Three digital tech firms receive €20k for healthcare treatments

Sandoz, a Novartis division, has announced the winners of the 2019 Sandoz Healthcare Access Challenge (HACk).

Sandoz HACk invites entrepreneurs and innovators in the field of digital technology to submit ideas with the potential to complement, or positively disrupt, established approaches to driving access to healthcare.

Speaking at the ‘Startup of the Year’ event at the South by Southwest (SXSW) congress in Austin, Carol Lynch, Sandoz president said: “Sandoz sees the future of healthcare as being driven by two closely related factors: the digital revolution and the need for strong collaboration between healthcare companies and external partners. Three teams pitched innovative ideas to tackle a diverse range of healthcare access issues. As judges, we felt passionate about all three ideas and the people behind them, and so we are excited to offer support and seed funding to all teams.”

The three winners, chosen from over 400 ideas across 80 countries, who will now receive €20,000 each in funding to bring their ideas to life as well as ongoing support from Sandoz experts, are:

· US-based Regulora, led by Tim Rudolphi, which 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, which is developing a smart social network with a matchmaker tool to connect patients across the world who suffer from rare and undiagnosed diseases

· Ugandan-based Mobile Clinic, led by Andrew Dbembe, which seeks to use an app and a mobile van clinic to provide door-to-door maternal healthcare services in Uganda. The idea can enable patients to make emergency appointments via a toll-free number, which will be directly linked to the mobile van clinic

Andre Heeg, global head of digital at Sandoz, added: “We believe Sandoz HACk is a key step towards realising this vision, and we look forward greatly to working with all three winners to help bring their ideas to fruition. And there is no better place to celebrate the winner than SXSW: the global meeting point for innovative digital thinkers.”

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