Country for PR: United Kingdom
Contributor: PR Newswire Europe
Saturday, June 23 2018 - 00:00
Whisk's AI-Powered Culinary Coach Named as Winner of Ascensia Diabetes Challenge
BASEL, Switzerland and ORLANDO, Florida, June 23, 2018, /PRNewswire-AsiaNet/--

    Today, at the American Diabetes Association's 78th Scientific Sessions in 
Orlando, Florida, Ascensia Diabetes Care has revealed that UK-based Whisk have 
been selected as the winner of the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge, a global 
innovation competition that set out to find digital solutions to support type 2 
diabetes management.

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    Whisk's winning innovation is a Culinary Coach that uses artificial 
intelligence (AI) to provide personalized food recommendations based on flavor 
preferences and food avoidance, that will be expanded to use blood glucose data 
for people with diabetes. Later today, Whisk will be presenting their winning 
solution to the diabetes community for the first time at the 2018 DiabetesMine 
D-Data Exchange Event in Orlando.

    The Whisk platform is an AI-powered nutrition platform that currently 
enables users to browse recipes based on factors including their personal taste 
preferences, time constraints, budgets, weather and dietary restrictions or 
allergies. Once a user adds a recipe to their meal plan, it can be 
automatically added to an online shopping cart at some of the world's leading 
grocery retailers, seamlessly allowing them to buy ingredients.

    As winner of the challenge, Whisk plan to create a personalized food 
experience for people with type 2 diabetes that will learn from their blood 
glucose readings and make food recommendations that are more tailored to their 
own diabetes. Using readings from Ascensia's blood glucose monitoring systems, 
the AI will learn how the user's blood glucose readings react to specific foods 
and recipes, allowing them to build a tailored meal plan for their diabetes 
that can help to keep their blood glucose in range. The Culinary Coach for 
diabetes will start by providing personalized recipe recommendations, and will 
in the future develop to suggest convenience foods and restaurant options.

    Michael Kloss, CEO and President of Ascensia Diabetes Care, said: 
"Nutrition and food selection is a huge component of type 2 diabetes 
management. The panel of judges and I were hugely impressed by Whisk's current 
tool and how they plan to develop it for people with type 2 diabetes. By 
helping people with type 2 diabetes find personalized and tailored meal 
recommendations that are based on their own blood glucose data and food 
preferences, we have the potential to empower millions of people with type 2 
diabetes to make healthier food choices that they will enjoy."  

    Whisk's solution was selected from 116 entries that were submitted to the 
challenge from 25 countries and they will receive a cash prize of €100,000 to 
build and pilot this exciting new service for people with type 2 diabetes, 
working closely with Ascensia Diabetes Care to bring it to patients.

    Whisk's core technology uses extensive food ontology known as the Food 
Genome™, that incorporates and understands macro and micro-nutritional data, 
flavor compounds, store availability, price and promotions. Whisk is currently 
available in the US, UK and Australia, powering half a million shopping lists 
every month at grocery retailers including Walmart, Tesco and Amazon Fresh.  

    Nick Holzherr, Whisk Founder and CEO, said: "We are absolutely delighted to 
have been chosen as the winner of the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge. Type 2 
diabetes has reached epidemic levels in recent years, and at Whisk we are 
excited to be building a solution that we feel can help support these patients 
to make lasting lifestyle changes. We hope that through our work with Ascensia 
Diabetes Care, we can help to change the way this condition is managed."

    The competition also awarded two runners-up prizes. US-based Qstream were 
awarded a runner-up prize for their mobile learning platform that combines a 
concept known as spaced education with engaging game mechanics. This platform 
is designed to encourage meaningful behavior change and has been proven in a 
recent randomized trial to generate sustained and meaningful reductions in 
HbA1c in people with diabetes.[1] xBird, a Germany-based medical artificial 
intelligence software company was also named as a runner-up. Their software 
analyzes micro-movements, collected by smartphones and wearables, and cross 
references them with historical blood glucose data, with the aim of being able 
to predict and detect potential hypo- and hyperglycemic events. Both runners-up 
will receive a cash prize of €30,000 to further develop their solutions.

    Walk With Path were also recognized for their highly innovative active 
insole for people with peripheral neuropathy due to diabetes. Their insole 
provides vibrational feedback during walking that can be tracked via an app and 
is designed to help people achieve better balance, thereby reducing the risk of 
falls. Ascensia will support Walk with Path to conduct a proof of concept study 
in patients with diabetes.

    Michael added, "We are very excited to partner with such high quality 
digital solutions that could help revolutionize type 2 diabetes management. 
These winning solutions highlight the exciting times we are now entering in the 
world of digital health and how technological advances and digital capabilities 
can play a massive part in meeting an urgent area of unmet need."

    For further information on the Ascensia Diabetes Challenge, the judges and 
judging criteria, please visit:


1.  Kerfoot BP et al. Diabetes Care (2017) 40:1218-1225

For more information, please contact:
Joseph Delahunty, VP, Global Head of Communications
Ascensia Diabetes Care

Source:  Ascensia Diabetes Care