Digital Healthcare Innovation Challenge – First Meetup

Posted on Posted in Development

We’ve all heard stories about them: families denied of medical services due to financial problems, patients waiting long queues in the hospital because of slow service, or even self-treatments gone horribly wrong due to misinformation in the web. If there’s one thing we can all agree on – its that we deserve better medical services.

And that also was just what Takeda Healthcare Philippines, Inc. has got in mind. Also branded as the number 1 (one) pharmaceutical company in Japan, Takeda has decided to sponsor the first and only Digital Healthcare Innovation Challenge not only here in the Philippines, but also a first in the world. What an amazing opportunity for us Filipinos!

Lead by Gabriel Georgy, President and General Manager of Takeda Healthcare Philippines, Gabriel discussed the key accomplishments of the company as well as its commitment to innovation.

20160519_192815.jpgPres. of Takeda Philippines Gabriel George stressed out the importance of constant innovation in the Healthcare industry

After that, we have Dr. Ryan Julius Banez, a medical practitioner as well as a startup founder. He then gave important criteria on how the IT industry can provide the necessary help and support to further improve medical services. One of his key example was the possible use of wearables to give constant updates of the patients health status to physicians. With current technology, that kind of service is indeed possible now.

20160519_194927.jpgDr. Ryan Banez, on his discussions with how aspects of the IT (Information Technology) industry now helps in providing better medical services.

But in the end, Dr. Banez stressed out one important point

20160519_195413.jpgQuote: “Everyone is trying to disrupt he health space through IT! But the true core of health is services….. IT is only the tool.” – Dr. Ted Herbosa, Former Undersecretary of Health

Quoting Dr. Ted Herbosa’s words, Dr. Banez couldn’t be more spot on. We practitioners of IT should always remember that its the service that matters. Often we developers neglect service in favor of bleeding edge technologies. We are reminded tonight that the latter should be prioritized in app development. Not just for the healthcare industry, but in general altogether.

After Dr. Banez’s presentation we have Dr. Iris Tan, aka Dok Bru (also know as the Endocrine Witch, which is a cool alias btw). While many practitioners of medicine are stuck in using pens and ledgers, Dr. Tan uses power of social media such as Facebook, Twitter and even blogging to share relevant medical information to the public. And she does this for free!

20160519_200314.jpgDr. Tan, aka Dok Bru or Endocrine Witch, with her official Facebook page with approximately 50k likes. Dr. Tan also entertains people that asks medical-related questions in Facebook or Twitter

Dr. Tan shared stories of people she met through social media. From patients from around the globe, to fellow medical practitioners from the other side of the world. Doc Bru is just one of the few who uses social media to make access to make medical information much more accessible.

But she also stressed the importance of legitimate medical information. She encouraged fellow medical practitioners to be part of sharing more information to the Internet, to gradually lessen the amount of medical articles of satirical nature.

20160519_195846.jpgDo you agree? – Dr. Tan for one does not, and notes that it was a social responsibility for medical practitioners to be more active in the Internet – to further reduce cases of patients doing harmful self diagnosis. This blog of hers won the Bloggys 2015 Best Blog Post.

You can check out Dr. Tan’s blog post here for more info, or visit her Facebook page at

Finally, we have Jerome Wang, Digital Explorer for emerging markets for Takeda. He is currently based on Takeda Singapore branch. His discussion deals with the upcoming startup pitching challenge and a chance to win 10,000 US dollars. That’s right, 10,000 USD, or almost 460,000 pesos here in the Philippines.

20160519_202628.jpgJerome Wang discusses the judging criteria for the upcoming pitching challenge, as well as other relevant informations

There’s 5 criteria for judging: a. Impact on Oncology, b. Innovation, c. Plot Potential, d. Team Competencies and e. Viability. With 10,000 dollars worth of investment just for the price pool, its no wonder the criteria for the challenge are very technical.

For one, the focus of the challenge has to be on oncology, or cancer. As with the IT industry, the medical industry is also huge. And Takeda decided to focus its efforts on cancer-related solutions. Other criteria, such as innovation, viability and plot potential all deal with the implementation of the app and its features, while team competencies are awarded based on the reputation of the startup.

So having a startup with a solid portfolio gives a definite advantage, as it should, since Takeda will want future scalability and updates to the deserving winner of this competition. But this should not discourage smaller startups to join, as your app will still be judged and viewed by not only Takeda, but also by other healthcare investors. So even if your startup does not win the challenge, it doesn’t rule out the potential of the product¬† that your startup will be making.

As shown in the picture above, any aspiring startup can join the challenge until June 20. After that, 10 finalist will be selected from the startup to participate in the main pitching event on August 6, where the price pool of $10,000 will be awarded.

And with that ends the official Digital Healthcare talks. After this, Q&A questions were answered by the speakers and after that – FOOD!

Thanks for staying tuned to my post. Also special thanks to for organizing the event. You can visit them to learn more about similar upcoming events in the future.