Loyola University Chicago

Quinlan School of Business

Managing disease—from your smartphone

Managing disease—from your smartphone

What inspires a great business idea? For many entrepreneurs, it starts with wanting to make life a little easier.

That was the case for Brian Bowden (BBA ’11) and James Fleischmann (BBA ’11), who have come up with a smartphone app that helps diabetics monitor their blood glucose levels and administer insulin. 

A diabetic himself, Bowden knows the awkwardness of having to sneak off to give himself an insulin shot. Diabetics who rely on insulin pumps (rather than injections) face a similar quandary: remove their pumps now and administer higher doses of insulin, or wait—sometimes longer than recommended—until they’re in private? 

“We’re trying to eliminate that type of dilemma,” says Bowden, who sparked the idea with Fleischmann during a capstone course at Quinlan. 

Once fully developed, the app, dubbed DAFFLE (Diabetes Application for Furthering Life Expectancy), will be downloadable to any smartphone, which will then communicate with a diabetic’s glucose insulin pump to monitor and dose insulin levels in real time.

Targeting a potential market of 2.5 million insulin-pump users in the US, the app acts as an interface for insulin-pump users and is the first of many disease-management concepts that Bowden and Fleischmann hope to develop through Health Application Technologies Inc. (HAppTech), the company they incorporated in November 2011.

Now the two are working on a prototype (the details of which are being closely guarded) to show to potential investors. The next step will be marketing the software to insulin-pump manufacturers, which Fleischmann says is the fastest way to get it into the hands of consumers.

As the plan moves forward, the two entrepreneurs say they can see how everything they learned at Quinlan—accounting, finance, marketing, management, economics—is coming together. 

“We don’t have money for consultants,” Bowden says. “We couldn’t have gotten where we are without the help of everyone at Loyola.”

The main source of that support, Clinical Professor Leonard Gingerella, couldn’t be prouder. 

“It’s the goal of the Quinlan entrepreneurship program to prepare students to enter the business world either as a new business owner or as a corporate employee,” Gingerella says. “Entrepreneurial thinking is what every business is looking for today. Innovation, problem-solving, and the insight of how business really works are more valuable than a single academic discipline.”