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In it for the ‘Long run’: John Wilcox and Diatech Diabetes, Inc.

Posted by on Friday, November 3, 2023 in News.

John Wilcox is the founder and CEO of Diatech Diabetes, Inc. a medical technology startup led by people impacted by diabetes whose mission is to develop innovative solutions that address the issues people experience when using diabetes care technology. Diatech is pursuing an innovative set of solutions as one of four medical device start-ups in the Wond’ry’s Founder Program at the Launch incubator.

Diatech was founded by innovators with a personal connection to diabetes. John Wilcox, Diatech’s CEO, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on his ninth birthday and worked within a diabetes research lab in college, where he met Diatech’s fellow co-founders. Luis Ernesto Blanco, Diatech’s CTO, saw the problem John was having with insulin pump infusion failures and was inspired to help him develop a solution due to his own mother, stepfather, and grandmother having diabetes themselves. The two went on to recruit the rest of the Diatech team, bringing on fellow innovators and advisors who also shared a passion for diabetes care. Some key advisors of Diatech include Dr. Rayhan Lal, a leading insulin pump researcher at Stanford University and a person with Type 1 diabetes, and John Brooks III, founder of Insulet and father of a son with Type 1 diabetes. Having established collaborations with international diabetes research and advocacy institutions, the Diatech team is working hard to improve the safety and efficacy of insulin infusion for all people with diabetes.

“Diet, exercise, diligence, and commitment are required for insulin-dependent patients to ensure optimal health outcomes. Having completed 3 Chicago Marathons myself, I appreciate the commitment John has demonstrated running his company and running 26.2 miles while ‘visibly’ supporting the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation,” said Stryker Warren Jr., Associate Director, Venture Development, the Wond’ry.


97% of pump patients experience insulin infusion failure that results from tubing occlusions, leaks from the infusion site, improper insertion, and detachment from the body. These problems can lead to life-threatening hyperglycemia, hospitalization, and death. To address this problem, Diatech is developing SMARTFUSION™, a software system for insulin pump systems that monitors insulin delivery for accuracy, infusion set failure, and provides data for improving infusion habits. SMARTFUSION™ is integrated into the insulin pump’s existing software interface, where its proprietary algorithm uses data from the insulin pump, continuous glucose monitor, and patient to monitor the success of daily insulin dosages. SMARTFUSION™ allows insulin pump users to know the exact time when their disposable infusion set needs to be changed and when infusion accuracy is lost to avoid potentially life-threatening blood glucose levels. For healthcare providers, SMARTFUSION™ collects data related to infusion site health and characterizes malfunctions for each patient. This data could be uploaded through diabetes management platforms during check-ups and assist providers with ensuring their patients are accurately using insulin pump technology.

“I have great confidence in John and the team’s ability to revolutionize insulin pump technology. Their innovative approach and unwavering dedication give me great hope for the future of diabetes management,” said Wond’ry Master Mentor and Pendant Biosciences founder & CEO Shawn Glinter.

Diatech has been awarded a patent for SMARTFUSION™; successfully completed preclinical testing of SMARTFUSION™ with their most recent study demonstrating a ~97% failure detection accuracy with major on-market insulin pumps; published key study with Stanford University on infusion set failure occurrence in adults and children with diabetes who use insulin pumps; awarded a $300,000 Phase I SBIR Grant (NIH); awarded a Launch TN Portfolio Company $100,000 SBIR Matching Grant; $120,000 in business awards and competitions; and, participated in Jumpstart Foundry, Zeroto510 Medical Device Accelerator, and West Coast CTIP Medical Device Accelerator.


And, John’s official time for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon was 03:28:08!

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