Two Singapore teams have emerged as winners out of a total of 80 submissions by participants from Australia, India and South Korea amongst other countries, in the recent Grants4Apps Singapore challenge – a collaboration between Bayer and the entrepreneurial arm of the National University of Singapore (NUS), which supports new ideas in health-technology that aim to enhance pharmaceutical processes or health outcomes.

Launched last December, the aim of the challenge was, in particular, to source for health-tech ideas that could help elderly patients with chronic diseases with instructions to take their medications regularly.

“Our Grants4Apps programme 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 programme which focuses on finding solutions to improve medication adherence in our rapidly aging population,” said Member of the Board of Management, Kemal Malik.

“Some of these concepts have the potential to benefit patients, doctors and consumers, revolutionising healthcare delivery and improving treatment results. We are delighted to support the winners in advancing their innovative ideas.”

Winning concept helps glaucoma patients adhere to medication

The three teams of winners – which were announced on 3 May – hailed from Singapore and Thailand.

The winning entry by Singapore is by EyeDEA, a multidisciplinary team made up of ophthalmologists, programmers, engineers and even medical students from the National University Health System (NUHS) Department of Ophthalmology as well as pharmacology professors at NUS.

They developed a two-in-one innovation medication card and wearable that aims to improve compliance to medication in elderly patients with glaucoma. The personalised wallet-sized card has easily-understood visuals that help patients understand and recall their medication regimes, whereas the wearable device is built with an alarm that reminds patients to apply their eyedrops. The device can also track their usage of eyedrops, and the data can be automatically shared with patients’ doctors and caregivers.

This health-tech is especially useful for elderly patients in Singapore who typically do not own or utilise smart gadgets or mobile applications, and have poor vision which further limits them from effectively using existing reminder apps, which usually have small font sizes.

Awarded with opportunities to refine their projects

Holmusk – a digital health and data analytics start-up company from Singapore – emerged as the first runner-up in the challenge with their innovation, GlycoLeap, an app that allows dieticians to monitor their diabetic patients’ daily food habits, glucose level readings, activity levels and changes in weight. By monitoring these values on a daily basis, dieticians are able to ascertain if a patient is compliant to their medications, and can intervene if necessary to overcome barriers of medication adherence.

Third place was awarded a team of IT engineer and developers from Thailand who developed PillPocket, an integrated solution that provides personal healthcare assistant from pharmacists. PillPocket has a chatbox that links to pharmacist services including follow-up care, supporting medication refill and home delivery, and also has a reminder function that triggers alerts to patients. The innovation is suited for patients with hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes.

All winning teams will be awarded with SGD$10,000 each along with access to mentorships as well as global and regional network from Bayer, NUS and other industry partners to develop and scale their project.

“We are honoured to partner with Bayer on the Singapore edition of Grants4Apps focusing on medication adherence,” said CEO of NUS Entreprise Lily Chan.

“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.” MIMS

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