mHealth apps, FDA, FCC, regulations

MEDICA’s Mobile Medical App Competition

By Dr. Lutz Retzlaff
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mHealth apps, FDA, FCC, regulations

Are you developing an innovative app? Here’s a chance to share it with the world.

–UPDATE–October 13, 2016

This year’s Medica App Competition finalists have been announced:

  • alpha Medicus
  • Biop Medical
  • Elfi-Tech
  • Gait Up
  • Medivizor
  • MyndYou
  • Preventicus
  • Preventis SmarTest Calprotectin
  • Seremedi
  • Smart DI 2.0
  • Somatix
  • TheraPee
  • Tyto
  • UpRight
  • 6over6 vision

For more information,visit the MEDICA App Competition website.

–END UPDATE–

Touted as the world’s largest competition of its kind, developers of mobile medical apps can showcase their new technology at this year’s MEDICA (November 14–17, 2016 in Düsseldorf, Germany). The 2016 MEDICA App Competition focuses on intuitive user experience (UX/UI) and the level of innovation and problem solving. The judges are interested in business-oriented solutions for physicians, hospitals or medical teams; wellness apps are not eligible. The first place winner will receive €2,000, second place €1,000 and third place €500. The application submission deadline is September 30.

Last Year’s Winners

Third Place: CervDx powers MobileODT’s Enhanced Visual Assessment (EVA)”. The system supports trained health professionals who are conducting visual screening for cervical cancer. It aids in patient information management and enables users to essentially get a digital second opinion. In countries such as in Germany, for example, the insured have a right to obtain a second opinion, but the entitlement is only now being re-emphasized for certain indications within the Code of Social Law—and the indications for which it applies have not been established. In 2012, the German Medical Association stated that telemedicine is permissible, “provided that it is carried out in compliance with professional law, that it is ensured that the doctor treats the patient directly and another doctor is involved with the treatment via the telemedical method.”

Second Place: SmokeWatchers. The system was conceived by a French team. In combination with a Bluetooth-enabled stick that is compatible with commercially available e-cigarettes, the app records the precise amount of vapor consumed, from to the daily number of puffs on the e-cigarette to approximating the amount of nicotine consumed. It serves as a top motivational aid to push down data curves by reducing nicotine intake.

First Place: Talkitt. The first product of Israeli start-up company VoiceItt, the app has considerable potential. Talkitt aims to revolutionize the communication possibilities for people with limited speech abilities, regardless of their language. The company’s current source of income is the prize money it has received from various competitions—the company has already received more than €900, 000. According to Maren Lesche, an advisor at VoiceItt, last year’s win was an important opportunity to present the product to the decision-makers who attend MEDICA. Since then, she has been in negotiations with various suppliers from the healthcare sector. Talkitt is expected to launch by the end of this year. Lesche is also a jury member for this year’s competition.

Recorditt, another app by VoiceItt, is available for download from iTunes. People with language disabilities submit speech samples, thus contributing to app’s development. Lesche says a database is being built and will serve to improve the translation of any individual speech into standard language. The more speech samples that the database stores, the more precisely the app can carry out its task. Those who submit speech samples will also receive the Talkitt app free of charge for one year. Lesche says this has been well received, especially by parents who want to motivate their children who have speech limitations. There is future potential as well: For example, patients with multiple sclerosis suffer from an acute episode of the disease, and it can be detected in speech patterns. It’s possible that one day a physician could use the app to detect a progression in the disease.

The International Jury

In addition to Lesche, this year’s jury includes Dr. med. Urs-Vito Albrecht from the Medical University of Hanover (who recently received public attention for his study, “Chances and Risks of Mobile Health Apps (CHARISMHA)”), Ralf-Gordon Jahns (research2guidancet), Ronny Köhler (wdv group), Tom Mitchell (Messe Düsseldorf North-America), Levi Shapiro (mHealth Israel), Dr. Klaus Stöckemann (Peppermint VenturePartners) und Tjaša Zajc (Medicina danes).

Companies that are nominated to participate in this year’s live event will be notified by the beginning of October. The live pitch will take place during MEDICA 2016 on Wednesday, November 16 from 2:00–6:00 pm on the stage of the MEDICA Connected Healthcare Forum located in hall 15. Each team has three minutes to present their medical mobile solution in English. For another two minutes, the jury will ask questions. The winners will be selected on site with a celebration/ get-together held at the U.S. Pavilion following the event.

The event organizers have partnered with SXSW, which will provide two SXSW 2017 Interactive admission badges worth $ 1,325 per pass to the winning team to attend the cult event SXSW 2017 in March 2017 in Austin, Texas

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Lutz Retzlaff

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