Open Innovation Boost for Medication Adherence

Published Jan-14-18

Breakthrough:
An innovative approach to improve patient adherence to glaucoma medication.

Company:
National University of Singapore, Singapore

The Story:

Open Innovation Boost for Medication Adherence Open innovation is fueling an exciting phase of creativity and ingenuity in the health and medical care sectors involving individuals and organizations from multiple disciplines all over the world.

A case in point is Grants4Apps Singapore, an open innovation challenge for innovative digital health technologies in Singapore and across the Asia Pacific region. Organizers sought ideas and solutions for the ageing crisis that Asia is facing.

As people are living longer there is expected to be a higher incidence of stroke, eye diseases and diabetes among other illnesses. While there are medications and treatments being developed to manage these conditions, they only work if people take them. It’s this problem of medication adherence that has to be tackled with novel processes, software, hardware and technologies.

"According to the UN a quarter of Asia’s population will be aged 60 and above by 2050," commented Claus Zieler, Senior Vice President & Head of Commercial Operations, Bayer Pharmaceuticals Division Asia/Pacific. "That will inevitably lead to an increase in age-related conditions such as cancer and chronic heart diseases. That makes driving scientific innovation more important than ever. We need to develop new and better medicines to address the needs of the ageing population; to reduce hospitalization, improve health and well-being and increase the independence of seniors.

“The best way to achieve that is through a multi-stakeholder approach which drives partnership across the wider community to address these public health challenges."

Healthy Response

The open innovation contest drew a response from more than 80 teams and these were whittled down to five semi-finalists who were all mentored by industry, academic and medical experts to develop their prototypes. From this pool, three winners were chosen and these teams received prize money and a longer term mentorship arrangement.

The three winning ideas were:

EyeDEA, Singapore: a three-in-one solution to improve patient adherence to glaucoma medication. Glaucoma patients typically have complex medication regimes that consist of different types of eye drops that have to be taken at different times of the day. The winning concept comprises a mobile app, an intelligent portable box to store eye drops and a personalized visual medication prescription card.

"Our innovation will shed valuable insights on our patients’ adherence trends and preference to their eye drops so that individualization of therapy is possible," said Tey Min Li, co-founder of EyeDEA.

Glycoleap by Holmusk, Singapore: this app helps diabetes patients by monitoring their food habits, glucose readings, weight, activity levels and medication adherence on a daily basis. This will allow dieticians to see whether a person is taking their medications when they should. The app has a number of useful functions including one where patients can send a photograph of their meal and a brief description and Glycoleap experts will assess it and provide feedback and advice in real time.

PillPocket, Thailand: this integrated solution for patients with high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes comprises a chatbot linked to pharmacy services such as medication refills and follow-up care.

Future Open Innovation Challenges

Such was the success of this challenge that organizers Bayer and NUS (National University of Singapore) Enterprise said they are motivated to host future contests to capitalize on a diverse range of innovation expertise.

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grants4appssingapore.jpg
The finalist teams of the Bayer and NUS Enterprise’s Grants4Apps Singapore Open Innovation Challenge.jpg
Dr Kemal Malik, Member of the Board of Management, Bayer AG, with EyeDEA, winning team from Singapore.jpg