Today, at the American Diabetes Association’s 78th Scientific Sessions in Orlando, Florida, Ascensia Diabetes Care has revealed that UK-based Whisk have been selected as the winner of the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge, a global innovation competition that set out to find digital solutions to support type 2 diabetes management.
Whisk’s winning innovation is a Culinary Coach that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to provide personalized food recommendations based on flavor preferences and food avoidance, that will be expanded to use blood glucose data for people with diabetes. Later today, Whisk will be presenting their winning solution to the diabetes community for the first time at the 2018 DiabetesMine D-Data Exchange Event in Orlando.
The Whisk platform is an AI-powered nutrition platform that currently enables users to browse recipes based on factors including their personal taste preferences, time constraints, budgets, weather and dietary restrictions or allergies. Once a user adds a recipe to their meal plan, it can be automatically added to an online shopping cart at some of the world’s leading grocery retailers, seamlessly allowing them to buy ingredients.
As winner of the challenge, Whisk plan to create a personalized food experience for people with type 2 diabetes that will learn from their blood glucose readings and make food recommendations that are more tailored to their own diabetes. Using readings from Ascensia’s blood glucose monitoring systems, the AI will learn how the user’s blood glucose readings react to specific foods and recipes, allowing them to build a tailored meal plan for their diabetes that can help to keep their blood glucose in range. The Culinary Coach for diabetes will start by providing personalized recipe recommendations, and will in the future develop to suggest convenience foods and restaurant options.
Michael Kloss, CEO and President of Ascensia Diabetes Care, said:
Nutrition and food selection is a huge component of type 2 diabetes management. The panel of judges and I were hugely impressed by Whisk’s current tool and how they plan to develop it for people with type 2 diabetes. By helping people with type 2 diabetes find personalized and tailored meal recommendations that are based on their own blood glucose data and food preferences, we have the potential to empower millions of people with type 2 diabetes to make healthier food choices that they will enjoy."
Whisk’s solution was selected from 116 entries that were submitted to the challenge from 25 countries and they will receive a cash prize of €100,000 to build and pilot this exciting new service for people with type 2 diabetes, working closely with Ascensia Diabetes Care to bring it to patients.
Whisk’s core technology uses extensive food ontology known as the Food Genome™, that incorporates and understands macro and micro-nutritional data, flavor compounds, store availability, price and promotions. Whisk is currently available in the US, UK and Australia, powering half a million shopping lists every month at grocery retailers including Walmart, Tesco and Amazon Fresh.
Nick Holzherr, Whisk Founder and CEO, said:
We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen as the winner of the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge. Type 2 diabetes has reached epidemic levels in recent years, and at Whisk we are excited to be building a solution that we feel can help support these patients to make lasting lifestyle changes. We hope that through our work with Ascensia Diabetes Care, we can help to change the way this condition is managed."
The competition also awarded two runners-up prizes. US-based Qstream were awarded a runner-up prize for their mobile learning platform that combines a concept known as spaced education with engaging game mechanics. This platform is designed to encourage meaningful behavior change and has been proven in a recent randomized trial to generate sustained and meaningful reductions in HbA1c in people with diabetes. xBird, a Germany-based medical artificial intelligence software company was also named as a runner-up. Their software analyzes micro-movements, collected by smartphones and wearables, and cross references them with historical blood glucose data, with the aim of being able to predict and detect potential hypo- and hyperglycemic events. Both runners-up will receive a cash prize of €30,000 to further develop their solutions.
Walk With Path were also recognized for their highly innovative active insole for people with peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes. Their insole provides vibrational feedback during walking that can be tracked via an app and is designed to help people achieve better balance, thereby reducing the risk of falls. Ascensia will support Walk with Path to conduct a proof of concept study in patients with diabetes.
We are very excited to partner with such high quality digital solutions that could help revolutionize type 2 diabetes management. These winning solutions highlight the exciting times we are now entering in the world of digital health and how technological advances and digital capabilities can play a massive part in meeting an urgent area of unmet need."