A Challenge update, plus hear from one of our judges 

Open submissions closed last month and we’re now counting down to the finalist announcement! We received an impressive 96 submissions, which illuminate the many different ways voice technology can support those with type 2 diabetes. From data tracking and analysis to adherence games, we’re inspired by the breadth of ideas.

Since we closed submissions, our review panel has scored the full set of concepts against the Challenge criteria to determine which to advance to the judges. Made up of experts from across technology and healthcare, the review panel included representation from organizations such as bitly, Columbia University, Georgetown’s Innovation Center for Biomedical Informatics and Amazon.

Currently, our judges are reviewing submissions. With experience ranging from advocacy to AI, these leaders will apply their deep subject matter expertise to identify the most transformative ideas in voice technology. We’re honored to have them support the Challenge.

While we wait for the final decision, hear from judge Nicole Bell, Founder of the Seattle-based healthcare innovation hub Cambia Grove, in a recent podcast. She delves into why the healthcare innovation community should care about voice technology and how the Alexa Diabetes Challenge can help shape the future of healthcare.

“Most of the innovators that I’ve met in the last couple of years tend to be mission focused…they want to do good and they want to do well. The terminology we use in the healthcare industry to express that really well is healthcare’s triple aim; that is, to pursue better health and better experiences for people at a lower cost. I am here to say that is possible, an investment in a technology is a way to pull net healthcare costs out of the system and give consumers a really easy way to take care of themselves.”

 – Nicole Bell, Founder and Executive Director, Cambia Grove

Listen to the full podcast here.

Stay tuned for the finalist announcement in July!

Don’t Forget to Submit! 10 Days Left To Enter

Be a part of pioneering work in voice technology. Submit a concept for the Alexa Diabetes Challenge by 5:00 PM ET on Monday, May 22, 2017.

Since we kicked off the Challenge on April 10th, the enthusiasm from the tech community has been inspiring and we’re excited to see submissions roll in. There are two weeks left for you to join.

What’s Coming Next

Remember that up to five finalists will be selected to receive $25,000 and 10,000 AWS credits each and advance to the Virtual Accelerator to work with expert mentors as they develop their concept into working prototypes. The Virtual Accelerator includes an in-person Boot Camp at Amazon in Seattle where experts in voice technology, Amazon services, and diabetes will provide teams with advice and guidance. The Virtual Accelerator will conclude with a live Demo Day in NYC, where finalists will present their iterated solutions to the judges and a live audience of influencers, investors, and media. Following Demo Day, judges will select one winner to receive the $125,000 grand prize.

Have Questions?

If you have questions about the Challenge, we encourage you to watch our informational webinar, read our FAQ, or email

Missed the Informational Webinar? Watch now!

On April 19th, innovators across the country joined us for the Alexa Diabetes Challenge Informational Webinar to hear more about the Challenge, type 2 diabetes and voice-enabled technology.

This Challenge is all about how to use emerging technology to improve the life of those newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. Did you know that when first diagnosed with diabetes, patients must often incorporate an overwhelming number of changes into their daily routine, such as frequently monitoring their blood glucose, increasing physical activity, adapting their diet, and remembering to always carry testing materials? These are just a few of the self-management challenges that could be addressed by voice-enabled tools or services.

Dario Rivera, Healthcare and Life Sciences Solutions Architect at Amazon Web Services, also joined us for the webinar to review the supporting technologies that may be incorporated into a holistic voice-enabled solution. He outlined the Amazon voice ecosystem, providing insight on the capabilities of Amazon Web Services, Alexa , Amazon Lex, and more.

Attendees asked insightful questions during the webinar Q&A, ranging from entry-related topics such as how to find teammates to solution topics such as protected health information considerations and Bluetooth compatibility. We’ve compiled the responses in a Frequently Asked Questions document here.

If you didn’t have a chance to join the webinar, or would like to view it again, please see the recording below.

As a reminder, submissions are due in 2 weeks! Submit a concept for the Alexa Diabetes Challenge by 5:00 PM ET on Monday, May 22, 2017.

Announcing Our Judges

We are excited and proud to introduce an esteemed group of leaders across critical areas such advocacy, research, investment, government, and technology as the five acclaimed judges for the Alexa Diabetes Challenge. These judges will bring the expertise, experience, and diversity of perspectives crucial to identify the Amazon voice-enabled solutions with the most potential to transform the lives of those living with type 2 diabetes.

These judges will carefully review concept submissions against the official Challenge criteria, selecting up to five finalists to receive $25,000 and advance to the Virtual Accelerator in July. At the live Demo Day in NYC this September, the finalists will present their refined solution to the judges, who will then select a winner to receive the $125,000 grand prize. (See a detailed schedule here.)

Please join us now in welcoming our all-star judges:

Fellow, Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University
Dr. Ajunwa is a nationally recognized legal expert on biotechnological, employment, and discrimination issues. Her work with MIT’s Kate Crawford and NYU’s Jason Schultz examining the protection of employee health data provides a critical perspective from which she will assess solutions’ data privacy considerations.

Founder and Executive Director, Cambia Grove
Bell has spent 20 years transforming healthcare delivery and insurance plans. She has supported Cambia’s investment portfolio since 2012, and brings to the Challenge extensive experience shepherding the success of numerous entrepreneurs and startups.

Professor, Harvard Medical School, and Chief Innovation Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital
Dr. Brownstein’s leadership in tech-enabled public health surveillance has earned him opportunities to advise the World Health Organization, Institute of Medicine, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the White House. In his role as a judge, he will be informed by his work championing innovation initiatives.

Producer, Diabetes While Black
A former mayor of Princeton, NJ, Tuck-Ponder draws on her own family experience with type 2 diabetes in her quest to equip black people with information and resources to better manage the disease. She will draw on this experience to assess the ability of solutions to truly improve the lives of those managing diabetes.

AWS Technology Partner Solutions Architecture Lead, Amazon Web Services
Yanchyshyn works with the world’s largest software and hardware companies to build innovative, secure, and high-performance solutions in the cloud. His technical expertise and familiarity with Amazon technology will support his evaluation of solutions’ feasibility.

Read more here about their experience. Thank you judges for giving your time and insight to make this vision a reality!

Have a great idea? Submit soon!
The Alexa Diabetes Challenge deadline is less than a month away; submit your proposal here by 5:00 PM ET May 22, 2017.

Ready, Set, Submit!

Today, submissions opened for the $250,000 Alexa Diabetes Challenge, sponsored by Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, New Jersey, U.S.A. and supported by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The Challenge calls on innovators to create Alexa voice-enabled solutions to improve the lives of those with type 2 diabetes.

As voice technology continues to transform the way we live, could it shift from helping manage playlists to helping manage disease? This Challenge presents innovators with a unique opportunity to utilize the capabilities of Alexa to improve the experience of those newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Up to five finalists will be chosen by a panel of judges to each receive $25,000 in cash and 10,000 AWS credits. They will advance to the Virtual Accelerator, where they will receive expert mentorship as they develop their concepts into solutions. At the end of this phase, finalists will present their solutions at a live Demo Day, and compete for the $125,000 grand prize.

Interested in entering? Submissions are due by 5:00 PM ET on May 22, 2017.

To learn more, join our informational webinar on April 19th, 2017 at 1:00 PM ET. During the webinar, we will give an in-depth overview of the Challenge and discuss the experience of people living with type 2 diabetes. Dario Rivera, Healthcare and Life Sciences Solutions Architect at AWS, will also review what is considered an Alexa-enabled solution. We’ll host a Q&A session at the end, so come with your questions ready!

We hope you will be a part of this pioneering work in voice technology.