Current School of Public Health student Ms. Parisa Soraya and 2016 U-M graduate Brianna Wolin (BE, Biomedical/Medical Engineering) worked together to develop a project entitled “Find Your Ditto,” a mobile platform meant to connect people in communities who are dealing with chronic illnesses to generate mutual support and alleviate feelings of isolation and depression which are common in these populations.
[Photo: Ms. Briana Wolin pictured receiving the award (Image courtesy of Shep Doniger)]
The co-founding team was formed when Soraya was reaching out to individuals dealing with chronic disease, seeking to learn about what they perceive to be their biggest obstacles. Ms. Wolin, who lives with Type 1 diabetes herself, responded and the two began working together to create Find Your Ditto through the workshops provided by SPH’s annual entrepreneurship competition, Innovation in Action. The pair went on to win third place (a prize of $5,000) in the final showcase of the competition.
After graduating last April, Ms. Wolin submitted Find Your Ditto to the Lyfebulb-Novo Nordisk Innovation Award, which is given each year to patients of diabetes who have created projects that will advance care for the condition. Out of over 100 applicants, Wolin was one of ten selected to attend the Innovation Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. There, the ten finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of judges, which ultimately selected Ms. Wolin as the winner.
Ms. Wolin says that winning this award only further highlights the importance and need for platforms like Find Your Ditto that will help individuals managing chronic conditions to feel less alone.