Open Innovation Search for Novel Healthcare Solutions

Published Mar-09-20

The development of a health platform that lets patients visualize their medical records in 3D.

by Boston Children's Hospital/Klick Health, United States

The Story:

Open Innovation Search for Novel Healthcare Solutions Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term that applies to Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, both of which are characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Although there is currently no cure for IBD, treatments aim to relieve symptoms and prevent them from occurring. However, it has been estimated that around one in five people with ulcerative colitis has severe symptoms that may not improve with medication.

To improve IBD care through digital health, American pharmaceutical giant Eli Lilly and Company launched an open innovation competition (Transforming IBD Care: Better disease monitoring, management, and care for people with inflammatory bowel disease) for individuals and teams across the United States.

Participants were tasked with coming up with novel digital solutions that leverage modern technologies such as sensors and wearables, connected drug delivery devices, mobile apps, algorithms, real-time monitoring and digital games. The focus was on innovations in care enhancements, condition management and IBD monitoring.

"Innovation is happening everywhere, and this challenge is aimed at identifying bold ideas outside our walls and collaborating on ways to potentially deliver new solutions to those who need them most," said Divakar Ramakrishnan, Ph.D., chief digital officer at Lilly.

Selecting the Open Innovation Winner

A panel of judges from within and outside Lilly pored over the submissions and selected five finalists to present their digital solutions at the company's headquarters in Indianapolis.
The overall winner of Lilly's first digital health open innovation challenge was HealthVoyager, an application developed by Boston Children's Hospital and Klick Health.

Giving Patients a Virtual Reality Tour of Their Bodies

Every year, the hospital performs thousands of colonoscopies and endoscopic procedures, but the results can be difficult for non-medical personnel to understand. Hence the need for new thinking to make matters more understandable for patients and their caregivers.

The app is a platform that consists of two components; one for the doctor to enter clinical findings about patients and the other for patients to visualize those findings using virtual reality. Every patient gets a unique view that is tailored to their own results.

The hope is that by making it easy to interact with their health data, patients will better understand the disease they're being treated for and that this, in turn, will make them more likely to adhere to their therapy. This could help to improve health outcomes.

"The submissions we received for this innovation challenge were outstanding. We were impressed by the many bold and innovative ideas leveraging digital technologies aimed at helping people better manage this difficult chronic illness," added Ramakrishnan.

"We selected HealthVoyager as our winner because the solution spoke to our mission of making lives better for people around the world. Taking a patient-centric approach, the platform focuses on educating and informing the patient in a truly individualized and creative way."

Next Steps

For winning the open innovation contest, HealthVoyager secured $50,000 and will have the opportunity to co-develop their idea with Lilly.

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