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Bayer outlines some of its digital health needs

Wants to work with startups in areas such as oncology and men's health

Bayer digital health competitionIn a bid to attract a new wave of digital health talent Bayer plans to support startup companies working on novel software, hardware or solutions.

Specifically the pharma company is looking for partners that could help improve processes and health outcomes and plans to offer them funds through an extension of its Grants4Apps initiative.

Despite the programme's name Bayer is keen to look more broadly than just apps as it searches for startups in cardiology, oncology, women's health, men's health and business intelligence.

It will offer €50,000 each, and office space at Bayer Pharma's Berlin headquarters, to five startups from Europe, South Africa, Israel and/or Canada. The companies will have to be focused on cardiology, oncology or women's health and would also be in line for intensive coaching and mentoring from Bayer executives and partners.

In men's health Bayer wants to collaborate with three Germany-based startups on medical or patient programmes to provide education about low testosterone levels in men, technologies for low testosterone detection and improved management of low testosterone patients. In turn these startups would receive €5,000 each and a chance to collaborate with Bayer on full implementation of their work.

The first two programmes will run until May 31 and a third, which focuses on partnerships to develop business intelligence tools, will close on June 30.

The business intelligence tools Bayer is looking for will have to be “modern, real-time, cloud-based SaaS [software as a service] solutions for self-service analysis, reporting, or dashboards, with a high-usability factor for non-technically savvy people”.

Bayer is searching for three startups from Europe, South Africa, Israel or Canada, for this programme, who would receive €10,000 - 15,000 and a chance to collaborate with the company on full implementation of their tools.

It's not the first time a pharma company has run a competition for digital health partnerships (though the total funding on offer puts Bayer's initiatives at the upper end of the money usually up for grabs).

Last year a mobile app that offers cancer patients personalised support won Janssen's inaugural Digital Health Masterclass Challenge. Meanwhile, Novartis ran competitions in 2013 in mobile health for heart failure caregivers and for a new thalassemia mobile app.

2nd May 2014

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