Following a six month vigorous process, the Sandoz Healthcare Access Challenge has awarded each of the three winning teams €20,000 seed funding and on-going mentorship to help make their idea a reality.
Sandoz HACk was launched in September 2016 as a global competition aimed at generating innovative ideas and solutions to help tackle some of the world’s most pressing healthcare access problems. The competition was open to people between the ages of 18 and 35 who had creative ideas of how to use mHealth to connect people to better health.
Over the first two months Sandoz HACk received over 150 ideas from over 30 countries. From these entrees six finalists were chosen – including South African pharmacist, Johannes Mangane, for his idea PillDrop – who were then invited to London in March 2017 to present their ideas to a panel of judges at WIRED Health 2017.
The final three winners were Blood Drive – Mohammed Shuraih and Yameen Rasheed from the Maldives; SALI – Joel Alejandro and Andrea Relucio from the Philippines; and GoPharma – Lebene Sogo and Priscilla Adu-Darko from Ghana.
Announcing the winners, Sandoz CEO and Division Head, Richard Francis, said: “Despite all the advances in modern medicine, universal access to healthcare is still arguably the single largest unmet medical need for people around the world.”
“We believe that the biggest changes often come from amazing, small ideas – and that the only thing standing between a good idea and a great idea is often just a bit of support at the right time. I see the future of medicine being driven by strong collaboration between healthcare companies and external partners. The Sandoz HACk is one way that we are trying to make this vision a reality,” continued Francis.
Blood Drive is envisioned as a social mHealth platform that will encourage Maldivians to donate blood.
According to Mohammed Shuraih, almost one in five Maldivians is a thalassemia carrier, a condition that causes the body to produce abnormal haemoglobin red blood cells, which in turn causes anaemia. As a result there is a high demand for blood donors in the country.
The Blood Drive app will help donors maintain blood donation history; send out notifications and SMS alerts for donor opportunities or emergency situations; find nearby donation centres; and set goals and share updates via social media.
What makes it more than a user focused app is that, according to Shuraih, the app will maintain a secure, up-to-date donor database that would be made accessible to medical institutions and local blood banks, with open interfaces to integrate with existing eHealth systems.
SALI is envisioned as an interactive mHealth app that will provide CPR education and training so users will be able to effectively administer CPR anywhere, anytime.
According to Joel Alejandro, CPR training is inaccessible to most Filipinos because there aren’t enough training centres to cater for the country’s population of over 100 million people. This coupled with no functioning national medical hotline has led to poor emergency response times to deal with patients suffering sudden cardiac arrest.
The SALI app will be able to teach, motivate and guide anyone in administering CPR effectively while providing auxiliary support by connecting the user to a network of professionals who will provide needed help.
GoPharma is envisioned as a smartphone based tele-pharmacy mHealth app that will allow a pharmacist to oversee and supervise operations at the pharmacy 24 hours a day.
According to GoPharma team, the app is a solution to the pharmacist deficient in Ghana which is especially prevalent in rural settings. This has resulted in unequal access to quality services; misdiagnosis and treatment of ailments; avoidable visits to the hospital; overburdened GP services; misinformation and medication errors.
GoPharma will enable virtual face-to-face patient consultations; prescriptions reviews; medication orders; clinical interventions; and consultation with other onsite medical personnel in medical centres.
In addition, GoPharma will include functionality to simplify stock management and re-ordering, as well as other business analytics tools for pharmacies.