The Finder, a cloud based Electronic Medical Record Solution which can catch cancer red flags in a basic patient examination and forward them to doctor specialists, emerged as the winner of the Takeda Digital Healthcare Innovation Challenge (DHIC) held on August 6 at the AIM Conference Center in Makati City.
“Our app seeks to address the lack of oncologists or cancer specialists in the Philippines and limited access especially in the provinces. Usually, medical diagnoses are not seen at all by proper specialists even if they are available,” said Ascendant Technologies President Serge Arroyo.
He said, these problems have resulted in cancer not being identified until late stages and hence, minimizing the chance of cure, an issue that The Finder seeks to remedy.
“With The Finder, Ascendant Technologies is developing the ability to locate cancer patients where such diagnoses are not usually found. The app hopes to catch these cancer red flags early and therefore increase the chances of early detection and full recovery with the use of modern technology,” he said.
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The startup competition was organized by Takeda Healthcare Philippines, Inc. with the technical assistance of TechTalks.ph and aimed to spark new ideas on how to improve healthcare, especially in the field of Oncology, through the use of digital technology and innovation.
“Takeda will be working with the developers of The Finder in order to use digital innovation to reach more cancer patients in the Philippines. We give our full support to their team,” said Gabriel Georgy, Takeda Healthcare Philippines, Inc.’s President and General Manager.
Emerging on top of 10 finalists from Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, and the United States, The Finder took home the $10,000 cash prize and the chance to work with Takeda Pharmaceuticals International and Takeda Healthcare Philippines, Inc.
Jay Fajardo, one of the Takeda DHIC judges, expressed excitement over more innovation-led relationships. Takeda Healthcare Philippines, Inc. is the first among the Takeda branches to hold a DHIC challenge and to engage its local startup community.
“It’s been happening in Europe and the US where big companies work with nonconventional startups. This is the first time I’m seeing this in the Philippines,” said Fajardo who is also Medifi Chief Technology Officer, ProudCloud CEO and Co-Founder, and LaunchGarage CEO and Founder.
Another judge, Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan of the University of the Philippines College of Medicine added the First World can also learn from these new innovative low-cost solutions that are being developed here. “We can solve the same problems in a cheaper and more innovative way,” she said.
The DHIC panel of judges was composed of Gabriel Georgy of Takeda Healthcare Philippines, Inc., Jay Fajardo, Dr. Gia Sison who is the Global Telehealth Incorporated Chief Medical Officer; Dr. Iris Thiele Isip-Tan of UP; and mClinica CEO and Founder Farouk Meralli.
The 10 finalists were chosen from dozens of applicants that submitted their entries last May 10 to June 27, 2016. Their entries include mobile and web solutions from electronic medical records, to early cancer detection and diagnosis, telemedicine, wellness platform, e-prescription, and blood donation platforms.
“The time we’re in is exciting, with the opportunity to make a great leap forward. Digital innovation in healthcare is a relatively new area. We have no legacy systems encumbering us so we can develop digital solutions fairly fast,” said Farouk Meralli.
The 9 other finalists are Blood Hero (PH), a web and mobile app for blood donation; CarinMED (Malaysia), an electronic medical records mobile app; docHERs (US), a digital health platform; Handy Pharmacy Onco (Thailand), a health consulting app; MedRx (PH), an oncology ecosystem digital platform; Hybrid Fusion FISH™ (USA), a cancer diagnostics web app; KnowCo (PH), a cancer information mobile app; TamangAlaga (PH), a medical records and laboratory result management system; and Renal Tracker, a web-based cancer care platform.
“Filipino patients are becoming open to digital innovation. They are going beyond the typical uses of social media and technology towards maximizing it for healthcare. I hope someday these innovative solutions would become the Pokemon Go of the health industry,” said Dr. Sison.