Patients Know Best won 1st place in the Health 2.0 Europe’s competition earlier today, and have now been crowned with an impressive (kryptonite shaped) glass type award.The competition is sponsored by Janssen Healthcare Innovation (JHI) , a subsidiary of Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and as part of their commitment to finding and fostering innovation they have started the European Healthcare Innovation Award in partnership with Health 2.0. JHI are looking to develop connections and provide a platform for healthcare entrepreneurs who can bring real impact to health care through the competition categories of:
1. Enabling personal health management through technology
2. Delivering quality care in patient homes and residential environments
3. Maintaining adherence to prescribed medication.
Our Cambridge base put us in good company, all three winners from this European event were from Cambridge!
The first category was won by DuoFertility, an infertility solution from Temperature Conceptspresented by Dr Seamus Husheer- you have to give an award to the man whose opening line is “It is my mission to make millions of women pregnant”!! Seamus showed their fantastic device that is supported by dedicated PhDs analysing individual data that is currently for sale in Boots. It provides a solution for a large market segment of couples who have been trying to get pregnant for over a year, but want a solution at the fraction of the price of IVF. DuoFertility guarantees pregnancy within a year or your money back! Seamus poignantly pointed out that before DuoFertility, fertility medicine hasn’t had any significant innovations since IVF in the 70s. This is why these events are so important- to raise public expectations of healthcare services.The other Cambridge winners were Handle My Health Handle My Health from the Mood Institute. Chris Coleman and Jack Bowman were present to pitch their product and went on to win, a massive feat for a company that only started in 2011! This clever mHealth solution connects the patient through any smart device to a remote data intelligence system. In this way patients can scan medicines information or QR codes and receive medical information and clinical advice over their mobile phones. The really great thing about this is that it empowers patients to get real time information on their medication to help them stay well, and even gives them a voice in the development of clinical pathways as doctors and clinicians have information on adverse events, side effects and some of the issues patients are experiencing with their medications in their day to day lives.
The competition was held in Berlin and each category had 21 short-listed competitors, each with a 4 minute pitch and 3 PowerPoint slides to win the prize money of €7,500. The ‘jury’ consisted of 6 Europeans and a mix of successful entrepreneurs, pharmaceutical professionals and venture capitalists. The “dragon’s den” style assessment of each innovation was as rewarding for the audience as it was for judges in deciding the winner. Listening to critical questions, probes on business models and attacks on individual assumptions was a very useful mental check list for nervous competitors awaiting their turn, mentally ticking off the strengths of their product and formulating potential answers in their head before for their own pitch.
Innovation competitions are central to diffusing and cross pollinating ideas amongst groups of innovators that build design and product dominance for the industry. However, as in any nascent market the trajectory for success has not been determined and so the yardstick of excellence is not yet known. Entering a competition where the parameters of assessment are as unknown to yourself as it potentially is to the judges, means it becomes an exercise in the competitor’s ability to communicate a vision; and the judges’ ability to be a critical friend.
I am always confident in Patients Know Best as a product and the quiet confidence that brings while sitting and patiently waiting my turn was very welcome, particularly as I was significantly less confident in my ability to communicate this in 4 minutes in a manner that would win the prize. I don’t think my 4 minute presentation was particularly award winning, and I hope the judges weren’t distracted by my shaking knees when standing at the podium. However I am reasonably sure that what clinched it for us was the subsequent Q&A. I felt we had done it when asked my first question by Rowan Rittweger (M.D., Founder of Roman Rittweger Advisors in Healthcare):
“What makes you think you will succeed in a space where Google has failed and it still has to be seen if Microsoft will succeed?”
The opportunity here is to clarify that we have already been ranked as world leaders in patient controlled medical records in a document commissioned by the Department of Health and sponsored by Microsoft (the study was conducted by the Patient Information Forum).
Also that we offer the highest level of security for patient data in the industry, where data are encrypted at patient level and a specific keys are given to each patient with which to control access to their record.
But perhaps our most defining feature, and the one that differentiates us the most is our central mission: that we believe all patients should have access to their medical records, that means me, you, and everyone- so we all can get the care we deserve.
Our award winning innovation in transferring health care from hospital to home is about providing a platform that will enable a whole variety of solutions to different health pro blems, not just a solution for a collection of current and explicit patient needs. Empowering patients, their families and carers in their own contexts to co-produce solutions with their healthcare professionals through a secure shared medical record is the only sustainable solution for improving care and reducing cost. Patients are not a distinct and distant group with desires defined by diagnosis; they are us, members of the public who need access to people with a range of different knowledge from which they can build the resources to do whatever it takes to feel better.
Our award helps to show that helping patients to have better quality care in home settings is as much about a great product as it is about empowering patients and their families to act as assets in their own care. Patients Know Best are thrilled with this award and doubly thrilled for Cambridge in taking home all three first places. Together all three prize winners have shown that the trajectory for more successful healthcare has the patient at the driving seat.