Philips empowers South Africans to unearth SA’s next big health innovation
The top five finalists for the Philips Innovation Fellows Competition announced
October 08, 2015
The lifeblood of most modern industries today is innovation, as it sets the tone for progress and enables businesses to gain a competitive advantage, create additional jobs and within the health sector specifically, change the lives of people by offering patients’ an enhanced level of care.
Earlier this year, Philips partnered with The Innovation Hub in Pretoria to launch the first Innovation Fellows Competition in South Africa with the aim of uncovering and supporting the next big innovative ideas that will not only help revolutionise the South Africa health industry, but also assist in addressing regionally relevant challenges in healthcare.
The Top 5 finalists of the competition have now been selected from a list of outstanding submissions garnered from the 61 local entries and will be awarded R 12,000 each. In addition, they will be partnered with a mentor who will guide and tutor them on the necessities needed to putting together a winning business plan and pitch. The overall winner, which will be announced in November, and will receive R 200 000 as a research and development budget for their #nextbigidea in improving access to primary healthcare.
“New innovations can have a substantial impact on health care service delivery by allowing for better access to care thanks to more affordable products for instance, enabling faster diagnosis of illnesses or more effective treatment of diseases,” says JJ Van Dongen, Senior Vice President and CEO Philips Africa.
Showcasing the innovative work of the Top 5
Van Dongen went on to say that the most exciting part of this competition for Philips is unearthing talent from South Africa, whose innovations will serve as local solutions to South African health care challenges. These include;
Carol Thomas’ iMobiMama IT platform and Mobile Kiosk that will increase access to maternal care highlighting antenatal care in public and private sectors.
Sudesh Sivarasu proposes to develop a low-cost portable mechanical non-invasive continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) ventilator that is mechanically operated and will be used to tackle Asthma in children aged five to 10 years old.
Ragesh Pillai is looking to make the management of diabetes easier which involves controlling blood sugar levels through monitoring one’s diet, exercising and checking blood glucose levels regularly to prevent the side effects of diabetes such as kidney failure. Pillai’s aim is to tackle the challenge of improving diabetes management through diabetes management software service designed to facilitate remote monitoring and communication between patients and their care givers at low cost.
Finalist Dean Hodgskiss’s solution aims to increase the capacity of healthcare workers and medical equipment at primary healthcare sites through the utilisation of a mobile communication app specifically developed to operate effectively under challenging African telecommunications conditions. The proposed solution is an application which runs on Android, iOS and Windows, will provide caregivers in remote areas (even ones with very poor and unreliable internet connections) with the ability to connect to anyone else using the application located anywhere in the world.
Lastly, De Wet Swanepoel wants to provide access to early identification of hearing loss, using the low-cost hearScreen mHealth solution, which will result in more timely intervention for optimal developmental in children.
“We are inspired by these finalists and are looking forward to providing real healthcare solutions that will make a real difference in people’s lives,” concluded van Dongen.
Join the conversation @PhilipsSAfrica #nextbigidea
Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2014 sales of EUR 21.4 billion and employs approximately 106,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter.
About The Innovation Hub
The Innovation Hub, a subsidiary of the GGDA, is Africa's first internationally accredited Science Park and is a full member of the International Association of Science Parks. It is strategically located in Tshwane, South Africa's executive capital in the ‘smart' province of Gauteng. As the leading knowledge-intensive business cluster in South Africa, The Innovation Hub implements initiatives identified in the Gauteng Innovation Strategy and Green Economy Strategy to advance the economic development and growth of the province through innovation. For more information, kindly visit www.theinnovationhub.com or follow us on Twitter @Innovhub and Facebook InnovhubZA
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