Sanofi returns to the crowdsourcing well for diabetes app

Sanofi ($SNY) has extended its digital strategy in the diabetes field with a contest that welcomes a variety of people to submit ideas for a new mobile app. This latest crowdsourcing maneuver aims to enable diabetics to invent their own apps to help them with their disease.

Diabetes afflicts more than 370 million patients worldwide, with even more people affected by the disease when including those patients' family members and caregivers. In working with the group Camoni, Paris-based Sanofi has sought input and ideas for apps from all these impacted people.

Crowdsourcing for apps is nothing new for Sanofi. For years the company, which markets the world's best-selling insulin therapy, Lantus, has backed the Data Design Diabetes Innovation Challenge that awards $100,000 to winning groups that find novel uses of diabetes data to create apps and other digital tools. However, that contest has attracted a lot of software whizzes, whereas this latest crowdsourcing gambit seeks all comers from the diabetes community.

"In order to bring an app to answer the needs of users in the best way, we chose a model based on the 'wisdom of crowds,'" Ronnie Birnbaum, Sanofi Israel's general manager, said, as quoted by PMLiVE. "[We] invited diabetics, their families, friends and anyone who touches the disease to offer application ideas, contribute from personal experience and share with us their needs."

As the trade pub points out, Sanofi has been building a portfolio of mobile apps behind its multibillion-dollar diabetes business. The company began several years ago with the release of the GoMeals app for providing dietary guidance to patients and more recently married an app with its iBGStar blood glucose meter.

- check out PMLiVE's post

Special Report: 15 mobile apps in Life Sciences - 2012