Almirall takes a leap into digital health innovation

Published on 09/10/2019

Almirall, S.A. (ALM) has launched its first call for innovation to start-ups focused on dermatology digital health. This initiative is the first step in the creation of an accelerator programme called the Digital Garden, powered by Almirall and strengthens the company’s commitment to digital innovation based on developing services and solutions to tackle some of the present and future dermatological challenges. The call has been presented during the first Barcelona Health Hub (BHH) Summit, sponsored by Almirall, which has taken place at BHH’s headquarters, located in Barcelona, Spain.

The Digital Garden will begin its journey supporting up to five start-ups chosen after a selection process that will end on November 14th at Almirall’s event in Berlin at Frontiers Health 2019, a leading global event on digital health innovation of which Almirall is a sponsor.

Francesca Wuttke, Chief Digital Officer of Almirall, explained the importance of this project “I am so pleased and excited to announce the launch of the Digital Garden powered by Almirall, and to do so at the BHH Summit. In fact, the five start-ups selected during Frontiers of Health will have access to a nine-month acceleration program based in the BHH headquarters, among other important benefits”.

 Digital Garden’s selection process

Interested start-ups can apply at almiralldigitalgarden.com, where they will also find the program’s inclusion criteria and offerings. Following a review of the applicants, Almirall will make a shortlist of 10 companies that will be invited to Frontiers Health 2019 to pitch their business models at an Almirall sponsored event that will take place on Thursday 14th of November. The five winning project teams will begin a nine-month acceleration program in January at the BHH headquarters, with the goal of graduating them into venture capital funding.  The program will include introductions to investors as well as an investor day.

In addition to the acceleration program, the five chosen start-ups will receive a number of key incentives, including up to a €50K grant that is determined based on a bespoke gap analysis of the start-up and achievement of certain milestones. In addition, they will receive mentoring from top pharma industry experts from all specialties and program stages; and will have the opportunity to leverage leading hospitals in Barcelona as a test bed for digital pilots, with potential access to HCPs and patients; the potential to collaborate on actual Almirall projects; and have access to Almirall’s communication and PR networks to promote their projects, among others.

“Embracing technologies to better access data to empower patients”

Francesca Wuttke is one of the four BHH Ambassadors, highly renowned professionals in digital health that are dedicated and aligned with the goals of the Barcelona Health Hub. They are collaborating to increase awareness in digital health and in a global recognition of the BHH. During the BHH Summit 2019, she moderated one of the panels entitled “Embracing technology to better access data to empower patients”. CEOs from three of the start-ups that are sharing BHH co-working space have discussed growing trends in the pharmaceutical industry. Increasingly, pharma companies are collaborating with start-ups to improve the strength of their data and bring efficiencies with regard to time and cost. The panellists have also shared their views about the potential of new technologies in the era of Real World Data and Real World Evidence, the impact of regulation and the future of partnerships between big companies and start-ups with its implicit challenges and lessons learned.

According to Francesca Wuttke, “Medical dermatology is a representative example of the potential of patient centric digital health. The Digital Garden, powered by Almirall can be seen as a case study of both the recent and rapid development in this space and the huge potential of this new digital revolution in medicine.”

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