Bayer and NUS Enterprise Announce Winners of Grants4Apps® Singapore Open Innovation Challenge

Bayer and NUS Enterprise Announce Winners of Grants4Apps® Singapore Open Innovation Challenge

  • 3 winning teams from Singapore and Thailand awarded for their innovative health-tech solutions to overcome medication adherence barriers in elderly people with chronic diseases.
  • Innovative concepts address a significant health challenge as patient adherence to long-term therapies is only 50%1.
  • Bayer and NUS Enterprise to support the winners in advancing their project ideas with an award of S$10,000 each and access to mentorships, incubator space, and global and regional networks.

Singapore, May 3, 2017 – Bayer and NUS Enterprise, the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), today announced three winners from 80 applications of the inaugural round of Grants4Apps® Singapore, a web-based crowdsourcing initiative that calls for innovative health-tech solutions to improve medication adherence in elderly people with chronic diseases across Asia Pacific. The three teams of winners are from Singapore and Thailand.

Grants4Apps® Singapore is part of Bayer’s global Grants4Apps® program that supports innovators for their health-tech ideas which contribute to improvements in health outcomes or pharmaceutical processes. The first round of the challenge was jointly launched by Bayer and NUS Enterprise on 1st December 2016 at the Transforming Aging with Health Innovation Forum, officiated by Dr Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Health, Singapore. The crowdsourcing initiative closed on 31st March 2017 with a total of 80 applications from countries including Singapore,

Thailand, India, Australia, Taiwan, S. Korea, and the Philippines. While the call for ideas focused mainly on the Asia Pacific region, Grants4Apps® Singapore also received applications from countries outside the region such as the United States of America (USA).

“Our Grants4Apps® program fosters digital and technological innovations in healthcare globally. We are impressed by the wealth of ideas and the high quality of our finalists from this regional chapter of our program which focuses on finding solutions to improve medication adherence in our rapidly aging population,” said Kemal Malik, Member of the Board of Management, responsible for Innovation at Bayer, as he gave out the awards to the three winning teams. “Some of these concepts have the potential to benefit patients, doctors and consumers, revolutionlizing healthcare delivery and improving treatment results. We are delighted to support the winners in advancing their innovative ideas.”

After an intensive evaluation of the applications, six finalist teams were selected for coaching and mentorship followed by a final round of pitching and an awards ceremony, held today at Innovfest Unbound, an anchor event of Singapore’s Smart Nation Innovations week 2017 featuring Asia’ most innovative developments.

The winners of Grants4Apps® Singapore are:
  • EyeDEA, Singapore: A two-in-one card and wearable that improves elderly glaucoma patients’ compliance to eye drops. A personalized wallet-size medication card improves patients’ understanding and recall of medication regimes, while a customized wearable with an alarm reminds and tracks glaucoma patients’ usage of eye drops. The device targets elderly glaucoma patients in Singapore who typically do not own smartphones and have poor vision, which limits their ability to effectively use mobile applications with typically small font sizes.
  • Glycoleap by Holmusk, Singapore: An application (app) that monitors diabetes patients’ food habits, glucose readings, activity levels, weight and medicine adherence on a daily basis. As it monitors glucose level of patients daily, dieticians are able to ascertain if a patient has forgotten to take his/her medication. Through the use of both technology and human intervention, the application helps to overcome the barriers of medication adherence.
  • PillPocket, Thailand: An integrated solution that provides personal healthcare assistance from pharmacists for patients with high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes. PillPocket comprises a chatbot linked to pharmacist services such as follow-up care, supporting medication refill and home delivery and even free patient case management. PillPocket also has a medication reminder function which triggers alerts via chat.

Other finalists of Grants4Apps® Singapore are:

  • Pill-E, Singapore: A smart pill box integrated with an intuitive application that helps caregivers and patients to simplify and adhere to complex medication with ease. The intelligent application logs dosing pattern and adherence which can be shared with the doctor for assessment. Additional in-built mechanisms also prevent medication misuse. While differentiating from a normal pill box with its “smart” functions, Pill-e also offers a more affordable and convenient option to a pill dispenser.
  • Onward Health, India: A software which helps postoperative patients follow their discharge instructions and doctor’s advice, including physiotherapy, medication adherence and other vital parameters needed to be tracked. It helps patients stay connected to their postoperative care network through a simple communication platform enabling hospitals and doctors to keep track of their patients’ health after discharge. A dashboard also provides a view of the patient’s compliance as well as real-time health status.
  • Intemed by SMJ Engineering, USA: A device integrated with a smartphone to provide digital medication management by healthcare professionals to combat medication non-adherence. A smart cartridge pill container with an embedded memory chip can be programmed by a pharmacist with an encrypted medication ID, digital prescription, re-ordering data and all other pertinent medication information. The catridge is then inserted into the device by the patient and the app automatically identifies the medications, programmes schedules, re-orders, notifies the patient about medication intake and dispenses the medications.

A panel of distinguished judges from Bayer, NUS Enterprise and the industry evaluated the applications based on originality and practicality; the teams should be able to develop their proposed innovative concepts into minimum viable products in about six months to improve medication adherence in elderly people with chronic diseases. There were no restrictions on platforms, operating systems and/or technologies.

“We are honoured to partner with Bayer on the the Singapore edition of Grants4Apps® focusing on medication adherence. We were impressed with the quality of submissions received, and we believe the ideas and innovations presented today will help create lasting social impact amongst

the senior community in Singapore, the region and beyond,” said Lily Chan, CEO of NUS Entreprise, who was also part of the judging panel for Grants4Apps® Singapore.

Each winnng team will receive an award of S$10,000 and access to mentorships and a global and regional network from Bayer, NUS and other industry partners to refine and scale their project. The teams will also be eligible for incubator support from NUS Enterprise as well as access to the Modern Aging Singapore business accelerator program, organized by ACCESS Health international and NUS Enterprise. They may also be admitted to the global Grants4Apps® program and the Grants4Apps® Accelerator and stand a chance to receive additional financial support, mentorships by Bayer managers and an international network of external entrepreneurs as well as co-working space at the global headquarters of Bayer Pharmaceuticals division in Berlin, Germany.

1 Kathleen Holloway, Liset van Dijk 2011, The World Medicines Situation 2011: Rational Use Of Medicines, World Health Organisation, accessed 15 November 2016, (last accessed: November 29, 2016)

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