Alexa Diabetes Challenge

As voice technology transforms the way we live, could it shift from helping manage playlists to helping manage disease?

In 2017, the Alexa Diabetes Challenge called on innovators to create Alexa voice-enabled solutions to improve the lives of those with type 2 diabetes.


Sugarpod by Wellpepper

Awarded $125,000 grand prize

Sugarpod is a comprehensive diabetes care plan solution that provides tailored tasks based on patient preferences. It delivers patient experiences via SMS, email, web, and a mobile application — and one day, through voice interfaces as well.

Watch the video >>



Awarded $25,000 cash and $10,000 in AWS promotional credits

Diabetty is a virtual diabetes educator and at-home coach that is sensitive and responsive to the patient’s mood, enhancing patient skills for self-management.

My GluCoach

Awarded $25,000 cash and $10,000 in AWS promotional credits

My GluCoach is a holistic management solution that blends the roles of voice-based diabetes teacher, lifestyle coach, and personal assistant to serve the individual and specific needs of the patient.

PIA: Personal intelligent agents for type 2 diabetes

Awarded $25,000 cash and $10,000 in AWS promotional credits

PIA is a connected care intelligent agent that uses NASA-licensed AI technology integrated with IoT device data to encourage healthy habits, detect at-risk behaviors and abnormalities, and alert care teams.

T2D2: Taming type 2 diabetes, together

Awarded $25,000 cash and $10,000 in AWS promotional credits

T2D2 is a virtual nutrition assistant that uses machine learning to provide in-the-moment personalized education and recommendations as well as meal planning, and food and glucose logging.

About the Challenge

An estimated 27.5 million people live with type 2 diabetes in the United States. Thanks to greater awareness and better treatments, many who have been diagnosed with the disease are living longer, healthier lives. But diabetes requires changes and considerations that permeate throughout every aspect of life. The path to self-management can feel isolating and overwhelming, especially for those who have been newly diagnosed.

Voice technology provides an opportunity to ease the burden of a new diagnosis. Voice is a seamless interface that connects people to the information they need by leveraging a larger world of supporting technology, from applications to databases and cloud services. By using voice to tap into this digital ecosystem, there is an opportunity to simplify the management challenges that type 2 diabetes patients face on a day-to-day basis. The Alexa Diabetes Challenge invited innovators to submit concepts that utilize the capabilities of Amazon voice technology and the ecosystem of supporting cloud technologies to improve the experience of those newly diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Technology advances are creating digital health opportunities to improve support for people managing life with a chronic disease. One purpose of the Alexa Diabetes Challenge was to identify new ways to use the technology already present in a patient’s daily routine. The winner of the Challenge did just that.

Tony Alvarez, president, Primary Care Business Line and Customer Strategy at Merck & Co., Inc.

Luminary Labs designed, developed, and powered the Alexa Diabetes Challenge. The Challenge was supported by Amazon Web Services.

Submission Form


Call for Submissions – April 10, 2017

Submission Deadline – May 22, 2017

Finalists Announced – July 13, 2017
Five finalists were selected by the judges to receive $25,000 each and advance to Virtual Accelerator.

Virtual Accelerator – July through September 2017
Finalists developed their concepts into working prototypes with coaching and mentorship from experts in health, epidemiology, diabetes, user interface design, voice interactions, and cloud services.

Boot Camp – July 25–26, 2017
Finalists participated in a two-day, in-person Boot Camp at Amazon in Seattle, Washington*, where they gained new insights and perspectives as they prepared their solutions for Demo Day.

Demo Day – September 25, 2017
In pursuit of the $125,000 grand prize, finalists presented their prototypes to the judges and a live audience of nearly 200 attendees at the AWS Pop-up Loft in New York City. Watch the video.

Winner Announced –  October 16, 2017
The judges selected Sugarpod to receive the $125,000 grand prize award.


Total Prize Pool


From the total cash prize pool of $250,000, each of the finalists were awarded $25,000 cash and an additional $10,000 in AWS promotional credits*. The grand prize winner received $125,000.


Ifeoma Ajunwa

Ifeoma Ajunwa, JD, PHD

Fellow, Berkman Klein Center, Harvard University

John Brownstein

John Brownstein, PHD

Professor, Harvard Medical School, and Chief Innovation Officer of Boston Children’s Hospital

Rob Coppedge

Rob Coppedge

Chief Executive Officer, Echo Health Ventures

Michele Tuck-Ponder, ESQ

Producer, Diabetes While Black

Matt Yanchyshyn

Matt Yanchyshyn

Aws Technology Partner Solutions Architecture Lead, Amazon Web Services