Wow! The Blip Pilot Study has officially begun!
Before you read any further, please watch this video. That’s Blip. It’s our first app, and UCSF is now recruiting 32 pediatric and 16 adult patients that will put it through its paces in a real life clinical and home settings.
So you’ll have to excuse us... This is kind of a big moment, and we’re a little bit excited. To recap, here’s what has transpired over the last year at Tidepool leading up to this:
We hired an incredible team that cares deeply and passionately about making things better for people with Type 1 Diabetes. 7 out of 10 of us have T1D, and 2 of us have family members with type 1. And if we may toot our own horn for a moment, we’re not bad at building great software with great UI.
- We put all of our code out in the open, taking full advantage of the passion and motivation of the open source community.
- Along with Amy Tenderich at Diabetes Mine, we co-hosted the Diabetes Mine D-Data Exchange. This spawned the wonderful #WeAreNotWaiting movement, which is doing all kinds of amazing things.
- We were the only non-profit startup in Steve Blank’s Lean Launchpad for Life Sciences class. It was pretty awesome. Steve loved us, and we learned a ton from our mentors. Here’s our final video and presentation.
- We built out the first iteration of the secure, scaleable, HIPAA-compliant Tidepool Platform, and passed our UCSF security audit with flying colors.
- We became great friends with Asante Solutions, who agreed that an open platform and great apps like ours are the way to go. (And more device makers are coming very soon!)
- We prototyped some pretty amazing things, including a “what if?” metabolism simulator, a meal memory app called Nutshell, and an Artificial Pancreas Telemetry dashboard, all showing the power of the Tidepool Platform, and all open source.
Not bad for a tiny little non-profit, open source startup, if we do say so ourselves…
So what’s up next for us?
Well, first of all - we are still working on getting our next round of funding. We were hoping things would go a bit more smoothly (and quickly) with JDRF and the Helmsley Charitable Trust, the two biggest T1D philanthropic orgs in the US. We’ve learned that the non-profit funding process is much harder (and slower) than the for-profit VC-funded world. But not to worry, some very generous donors have stepped up to help support our efforts recently, taking advantage of the Joslin Diabetes Center’s willingness to be our 501c3 Fiscal Sponsor (that means they can accept tax-deductible donations on our behalf while we await our tax-exempt status). And we will almost certainly kick off a crowd-funding effort soon. (And we won’t give up with JDRF and HCT. What we are doing is very new for them, and it simply takes time to explain it and understand it well.)
But what are we really excited about? We're going to keep going with Blip, enhancing it based on feedback from our early users and clinicians. Our goal is to submit Blip to the FDA within the next year and release an approved product soon after. We are also starting to work on our “Universal Uploader,” which will let devices talk directly to the Tidepool back-end; and on opening our platform APIs so other app developers and researchers can take advantage of them.
Once again, we are deeply appreciative of the support and encouragement we’ve received from all of you in the T1D community. Thank you all.