focused on improving the health of patients with diabetes, inviting critical thinkers worldwide to propose innovative concepts for enhancing prevention, early diagnosis, and management of the condition.
The team presented DReAM (an acronym for Diabetes Recognition Assessment and Monitoring), a non-invasive blood glucose measurement device, which is aimed at enabling painless, sample-free and accurate glucose measurement for people suffering from diabetes. Such a monitoring device would alleviate pain and discomfort faced by diabetics when pricking fingertips to draw blood for glucose measurement. The device would require minimal user intervention and enable continuous monitoring of the glucose levels of the patient. The measurement apparatus constructed has been verified in vitro on glucose solutions and has been tested on an initial group of thirty subjects. The team is currently working on device calibration and development of a portable prototype for commercialization.
The team was selected for the finals over three rounds of submissions followed by a semi-final round held at IIT Delhi, New Delhi, India on 26th April, 2013. Competing against five other teams from throughout Africa, Asia and the Middle East, they won the semi-final round along with another team from IIT Bombay, and were invited to present at the finals against two more finalists from Europe and the Americas. The finals were held at the German Center for Research and Innovation at New York City. They were placed second in the finals by demonstrating the impact on solving unmet needs in diabetes care, as well as innovation, feasibility and financial sustainability of the ideas. The first position went to Team AdhereTech, a three year old New York based start-up for their innovative smart pill bottle. Team SmartSense from IIT Bombay presenting a solution for Diabetic Ketoacidosis came third. The team received the 2nd place prize of $ 10,000 in the finals in addition to an earlier award of $ 2,500 at the semi-finals.
The Healthcare Innovation World Cup was funded by Boehringer Ingelheim (http://www.boehringer-ingelheim.com/) and organized by the Healthcare Innovation and Technology Lab (http://www.hitlab.org/).