A new mobile application developed by a local doctor helps patients with diabetes earn rewards for healthy behavior.
Jennifer Dyer, a pediatric endocrinologist who now serves as chief medical advisor at Columbus-based Duet Health, created The EndoGoddess App for iPhone and Android to make glucose journaling rewarding.
When a patient checks their blood sugar four times a day, they earn points that can be cashed in for iTunes downloads once a week via the app.
“It is a positive, direct way to incentivize teens,” says Dyer. “It leaves them with a positive memory or association.”
Feedback from patients, their parents, and their doctors has been very positive, but Dyer would like to have a formal evaluation beyond a pilot study to confirm those observations. Therefore, she is seeking funding through MedStartr for a clinical trial that studies the app’s effect on 50 patients in a private practice in Columbus.
To learn how the app differs from similar ones already on the market, why Dyer is using MedStartr to fund the clinical trial, and what app she’s working on next, keep reading.
The Metropreneur: How did you become aware of MedStartr and why did you think it would be a useful platform for you?
Jennifer Dyer: I met Alex Fair, MedStartr’s co-founder, at a Health 2.0 NYC event that he invited me to speak at back in 2010. Since then, we have remained good friends and have kept in touch at a variety of health 2.0 events.
I first learned about crowdfunding upon attending South By Southwest Interactive Festival in March of this year and immediately connected it to health care. Upon discussing with Alex in April, I decided to pursue crowdfunding.
I first applied to Kickstarter, which denied the project’s posting on the site due to having a health care focus, which is a similar experience that Alex had when he attempted his own project submission. Thus, I submitted my project to MedStartr given its health care focus and engaged healthcare audience of patients, caregivers, health care professionals, students, hospital administrators, pharmaceutical companies, technology companies, startups, and VCs.
[M]: If you don’t reach your funding goal by early September, will you seek funding again using MedStartr?
JD: If I am unable to meet my funding goal by early September, I have discussed trying another crowdfunding site that utilizes alumni networks which was recently launched by one of the companies participating in the 10X program with me: UFunded.
[M]: Is there anything like the EndoGoddess App on the market?
JD: Despite the fact that there are many diabetes apps available already that provide a glucose journal, the rewards feature is unique to the EndoGoddess App products. Furthermore, there are currently no apps available for journaling specific to kids and their families. Competition includes other logging diabetes apps: Bant, GlucoseBuddy, Blood Sugar Tracker, Vree for Diabetes, Diabetes Log.
The app also utilizes a unique social business model for iTunes downloads. The revenue for the iTunes downloads comes from the user’s family and friends who sponsor the user, which is a social business model unique to the EndoGoddess App products.
The user enters the sponsor’s email address, and a link to the user’s iTunes account is sent to the sponsor who then submits their desired payment into the user’s account. This social business model is not only sustainable at a low cost by each of the sponsors, but also provides support and accountability by the people that matter most to each user, thereby helping to sustain the targeted behavior of daily glucose-checks.
The EndoGoddess App has additional unique personal, social media, and patient community features. Within the app, users can submit daily diabetes-specific motivational quotes, which are screened by myself and then featured on the home page of the app. Furthermore, information about how to get involved in the diabetes online community −moderated twitter chats, blogs, diabetes camp links, charity links− is provided in addition to original multimedia basic diabetes education content.
The EndoGoddess App also allows the user to customize glucose-check reminder alarms so that adherence triggers are personalized, an additional unique feature.
[M]: Is there anything else you think we should know?
JD: I am super excited to announce that work on the EndoGoddess Kids App has started on June 25 through the 10x accelator program, a mentorship-driven investment program designed for energetic and game-changing entrepreneurs.
10x has partnered with Ohio’s New Entrepreneurs Fund, an innovative business accelerator designed to attract and retain the best and brightest talent in Ohio. Teams such as the EndoGoddess Team are awarded $20,000 to bring a project to life over a 10-week period culminating in a pitch day presentation to interested investors within the community.
The EndoGoddess Team will be creating the new Endo Kids App built for young children with type 1 diabetes and their families. The app will include a new rewards and gaming feature similar in concept to the classic Tamagotchi virtual pet.
The virtual pet, which will need to be “fed” by recording glucoses within the app, is expected to encourage engagement in daily diabetes glucose checking by the child based on appointment dynamic game mechanics theory. It should be available for download at the end of September or early October 2012.
We are currently meeting with several large employers in Columbus to discuss partnering with our engagement apps and programs to benefit their employees with diabetes or who have loved ones with diabetes.
To learn more about the EndoGoddess App, visit MedStartr.com.