To combat the growing number of diabetes cases across the country, Deloitte announced this month that it would join the American Diabetes Association of Illinois in its "Venture to Stop Diabetes Challenge" - a competition that seeks to find community-based innovators and entrepreneurs and offering new solutions to address diabetes management, care and education.

Six finalists have been selected for their Challenge proposals and will go on to compete for the grand prize at the American Diabetes Association EXPO on Saturday, April 9, in Chicago.

"At Deloitte, we understand the importance of innovation in addressing public health issues and are committed to helping those impacted by diabetes and other chronic diseases," stated Rajeev Ronanki, principal and lead of Deloitte Consulting LLP's cognitive computing and health care innovation practices. "One example is our investment in innovative cognitive technologies that transform patient engagement and chronic disease care management. We are proud to work with the American Diabetes Association of Illinois, in conjunction with the broader Chicagoland community, in identifying unique solutions for the diabetes epidemic. We look forward to helping replicate the success of programs like the 'Venture to Stop Diabetes Challenge' nationwide."

The "Venture to Stop Diabetes Challenge" aims to discover new strategies and technology that address the problems affecting the diabetes community today. Recent field research identified five major problem statements and opportunities that "Venture Challenge" participants were encouraged to address:

  • Encouraging healthy lifestyle choices specifically for those diagnosed or at risk for diabetes;
  • Offering culturally-competent resources to address diabetes rates in minority communities, including African-American, Hispanic/Latino, and South Asian neighborhoods;
  • Integrating diabetes management activities, including nutrition and support, to ensure a holistic, efficient approach;
  • Ensuring access to and education about healthy options and better nutrition in underserved communities where "food deserts" and high diabetes rates exist;
  • Creating easy-to-use messaging for families on what to do during emergency situations, including hypoglycemia and diabetic ketoacidosis.

Earlier this year, numerous organizations submitted their proposals for the "Venture to Stop Diabetes Challenge." On March 1, the six finalists were chosen:

  • 4D Healthware – Developed a platform that integrates patient medical history and data from wearable devices to help patients and care givers manage chronic diseases.
  • Admetsys – Developed the first artificial pancreas system specifically for the needs of hospital and surgical care.
  • Benecure – Created a platform that helps users manage chronic diseases using smart devices and gamification.
  • HabitNu – An innovative smartphone or tablet based 16-week program that provides a unique, engaging, culturally sensitive and scalable diabetes prevention and management service.
  • POPS! Diabetes Care – Developing a new care model for diabetics through new mobile healthcare technology.
  • Vital Simulations – A health care education and software development company which creates online accelerated learning simulations to assess and validate skills, knowledge and decision-making in a safe environment that is applicable for use in professional education and health system workforce development.

For more on the Chicago event, head to Deloitte's site here.