Sandoz outlines plans for next Healthcare Access Challenge (HACk), to support local digital innovation

  • Sandoz White Paper outlines importance of digital solutions to specific local healthcare problems, as part of approach to increasing access to healthcare
  • Publication, which coincides with World Health Day 2018, outlines plans for expanded competition to "reimagine access to healthcare"
  • Upcoming HACk will draw strongly on learnings of past year; publication summarizes progress to date on three winning 2017 projects

Holzkirchen, April 7, 2018 - Sandoz today announces its continued commitment to improving access to healthcare, with the launch of a new White Paper examining the key role played by digital solutions to specific local healthcare problems.

The White Paper ("Sandoz Healthcare Access Challenge (HACk): Improving access to healthcare through locally targeted digital innovation") outlines the key role of digital innovation at a local level as part of a comprehensive approach to increasing global access to healthcare.

The publication, which coincides with , also marks the first anniversary of the inaugural Sandoz HACk in March 2017: a global competition inviting young people worldwide to take digitally inspired approaches to "reimagine access to healthcare".

Introducing the main theme, Martin Kelly, co-founder and CEO of HealthXL, says: "Think about the amount of information and connectivity we now have: if we solve any of these problems, it will be by helping people help themselves, both in the developed and developing world."

Richard Francis, Sandoz CEO, adds: "The very nature of digital solutions, with their emphasis on networking and cross-border communications, means that not only are patients empowered to learn about and manage their own health, but that effective solutions are more easily scaled from one country to another."

The paper summarizes the "lessons learned" to date from the three winning projects in 2017, particularly the need to provide more direct support earlier in the process and to build a "collaboration pathway" that helps innovators rapidly take their ideas from early concepts to minimal viable products, ready for launch.

It also outlines how these will help guide the agenda for the upcoming HACk. The competition is due to launch in June, with selection and judging at a date and venue to be confirmed.

The winning 2017 ideas all proposed novel ways to use mobile technologies to connect patients with caregivers and essential medicines, addressing access issues specific to their country but with the potential to apply solutions elsewhere. The upcoming competition will encourage a broader approach to digital solutions, including but also going beyond mobile technologies.

Sandoz originally launched the HACk as a pilot project, based on its belief that - despite all the advances in modern medicine - universal access to healthcare remains the single largest unmet medical need for people around the world. The goal of the upcoming HACk will be to turn a successful pilot into a sustainable global program to support and promote innovative digital approaches to " making access happen ".

Roberto Ascione, CEO of Healthware International and expert advisor to the 2017 competition, says: "I encourage Sandoz to continue in this direction and get its businesses even more directly involved in these efforts, with the goal of bringing real new innovative solutions to market."

About the Sandoz HACk 2017 winning projects

  • GoPharma is a smartphone-based telepharmacy solution developed by Elvin Blankson, Priscilla Adu-Darko and Lebene Soga that bridges the skills gap by linking medical counter assistants in rural facilities or clinics with trained urban pharmacists who can supervise operations in real time at different locations. The GoPharma concept is now active and live at 16 dispensing points across Ghana. Functionality is being piloted via WhatsApp while the app development is scoped out.
  • Blood Drive is a social platform to encourage blood donations for thalassemia patients. The mobile health app helps donors build a blood donation history and easily view their donation schedule. Since winning the Challenge, Mohamed Shuraih has been working on a minimum viable product and fleshing out core functionality. He is in discussions with the Maldives Thalassemia Center about partnering on the Blood Drive solution.
  • Sali is an interactive mobile app that teaches, motivates and guides non-professionals to administer cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) effectively, using auditory and visual prompts. Most recently, Joel Alejandro and Kyla Relucio carried out market research on the Sali app and developed a prototype. They are introducing the technology to partner schools and communities, mainly to test the app’s acceptability and usability. Joel and Kyla are also developing a social-media marketing plan to start a Sali (Lifesaver) community online.

About Sandoz
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.

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