A big data group with a plan to reduce the cost of diabetes care by identifying and tracking people in the early stages of diabetes who under use healthcare emerged as the winner of Sanofi’s (NYSE:SNY) crowdsourcing competition to uncover innovative approaches to improve the quality, delivery and cost of care for diabetes.
The National Association of Area Agencies on Aging teamed up with the National Minority Quality Forum to help diabetics before their disease gets to the point where it’s difficult and expensive to manage.
As part of the award, n4a will get $100,000 to develop its diabetes plan. It will interview diabetics to identify challenges that interfere with the management of their disease, according to a company statement. n4a will design a personalized disease-management program for each patient and will work with the patient to meet his or her goals.
In a blog post last month on the website Sanofi set up for the competition, n4a said:
The American Diabetes Association’s estimate of 12 percent compliance translates to about 25million people with diabetes today who are taking unnecessary chances with their health. Currently, people with diabetes have over 14million hospital encounters (inpatient and outpatient care) each year. Many communities have no diabetes treatment center, and people with diabetes must travel to facilities outside their communities at distances and hours that are not convenient.
N4a was one of five companies competing in Sanofi’s challenge to improve diabetes care. It also included an interactive park to engage residents of one of the country’s largest diabetes populations with gaming, a way to reduce diabetes data fatigue, an interactive video program and a mobile app to increase a pharmacist’s role in patient adherence.
The scale and scope of type 2 diabetes in the United States and the complications that arise from it have made it a priority in the healthcare industry not only because of the widespread health implications, but also its contribution to increasing healthcare costs in the future. Although pharmaceutical and medical device companies have several drugs and devices in development, there is also a drive to improve diabetes management through mobile technologies and programs administered by physicians and care managers.