5 digital health finalists selected in Amazon's Alexa Diabetes Challenge

The Alexa Diabetes Challenge unveiled its five finalists July 13, each of which will receive $25,000.

Amazon and Merck launched the Alexa Diabetes Challenge in April to explore how voice-command technology can support chronic disease management. For the challenge, the two companies asked developers to create Amazon Alexa voice-enabled solutions to help newly-diagnosed Type 2 diabetes patients self-manage their care.

The panel of judges — independent from Merck, the challenge's sponsor — selected finalists from a pool of 96 submissions, comprising representatives from research institutions, software companies, technology startups and healthcare providers. The finalists will continue to develop their proposals in a virtual accelerator.

Here are the five finalists.

1. DiaBetty (University of Illinois at Chicago): A virtual diabetes educator and at-home coach that responds to a patient's mood to improve self-management.

2. My GluCoach (Sunnyvale, Calif.-based HCL America): A management solution that uses a voice-based diabetes lifestyle coach and personal assistant to address a patient's individual needs.

3. PIA: Personal intelligent agents for type 2 diabetes (San Francisco-based Ejenta): A solution using artificial intelligence and connected device data to encourage healthy habits, detect at-risk behavior and alert care teams.

4. Sugarpod (Seattle-based Wellpepper): An educational and tracking solution providing voice, mobile, video and web interactions to support patient adherence to care plans.

5. T2D2: Taming type 2 diabetes, together (Team led by Elliot Mitchell, a biomedical informatics graduate student at New York City-based Columbia University): A virtual nutrition assistant using machine learning to provide personalized recommendations and food logging.

The grand prize winner, to be selected after a round of in-person presentations in New York City in September, will receive $125,000.

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