Interview with Marston Alfred of SugarStats
We had the opportunity to speak with Marston Alfred, the founder of SugarStats.com. To say the least, they have some extremely exciting endeavors going on and we were thrilled to have the opportunity to speak with Mr. Alfred and learn more about SugarStats.
TechAddress: So, tell me a bit about your company, what it does and what’s your value proposition?
SugarStats: SugarStats.com is a new web-based startup company offering a new and innovative service to the greater Diabetic community. Basically the goal of SugarStats.com is to makes it simple to easily manage, monitor and share your blood sugar glucose levels online so that you can better control your diabetes anywhere. A user’s information is securely stored in a central location which can be access almost anywhere with a modern web browser or mobile device.
TechAddress: What makes your company stand apart from your competitors?
SugarStats: This may sound a bit funny, but from our research we haven’t been able to find any competitors!! I don’t want to speak too soon, but we haven’t found anything out there that does what we do and is strictly web based. Many of the other services we could consider as competition really are geared toward stand-alone software installations on desktop computers or aimed towards palm top or pocketpc devices. This is one of the main reasons for creating SugarStats, because we want to get away from the overly complex, stand-alone desktop applications and provide a service that is flexible and mobile just like more and more people today adopt more flexible and mobile lifestyles.
TechAddress: What are some of the main features?
SugarStats: The rundown of our core feature set:
* Blood sugar, medication, food intake and physical activity input and tracking
* Visual graphs and trend analysis aggregated from statistics
* A clean, usable Ajax interface. Clear, time-based views of recent activity.
* Personalize medication, food and activity lists
* Easily printable statistic information and graphs
* A mobile interface for statistic input
* Statistic and graph sharing via Email, Print
* Our TrustedView system which allows you to specify logins for trusted individuals ( i.e Friends, Family or Health Care Professionals) who can then login and have a read-only view of everything you see.
* Data export
We also have a few more features up our sleeve ;-). Though we are really focused on launching so they may not be included initially.
SugarStats: Anyone with Diabetes (any type) and that wants an easy interface to track their progress and share that information. We also see great potential with doctors, clinics and diabetes/health specialists who want to utilize this service with their patients. Right now we’re focusing on the U.S as the latest study by the National Institutes of Health and CDC says one in every three (1/3) Americans are Diabetic or are on their way to becoming Diabetic due to their lifestyle choices and poor eating habits. That is around 70 million people in the U.S alone! But we have plans to quickly make it a worldwide service and localized for geographic areas once we launch and are doing well in the U.S.
TechAddress: Any new things in particular that you’re working on right now?
SugarStats: Well as of right now, its all new! We’re focusing really hard on the core features we want to offer in the initial release. Features such as a clean, polished and usable interface along with Ajaxified features to fulfill a more responsive and rich application.
TechAddress: Where do you see your company heading in the future?
SugarStats: We’re really hoping to build a stable and valuable service here. I myself am a 17+ year Type 1 Insulin dependant Diabetic so I can personally vouch for its value to me. From all the great feedback from others who have seen the system there is no doubt that there will be interest from those who want an easier and better way to manage their Diabetes. As for right now we can’t in full certainty predict the future but we would be quite happy to continue growing and with great feedback iterate over the application itself to make it better.
TechAddress: Any negative feedback or criticism regarding technology and services?
SugarStats: So far all the feedback has been very good and positive. I’m always trying to pitch the idea to strangers and even people without Diabetes to get their feedback and thoughts about it. Everyone seems to agree on the scale of this huge problem called Diabetes we’re trying to help people manage and are very supportive.
TechAddress: So what would you say is the guiding principle behind your company?
SugarStats: I would say the guiding principle is to keep our eyes on the business goal of creating a great service that people will find value in. Though we have our thoughts on what the service should or will be we still want to take into account the great feedback of our users to make the service better without over-complicating the interface, packing in too many features or distracting from our main objectives.
TechAddress: What is the mission of your company and what are you bringing to the market that is innovative?
SugarStats: As stated above our mission is really just to create a great service and solid business. Not just a great service but a service that will be of benefit to the Diabetic community at large. We’re bringing a service out to market that is unique yet effective. We want to give people the tools and information needed to take control of their life and make the necessary changes in their lifestyle to better their health. You can’t do that without tracking this kind of information.
TechAddress: Where are you in terms of funding and your lifecycle?
SugarStats: We are currently self funded but are also in the process of securing federal grant funding. We’ve been in development for the past 5 months or so and have about 75-80% of the core features along with the user interface complete.
TechAddress: If your technology or service is not formally launched yet, when’s the launch date?
SugarStats: We hope to begin a more extensive private beta testing phase in 1-2 months. Will run the testing phases for another month or so and use the valuable feedback to polish off the system, make sure its stable/scalable and finalize any last minute features. We’re aiming to have a public launch within 3-4 months from now. We will be announcing news and progress updates via our mailing list and blog which can both be reached at www.sugarstats.com.