Connections in The Introducer Magazine on Innovator Solutions in Diabetes

In Features 17 by Mary Kurek

Since we are all about stirring up meaningful conversations and business development between game-changers in social impact, we like to kick start that activity after each edition is released by sharing with you some of the connections we see that maybe should happen between game-changes featured in current and past editions of The Introducer Magazine.  If you are currently featured or a Frontrunners League member and would like an introduction to any of these game-changers, contact Annie Moon at Additionally, if you are curious about the League and how you could get in on some introductions, visit this page.  

Here we go:  (Clicking on the names will take you to their spotlights or articles in The Introducer.  From there, you will have access to their  networking interests, Linkedin profiles, and websites.)

David Kerr has been concerned with how diabetes impacts disproportionately across multiple populations. His work at Sansum Diabetes Research Institute has created a lot of opportunities for the Latino population in his area.  Because of how he views this concern and the creativity he is using to get results, he should connect with Tracey Brown of the ADA who shares this concern. He should also connect with League member, Deven Patel who is the CEO of GioStar and is heading into clinical trials soon with stemcell solutions. Deven’s geographic proximity to David is good and he could have an interest in creating a trial within the Latino population. The same goes for League member, Joe Hitt of GoX Labs, currently in clinical trials with his wearable for diabetics in California. Westley Igbo’s article that focuses on “lifestyle medicine,” particularly in marginalized areas of Nigeria, relates to David’s programs, and we believe the two would benefit from a conversation.  David’s interest in “food as medicine” makes us feel that he should also meet Tony Bello of Shine Bridge Global who works on gluten-free food product exports from Africa.

Walk with a Doc – Lifestyle Medicine Program, Nigeria (courtesy of Westley Igbo)

Tracey Brown indicates that the ADA is interested in supporting young scientists and researchers with new ideas for solutions.  We believe Alborz Mahdavi qualifies for such. Still in R & D, Alborz is working on molecules with sensors that would have the capacity for helping to regulate insulin delivery.  If Tracey doesn’t already know her, she should connect with Kimberley Hanson, Executive Director of Federal Affairs at Diabetes Canada for potential partnership on programs.

David Armstrong and League member, Chance Glenn (3rd edition, page 29) need to connect regarding updates on Chance’s eForge 3d printer that prints functional electronics, including sensors. Perhaps, also, Linh Le might find a means to collaborate with either, considering his insole product and patented wearable graphene sensors.

Laurent Nicolas and our friend, Yan Chow, (12th edition) Medical Director, Digital Medicine, Translational Medicine, at Amgen might have a chat since Laurent mentioned wanting to connect with pharma.  Amgen is the largest independent biotechnology firm in the world and Yan manages a Silicon Valley tech innovation consulting firm. He also mentioned wanting to connect with payers. Since Brenda Schmidt and Michael Fang have figured out their own path to secure insurance companies as payers, they may be a good resource for him.  Additionally, we think that Laurent might want to connect with League member, Henrik IsenHenrik started OpenTeleHealth in 2015 to continue and commercialize a national open-source project in Denmark to demonstrate a positive ROI on large-scale telehealth and remote patient monitoring.  He and Laurent should find common ground, as Laurent’s company, DIABNEXT, is a unique Diabetes Digital solution, readily available on App Stores and in a Web version both for Patients, Hospitals and Clinics. 

Brenda Schmidt and Joe Hitt might connect up since both of their companies are based in Arizona and Joe’s product is in clinical trial now.  Joe’s wearable has the support of Microsoft, AT & T, and Samsung and is aimed at predicting A1c levels, among other things. Collaboration, maybe?  Brenda’s interest in outcome-based products may sit well with Michael Fang’s data-driven program. Michael also has health plan payers.  

Bonbouton’s insole

Linh Le wants to meet with patients; there are two featured in the 17th edition that we know about.  Karin Hehenberger is one and Steven Reid is the other. Karin is working to empower patients to come up with solutions and provides a platform for doing that, and Steven is starting out with his own insulin solution.  Since Linh would like to connect with podiatrists, he should connect with Dr. Wilma Hunt-Watts who was our Guest Editor for the Diabetes edition and is a podiatrist. We are sure she’d welcome the connection. Additionally, he might want to connect with David Armstrong relative to managing diabetic foot ulcers, as well as the President of the Association for the Wound Care, Thomas Serena.

Karin Hehenberger and Steven Reid should connect since he is the very type of person she is aiming to empower and he is working on an insulin solution.  Karin wants to meet with policy and government types. Okey Enyia (3rd edition, page 26) could be a good fit for that conversation as he works at the federal government level in public health and is also a private consultant.  Although he’s not a member of the Frontrunners League, Karin might want to chat with Daniel Weinstein. Daniel founded Oshi App which he says is “the world’s most used digital health solution for people with GI disorders.”  We are happy to make the intro.

Dave DeMarco wanted to meet people thriving with diabetes.  I think Steven and Karin would both be a fit.  See their linked names just above.

Scott Kahan and Okey Enyia (3rd edition, page 26) would have a good conversation as they both have interests in public health policy.  Scott and Tracey Brown might want to connect, as well. The ADA would want to know Scott and have access to his expertise.

Michael Fang could literally connect with any innovator in the health tech, diabetes, digital health space. His data model and expertise at getting payer attention is critical to moving projects forward.  We believe his work would interest investor-advisor types, like Jack Lord.  If his precision medicine piece (and/or his health plan partners) could benefit from an AI conversational chatbot, he should get Mei Chen to introduce her chatbot, “Nurse Gordon.”  Check out her video on the link provided with her name.  There’s a demo included.  

Kimberley Hanson of Diabetes Canada and Mei Chen (also of Canada) should connect.  Mei is a developer of a unique conversational chatbot and companion health search engine.  Her Nurse Gordon chatbot can converse with patients about their diabetic concerns as if they are speaking with a human.  Her work is the first of its kind and someone we would think Diabetes Canada would like to know. Check out her demo on the page with her update.

Brian Bloomquist of Eli Lilly (External Innovations) mentioned this: “breakthrough glucose-sensing insulins which could allow the aggressive pursuit of glucose control without an increased risk of hypoglycemia and weight gain” in his quote on the Stakeholder page.  We think he and Alborz Mahdavi should connect given his work with glucose-responsive insulin.

This isn’t all, but it’s a start.  We hope this gives you some ideas on your own networking in this space.  We welcome inquiry into our business development work by emailing Annie Moon