Open Innovation Search for Medical App Innovations

Published May-16-16

Breakthrough:
A revolutionary app that aims to help people with speech disabilities use their voice to communicate wins a prestigious medical apps contest.

Company:
Medica, France

The Story:

Open Innovation Search for Medical App Innovations Crowdsourcing app contests are a good way for developers and innovators to get exposure for their work and for companies and organisations to solve problems and/or create new products. They can yield ideas very quickly and can be a more cost-effective way of doing research and development. Some businesses have also found them to be excellent recruiting tools when participating solvers have caught their attention.

The potential of tapping the skills and knowledge of a large crowd of people through contests is huge. The open innovation landscape is littered with many success stories from numerous industries and sectors. Crowdsourcing contests have resulted in everything from new car and potato chip designs to military vehicles and tools for astronauts.

Innovations for Doctors

For several years, the French private health group, Medica has been hosting the Medica App Competition to find apps for use in the daily routine of a doctor or in the hospital. It is open to app developers from all over the world, and each year the submissions are whittled down to ten finalists who are invited to make a live pitch at an international medical trade fair.

The 2015 Medica App Competition saw ten finalists make their live presentation to the judging panel at MEDICA 2015 in Dusseldorf, Germany. Each team was allotted three minutes for their pitch and a further two minutes for questions from the jury.

Winning Ideas

The crowdsourcing apps competition was won by Jerusalem-based Talkitt, for an app that lets people with unintelligible speech to communicate verbally. The software program uses machine learning, NLP, AI and a host of other technologies to analyse and categorize speech patterns and turn them into recognizable speech.

In second place was SmokeWatchers, a tool that monitors addiction to smoking and helps people to kick the habit through real-time support and connected devices. It comprises of a collaborative tool to kick addiction, a virtual coach and access to a community of watchers. These are people who are invited by smokers to offer real-time support and motivation during the journey toward a smoke-free lifestyle. The app is also for vapers who want to quit.

The third place winner was MobileODT for their CervDx, an app-based visual assessment system for cervical cancer screenings. The app is for use with MobileODT's cervical cancer screening devices (such as the EVA Scope), and among other things, it allows trained healthcare professionals to add and manage patient information.

Apps in the Marketplace

The contest’s overall winner won an Apple iPad and an Exhibition Visitor Pass for the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. At the time of writing this article, SmokeWatchers and CervDx are available to the public on platforms such as Google Play.

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