Lebanese virtual assistant to help diabetics has big plans to go global

The team behind the Lebanese smartphone app Spike for diabetics claim their GITEX Future Stars prize. (Supplied)
Updated 18 October 2018
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Lebanese virtual assistant to help diabetics has big plans to go global

  • The Spike virtual assistant monitors a patient’s daily behavior, giving timely reminders and tips about insulin and food
  • Spike won the GITEX Future Stars competition on the final day of the annual technology gathering in Dubai

LONDON: A Lebanese startup has bagged a $100,000 prize for inventing a smartphone app to help diabetics to manage blood sugar levels.
The “Spike” virtual assistant monitors a patient’s daily behavior, giving timely reminders and tips about insulin and food.
It won the GITEX Future Stars competition on the final day of the annual technology gathering in Dubai this week which saw 24 startups from around the world battle it out for the top prize.
The app can store the patient’s data for further analysis.
Ziad Alame, the 25-year-old founder of Spike, said: “I was very stressed before my pitch as the competition was tough, but I am so happy I made it as the winner.
“With the prize money we will invest heavily in advertising, growing the business, making it more solid. We’ll also look at partnerships. Our plan is to go global.”
In the Middle East and North Africa in 2017 38.7 million 20 to 79-year-olds were living with diabetes, according to the International Diabetes Federation. Close to half — 49.1 percent — of these cases were undiagnosed.
Other category winners at the tech show included “Labyah” from Saudi Arabia, which won the best social impact startup award.
It aims to make therapy easier by connecting individuals with psychologists via an app that allows callers to remain anonymous.
The best youth startup award was won by Oliv from the UAE, an intern recruitment portal that helps university students and recent graduates in the UAE find internships, part-time jobs and graduate jobs.


Samsung delays Galaxy Fold media events in China

Updated 22 April 2019
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Samsung delays Galaxy Fold media events in China

  • Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s launch on April 26 in the US, Samsung has instead received brickbats
  • The hashtag #foldgate trended on Twitter because of the smartphone issues

SEOUL: Smartphone maker Samsung postponed media events for its Galaxy Fold planned for this week in Hong Kong and Shanghai, a company official said, days after reviewers of the foldable handset reported defective samples.
The official did not elaborate on reasons or rescheduling.
Instead of plaudits ahead of the phone’s launch on April 26 in the United States, the South Korean conglomerate has been blighted by technology journalists reporting breaks, bulges and blinking screens after using their samples for as little as a day.
Samsung said it received “a few” reports of damage to the displays of samples of the $1,980 handset, raising the specter of the combustible Galaxy Note 7 three years ago which the firm ultimately pulled from shelves at massive cost.
The reviewers’ reports of broken screens went viral online and prompted the creation of hashtag #foldgate on Twitter.
Samsung has hailed the folding design as the future in a field that has seen few surprises since Apple’s iPhone in 2007. Chinese rival Huawei Technologies has also announced a folding handset, the Mate X.
The Samsung official on Monday said it had no change to its previously announced release date in the United States.
It plans to begin South Korean and European sales in May, and Chinese sales from an undisclosed date.