Competition generated ideas from more than 400 entrants in 80 countries – three shortlisted entrants from Uganda, the US and the Netherlands
Three finalists shared innovative uses of artificial intelligence, mobile apps and digital therapeutics to address local healthcare access challenges
Finalists will participate in a four-day “accelerator event” in March, collaborating with Sandoz to further refine their ideas, immediately ahead of final judging
Holzkirchen, January 16, 2019 – Sandoz, a Novartis division, today announced the three finalists for the second Sandoz Healthcare Access Challenge (HACk).
The three shortlisted entrants are from Uganda, the US and the Netherlands, respectively. They propose novel ways of leveraging digital technology, including artificial intelligence (AI), mobile apps and digital therapeutics, to connect patients with caregivers, medicines and information and address local healthcare access challenges.
In October 2018, Sandoz HACk invited entrepreneurs and innovators in the field of digital technology to submit ideas with the potential to complement – or even positively disrupt – established approaches to driving access to healthcare. Following submission of more than 400 ideas across 80 countries, the three finalists were selected during a process that included voting by Sandoz employees and judging by regional and global Sandoz representatives.
“Despite all the advances in modern medicine, universal access to healthcare is still arguably the largest unmet medical need,” said Richard Francis, Division Head and CEO of Sandoz. “We believe a major step towards improving healthcare access globally is to identify and understand the specific needs of local communities. That’s what Sandoz HACk is all about.”
Announcing the shortlisted entrants, Francis said: “Building on the great success of the inaugural Sandoz HACk, we have been impressed both by the number of entries received this time, from developing and developed countries, and by the innovative and ambitious use of digital technology these ideas encompass. We look forward to collaborating with the three finalists to incubate and enhance their ideas before final judging.”
In March, the three finalist teams will travel to Austin, Texas (US), to participate in a four-day “accelerator event”, where they will work with Sandoz and industry experts to develop their ideas into practical, scalable solutions. The event takes place parallel to South by Southwest (SXSW), a leading global conference bringing together creative professionals to discover, learn and network across industries. Alongside the event, finalists will have a chance to attend sessions on the SXSW Health and Medtech track, which will focus on new technologies and approaches to health, medicine, and well-being.
At the end of the accelerator event, finalists will pitch their ideas to a judging panel. One winner will be announced at Startup of the Year’s annual Startup Night, at SXSW on March 10. The winner will receive seed funding, as well as ongoing support from Sandoz to help realize the full potential of their idea.
About the Sandoz HACk finalists’ projects
Regulora™ – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is a chronic and painful condition affecting approximately 10% of people worldwide. Recent clinical trials have shown that psychologically-focused treatments are an effective way to treat IBS, with over 50% of people enjoying significant relief from symptoms. Regulora™ is in development as a prescription-only digital therapeutic based on Gut Directed Hypnotherapy. The mobile app connects patients with automated digital therapy sessions from the comfort of their own home, as well as offering daily practice routines and reports that track progress.
Social Genomics – Approximately one in 15 people worldwide are affected by rare diseases, with many untreated and unstudied. Social Genomics is building an AI-based smart social network, enabling people with rare and undiagnosed diseases to connect and share stories, providing access to global real-world patient data insights about treatment options and scientific research. By using advanced matchmaking algorithms based on genomic patient data, Social Genomics aims to link the right questions to the right people and data sources that are available in the field of genomics.
The Mobile Clinic – In Uganda, access to antenatal and maternal healthcare is extremely challenging, resulting in over 25 women dying every day due to complications while giving birth in remote and rural areas. The Mobile Clinic plans to develop an app that can be used to make emergency appointments via a toll-free number and will be directly linked to a mobile van clinic offering door-to-door services in rural areas.
As a global leader in generic and biosimilar medicines, Sandoz aims to play a leading role in making access happen for people around the world. Through Sandoz HACk we will use our expertise to bring access ideas in these areas, and beyond, to life. We believe that small ideas can spark big change and that, together, we can co-create ambitious-yet-practical solutions that break down access barriers around the world.
Sandoz is a global leader in generic pharmaceuticals and biosimilars. As a division of the Novartis Group, our purpose is to discover new ways to improve and extend people’s lives. We contribute to society’s ability to support growing healthcare needs by pioneering novel approaches to help people around the world access high-quality medicine. Our portfolio of approximately 1000 molecules, covering all major therapeutic areas, accounted for 2017 sales of USD 10.1 billion. In 2017, our products reached well over 500 million patients. Sandoz is headquartered in Holzkirchen, in Germany’s Greater Munich area.