Sanofi U.S., the American arm of the French pharmaceutical giant is effectively using social media to drive its Data Design Diabetes Innovation Challenge. Currently in its second year, the challenge aims to generate innovative ideas that can be used to improve the lives of people with diabetes.
Last year the challenge was won by Ginge.io which created an app able to transform a mobile phone into a monitoring device with the capability of real time identification of diabetic problems. This year the company has doubled the prize money to $200,000 and the challenge is generating huge interest on social media.
Central to the process of the challenge is using crowd sourcing to define the focus for this year’s challenge. Sanofi has set up a dedicated website as well as Facebook and Twitter accounts for the challenge. This use of the internet is pulling a highly varied mix of people into the project resulting in a significant public contribution to the shape of the project.
Sanofi claim that the involvement of the public through social media has delivered ideas in just six months that would normally take up to five years to develop. Speaking about the project Michele Polz, the head of Patient solutions at Sanofi, said ‘We wanted to cast a wide net, look beyond the four walls we play in every day.’