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A student-designed mobile app that won first place in the SAP University App Rumble competition uses SAP HANA to help diabetes sufferers better manage their condition.

To the 347 million people worldwide living with diabetes, managing the disease may not seem like a big data problem. But people with this chronic condition need to constantly monitor their glucose levels with precise insulin readings. In the United States alone, one million people draw blood for testing four to five times a day, producing over 1.8 billion records every year.

When San Francisco State University students Daniel Sanchez and Gary Longoria heard about the SAP University App Rumble competition, they saw an opportunity to tackle the challenge in a big way and bring relief to millions using SAP technology. Their prototype mobile app, called Advanced Diabetes Management, won first place in the contest, as announced at SAP’s SAPPHIRE NOW customer event in Orlando, Florida.

First-hand experience inspires solution with SAP HANA

Diabetes is one of the most challenging health problems in the 21st Century. According to the World Health Organization, it will be the 7th leading cause of death by 2030. The disease hits close to home for Longoria, who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for most of his life.

"Our professor told us about the SAP contest and suggested we do something in health care. For me, diabetes is a very personal issue because I know what it’s like to keep track of insulin levels and manage your glucose with the right doses of insulin as you have each meal,” explains Longoria.

The Advanced Diabetes Management app was chosen from almost 50 entries from 400 undergraduate and graduate students in universities across the United States. Students had to submit ideas for mobile apps that incorporated the SAP Mobile Platform and SAP HANA.

Using the principles of design thinking, each team was tasked to understand the problem, research the topic, develop a prototype, and test the result. Sanchez and Longoria were one of three finalist teams that worked with SAP developers to create prototypes considered for the final round of the competition.