It’s not surprising that the diabetes space is fertile ground for innovation. The Journal of the American Medical Association just announced that 50% of adults in the US have diabetes or pre-diabetes. And, when it comes to monitoring diabetes, it’s still a painful (literally) experience. Most people still perform the daily chore of manually drawing blood samples by pricking a finger with a lancing device and using test strips to measure the results.

This week, Sanofi and Alphabet Life Sciences (Google) announced a partnership to develop new ways to monitor and treat diabetes. This marks the third major alliance for Alphabet (Google) with pharmaceutical brands and device makers in the field of diabetes monitoring.

First came the 2014 Novartis (Alcon)/Google partnership for a glucose-sensing contact lens, which was followed by the more recent Dexcom/Google partnership for a bandage-thin continuous glucose monitor.

And, now, Sanofi/Alphabet Life Sciences is working on “small, connected medical devices to continuously collect diabetes-related data, as well as software that learns from the information to find new treatments.” While it’s not entirely clear how these devices will work or how they will collect data, they are reported to be focused on “health ‘indicators,’ which include measuring blood-glucose and hemoglobin A1c levels, patient-reported information, medication regimens and sensor devices.”

As pharmaceutical brands continue to work to improve patient (and physician) experience, partnerships that take technologies from R&D to market are exciting to watch. They have the potential to truly change the way we manage our health.

For more on our Innovation from Insiders Trend, check out Health Trends #1.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation and Insights for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for building and scaling a global team of healthcare experts who together help life science leaders better understand the complex lives, influences and expectations of their customers. Specifically, they uncover actionable insights that fuel empathy and creativity; lead co-creation events that let marketers learn from peers, trends, and new possibilities; and help clients identify the most valuable and useful new customer experiences to create.

Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for nearly 20 years.She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she held several leadership roles at our largest agency, GSW.  There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business.

Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes.

A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. This year, she led over 250 experts to experts to focus on the most important changes in the commercial, consumer, marketing, digital and healthcare landscapes. (See reports at

Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice and Top 10 Innovation Catalysts of 2017 by MM&M, Leigh also was recognized  as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.