Dec 30, 2022
Meet the Founders - Fede Fontana
Fede is the CEO and Co-Founder of Sestante Analytics and the creator of enhance-d. After over 10 years working in academia, professional cycling, and in science & product development for a US-based start-up, he’s taken on the reins of leading a new venture with the aim of benefiting people living with diabetes around the globe.
Originally from Verona, Italy, Fede lives in Bolzano. A keen ski-mountaineer (basically climbing mountains with skis) and a proud rescue-dog parent, Fede puts this attitude and determination into every project he has been a part of.
Fede has a PhD in human physiology from the University of Verona (Italy) and the University of Calgary (Canada). Between 2012 and 2019, Fede was the Head of Performance for Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first professional cycling team with athletes all living and competing with diabetes. The experience of working with professional athletes living with type 1 diabetes on a daily basis, gave Fede a unique perspective on the challenges faced by people with diabetes around their self-management. The more he spoke to people living with diabetes, the more he realised that these were challenges faced by many people with diabetes on a daily basis, and that these challenges didn’t only apply to athletes.
“In my job with professional athletes with diabetes, I would always be looking to use digital solutions to assist in training, racing, travelling and communication with the athletes. However, a digital tool to help with glucose management was lacking, and anything the riders were using was not easy to link with their training and nutrition data.”
After 7 years with Team Novo Nordisk, Fede joined US-based start-up Supersapiens Inc. as VP of Science, working in product and digital ecosystems development, where he gained first-hand experience on how to create a digital solution that leverages continuous glucose monitoring data. During these 3 years, Fede got up close with the development of wearable tech but at the same time, was frustrated that a user friendly solution to assist in interpreting continuous glucose monitor data did not exist for the people that need it most, those living with diabetes. Convincing him that people living with diabetes need a user-friendly solution to assist in the management of their data.
People with diabetes have a unique job that they must undertake every day: they need to keep their blood sugar levels within a safe range. Every day, multiple times a day and at night, forever. For a person without diabetes, managing their body’s glucose levels is automatic and we take this for granted. However, a person with diabetes must make hundreds of additional decisions every day around their glucose management.
Many people with diabetes use more than one mobile app to manage their diabetes and these solutions often have overly complex ways of displaying data that can be demotivating and means many patients quit from the daily job of taking care of their own health. Diabetes is a constant challenge and threat to the patient’s health. However, it’s also a constant opportunity to play an active role in enhancing your own health. Digital tools can offer a perfect way to collect, organise, analyse, and access all relevant data and information. Quickly, simply, everywhere and any time.
“Glucose management is job and fear #1 in life for people living with diabetes. And we are here to help them make it also the #1 reward in life for patients.”
Fede’s goal for enhance-d
We are envisioning a future where people living with diabetes worldwide are empowered by their condition. We want to create a solution that can even inspire individuals to take a more active role in managing their health using a comprehensive and actionable digital platform. It’s essential that we achieve this in a way that does not make users feel judged or stigmatised from solutions that are too clinical or complicated to interpret. We are envisioning a future where people living with diabetes can rely on a single digital solution, our solution, to make sense of all their data, to quickly understand what they did right and how they might be able to improve, to gain clarity about their health and glucose management. This needs to be done in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming and that doesn’t make them feel sick every day.
The respect that we have for people living with diabetes due to the difficult job they must do each day and the pursuit of making diabetes more manageable is what drives us.