Sandoz announces results of digital innovation ‘HACk’

A digital therapeutic for irritable bowel syndrome, a developing world disease diagnosis tool, and a mobile maternity clinic in Uganda, were the three winners of Sandoz’s competition to improve access to healthcare using digital innovation.

Sandoz, the biologics and generics arm of Novartis, announced the winners of the 2019 Sandoz Healthcare Access Challenge (HACk), chosen from 400 ideas from across 80 countries.

The company has now committed to increasing support from one winner to three, following impressive pitches from all three finalists.

Winning ideas proposed innovative uses of artificial intelligence, mobile apps and digital therapeutics to address healthcare access challenges.

In the HACk, Sandoz had invited people to ‘reimagine access to healthcare’ and identify practical, scalable digital solutions to address unmet medical needs.

The winners will now receive 20,000 euros each to bring their ideas to life, as well ongoing support from Sandoz experts.

US-based Regulora, led by Tim Rudolphi, offers a prescription-only digital therapeutic for patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), based on Gut Directed Hypnotherapy – a method of treatment that has been increasingly used in recent years.

Netherlands-based SocialGenomics, led by Susanne Baars, is developing a smart social network with a matchmaker tool to connect patients across the world who suffer from rare and undiagnosed diseases.

The Ugandan-based Mobile Clinic, led by Andrew Dbembe, seeks to use an app and a mobile van clinic to provide door-to-door maternal healthcare services in Uganda.

The idea will enable patients to make emergency appointments via a toll-free number, which will be directly linked to the mobile van clinic.

After arriving in Austin, Texas, the three teams attended a four-day “accelerator” event in parallel with the South by Southwest (SXSW) digital arts congress, which began last week.

At the event they discussed and re-assessed their ideas to convert them into practical, scalable solutions with real-world impact on people’s lives.

Finalists also attended SXSW seessions before pitching their idea in person to a panel of judges, consisting of Sandoz and industry experts.

For more information on Sandoz HACk, click here.

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