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Frontiers Health met in AXICA, adjacent to Berlin’s Brandenburger Gate in November 2017.

Exploring the Edges of Health in Berlin

Three Ways the Frontiers Health Conference Pushes Boundaries

Hopefully it’ll entice you to join in November 2018!

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The sculptural core of this Frank Gehry designed event space creates a unique environment to connect with other strategic thinkers.

1. INTERACTION: Startups & Experts Fuel Discussion

Startup Discovery

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Startup Discovery sessions bring together selected young companies with seasoned investors to ask insightful questions, shaping the thinking for both the startup and the audience members.
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Keleya is a German app that serves as a well-being coach during pregnancy. They offer weekly plans around exercise and nutrition that are individualized. With varying content costs, they want to cover their pre- and post-natal market, collecting data on pregnancy–which not many people do– in order to improve algorithms.
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OVIVA focuses on intervention communication–namely education, therapy, and tracking– in order to help patients help themselves. This involves diabetes prevention and various lifestyle coaching solutions for disease management.
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Selfapy is an online platform addressing the fact that 1 in 5 people experience a depressive episode in life. The stigma associated with depression creates a wide treatment gap where only 50% of people find help. The app uses cognitive behavior therapy techniques and relies on psychotherapists’ experience to help people track and improve their symptoms. Selfapy emphasizes the ‘human factor’ and quality of service to users, and is expanding into corporate health to support employees.
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Healthcare strategist Nana Bit-Avragim (at far left), introduced the panel of experts.

Expert Panel Wants to Reshape Clinical Trials

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“If you have a solution that works, I will use it.” Patient advocate Sebastian Hauck, with microphone at far right, explains he wants to see patients included in early trial setup, and where the patient drives the desired outcome in a trial they actually want to participate in.

2. INSPIRATION: Meet the Visionaries

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As mentioned in the panel above, Antidote uses an open learning system to facilitate participation in clinical trials. They heroically structure the gigantic amount of inclusion and exclusion criteria and navigate complexity to match patients to appropriate clinical trials.
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“Give me a cure, or do the job for me.” Anton Kittelberger, CEO of mySugr delivered the news that 600 million people will have diabetes in 20 years, and that diabetes-related spending is 1/5 of total healthcare costs. To deliver what the industry did not, he built an app to enable better decision-making for people with diabetes and optimize diabetes management with a hassle-free service package. Given the fairly recent acquisition by Roche and the platform’s 1.2 million users, this seems to be one to watch.
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Irish filmmaker Donal O’Niell presented the work behind his film “The Big Fat Fix” which explores the benefits of the Mediterranean diet in the Pioppi Protocol. You can hear from the cardiologist with whom he teamed up here. In short, behaviorial and dietary changes can have a significant impact on health outcomes.

3. INNOVATION: Leveraging Impact in Pharma-Startup Partnerships

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Paul Tunnah of Pharmaphorum explains that tech companies don’t have the longevity that pharma does. But collaborations between these two players enable both outreach and cutting-edge digital solutions.
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Steffen Kurzawa, Head of Global Communications and Corporate Responsibility at Sandoz International explains how innovation + access = impact.

Making Access Happen

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“Pharma doesn’t have all the answers,” says Cook. But they are working to solicit the right solutions from communities who need more access to basic medicines. The challenge’s six finalists showed remarkable camaraderie and winners came from the Maldives, Philippines, and Ghana.

Open Innovation Benefits All

Some seasoned recommendations from Eugene? Be customer-first; be direct about what you need, want and provide; show data early on, not just pitch.

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David vs. Goliath? Or can pharma and startups see eye-to-eye and accomplish great things…

That’s a Wrap

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The space lent itself to a transcendent mind state, transforming from meeting into evening ambiance.
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The Berlin Jam Session: after the daytime gathering, people got a chance to unwind by listening to music made by fellow attendees.
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The hosts and sponsors who made this conference a reality. Thank you alldigi.

Reporting from within a Venn diagram of health, tech and empowerment. Berlin-based. Internationally minded.