Sandoz encourages digital health innovation in second competition

Sandoz has announced a second competition inviting entrepreneurs and innovators in digital health to submit ideas that could complement or even disrupt established approaches to access to healthcare.

The competition, known as the Sandoz Healthcare Access Challenge (HACk) opened this week and entries close on November 30.

Novartis’ generics and biosimilars division said universal access to health is still the largest unmet medical need.

Despite some success, access varies hugely across geographies and  communities, and the competition seeks to identify and understand the needs of different communitiues.

Digital innovation promises cost-effective and practical solutions with the power to transform access.

Last year’s HACk focused on mobile health, and winners of last year’s HACk have pilot programmes up and running in Ghana, the Maldives and the Phillipines.

GoPharma, a team in Ghana is testing a medical information system for pharmacists based around WhatsApp.

In the Maldives, the Blood Drive blood donor app is up and running and is providing clinics treating thalassemia with a register of blood donors.

And in the Philippines the Sali app is giving CPR training in schools, and has a goal of 500,000 downloads.

This year’s theme is “Leveraging Digital Technologies to Solve Healthcare Access Challenges.”

The aim is to encourage ideas to improve patient access or help healthcare providers reach more people.

Three shortlisted entrants, to be announced in January 2019, will receive support from Sandoz experts to develop their ideas and transform potential into real impact.

The finalists will travel to the world’s leading forward-focused gathering of creative minds, South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, in March next year, to explore, network and discover the latest innovative trends.

Following in-person selection, one winner will be chosen and awarded seed funding and support from Sandoz, to help bring their idea to life.

Richard Francis CEO of Novartis' Sandoz

Richard Francis

Richard Francis, division head and CEO of Sandoz, said: “Building on the inaugural Sandoz HACk, this year we are broadening the competition to anyone, anywhere, with an idea that uses digital technology to help address a local healthcare access challenge. By collaborating, we hope to create ambitious-yet-practical digital solutions that, with scale, could have a significant impact on people’s lives.”

For more details on how to enter the competition and terms and conditions, see here

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