HIVdigital Grand Final
13 December 2016 | Tallinn

Watch gallery Winners announced

HIVdigital Hackathon
26-28 August 2016 | Tallinn

Watch video summary Winners announced

Why to join?

Karikas

Prize fund
100,000 euros

Aju

Free access to market players and experienced experts

Maakera

Opportunity to make Estonia and the world a better place

HIVdigital results

2 digital solutions for HIV

2 digital health start-ups

1 healthcare innovation model

Facts

  • There are close to 40 million HIV-positive people in the world (UNAIDS 2016)
  • The first HIV-positive person in Estonia was diagnosed in 1988. Through the years, over 9,000 people in Estonia have been diagnosed with HIV (Health Board 2016)
  • With 24 new cases per 100,000 population each year Estonia is first in Europe in HIV incidence rate. This is 8 times higher than next to us in Finland (ECDC 2014, WHO 2013)
  • HIV has regional characteristics in Estonia – more than 90% of new cases are diagnosed in Tallinn and Ida-Viru County (Health Board)
  • The majority of HIV-positive people in Estonia do not have the virus under the control – less than 20% of HIV-positive patients have achieved virological suppression (WHO 2014)
  • The epidemic shows no signs of easing in Estonia – one-third of new cases were contracted in the last three months
  • HIV treatment is prevention – ARV therapy reduces the risk of transmitting the infection by 96%

Competition

HIVdigital is a competition for digital health solutions that focuses on problems and needs in the area of HIV. The goal is to start a discussion about innovation opportunities in HIV domain, inspire the generation of disruptive innovations and support the development process from the best ideas to the usable and useful solutions.

The competition is organised by the Estonian health technology cluster Connected Health, which is managed by Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, and GlaxoSmithKline Eesti OÜ. The initiative has the support of the Ministry of Social Affairs. The competition is financed by ViiV Healthcare via the Positive Partnerships programme.

The competition consists of three stages and will last a total 12 months, from June 2016 to June 2017.

In the first stage, innovative ideas will be generated and developed for concepts. Submission deadline for ideas is 14 August 2016 (incl.). The HIVdigital Hackathon for validating ideas, forming teams and developing concepts will be held from 26-28 August 2016 in Tallinn.

In the second stage, the best ideas will be turned to prototypes and in the third stage, the solutions will be tested and prepared for broader implementation.

A prize fund of 100,000 euros has been created to support the development process. The fund will be distributed in two parts: up to 30,000 euros will be awarded for the most promising ideas for creating prototypes at the end of Hackathon; and a total of up to 70,000 euros will be awarded for the best prototypes for further development and testing the solutions at the end of the second stage.

14 June 2016

Competition kicks off

14 august 2016

Submission deadline for ideas

25 August 2016

Registration deadline for Hackathon

26 - 28 August 2016

Hackhaton
Jury awards the most promising ideas

Prize fund 30 000€

September - December 2016

From ideas to prototypes

December 2016

Jury awards the best prototypes

Prize fund 70 000€

January - June 2017

From prototypes to tested solutions

June 2017

Competition wraps up: announcement of results

Join

Everyone with a desire to contribute to resolving HIV problems through harnessing digital innovation opportunities is invited to join the competition.

We invite technology developers, (social) entrepreneurs, designers, project managers, visionaries, marketing and other professionals to take part. Students and researchers are also welcome. Come and put yourself to the test by doing something meaningful.

We also encourage subject matter experts to come along: patients and their representatives, practitioners from the healthcare and social sector, officials with a thorough knowledge of the HIV field. We want the solutions to be developed not for you but together with you!

You can join by submitting your idea (and team) or signing up without your own idea but with an interest in complementing one of the teams.

We believe that bringing together people from different walks of life will result in truly disruptive innovations.

Conditions

1. General provisions

HIVdigital is a competition for digital health solutions that focuses on the greatest challenges in the area of HIV. The goal is to start a discussion about innovation opportunities in HIV domain, to inspire the generation of disruptive ideas and to accelerate the ideas to use and thus impact the lives of HIV-positive people.

The competition is organised by the Estonian health technology cluster Connected Health, which is managed by SA Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, and GlaxoSmithKline Eesti OÜ. The initiative has the support of the Ministry of Social Affairs.

The competition is financed by ViiV Healthcare via the Positive Partnerships programme.

2. Description of competition

The competition is organised through the website www.hivdigital.ee, where detailed information is published, including deadlines, challenges, participation conditions and terms, evaluation criteria, participants, jury and mentors, prize winners and other information. The submission of ideas to the competition and registering for participation at Hackathon also take place through the website.

The competition consists of three stages and will last a total 12 months, from June 2016 to June 2017. In the first stage, ideas will be generated and the concepts will be developed; in the second stage, prototypes will be created; in the third stage, the solution will be tested and prepared for broader implementation.

The challenges to be addressed by the competition are published on the competition website. The ideas for solution submitted must clearly address one or more of the challenges, i.e. be aimed at resolving the problem described therein. However, the ideas for solutions may also be set out for other problems related to HIV. The jury will decide in such a case whether the idea advances.

The 100,000-euro prize fund will be distributed in two part: up to 30,000 euros for preparing prototypes of the best ideas at the end of the first stage; and a total of up to 70,000 euros for testing the solutions of the best prototypes at the end of the second stage.

The decisions on distributing the prize fund shall be made by the jury consisting of experts on HIV and health technology. The jury shall evaluate the expected impact, feasibility, usability, scalability of the idea/solution and level of commitment of the team. A more detailed description of the evaluation criteria is posted on the competition website. The jury may ask additional experts for advice in making their decision. The decisions of the jury are final and may not be disputed.

3.Participation in the competition

It is possible to enter the competition either by submitting the idea for solution oneself or by joining one of the teams in the Hackathon.

To take part, the idea for solution or application to take part in the Hackathon must be submitted via the online form on the website.

Individuals, groups of individuals and legal entities (companies, institutions, NGOs, etc.) are all welcome to submit ideas. Participants may submit more than one idea.

Ideas can be submitted from 14 June to 14 August 2016 (incl.)

Ideas may be submitted either in Estonian and English.

Copyrights and other intellectual property rights related to the proposed idea shall be retained by the submitter of the idea.

If the award recipient discontinues developing the idea during the competition or implementing the solution after the competition, the organisers shall have the right of first refusal to the copyrights or other intellectual property rights related to the solution and thereby reserve the right to develop the idea and implement the solution.

By submitting an idea or registering to the Hackathon, the participant accepts the competition conditions and grants consent to the competition organisers for processing the data submitted, including for contacting the participant in regard to the competition, forwarding to mentors and jury members and for publication on the competition website, at events, media coverage and other marketing activities related to the competition.

The registration to take part in the Hackathon may be made from 14 June to 25 August 2016 (incl.). The organisers shall confirm the registration on an ongoing basis.

It is no longer possible to enter the competition at subsequent stages.

4. Development process from submission of ideas to development of solutions

The ideas for solutions received by the deadline shall be evaluated by the jury, which shall make the decision as to whom to invite to the Hackathon to present and develop further the idea. The participants shall be notified regarding the decision at least 1 week before the Hackathon takes place. Participants who receive an invitation and do not show for the Hackathon may not continue participation in the competition.

The Hackathon is an intense event spanning one weekend for forming teams and further developing of ideas. The Hackathon will be held from 26-28 August 2016 in Tallinn.

The Hackathon will conclude with the selection by the jury of the ideas with the greatest potential and the making of a decision regarding the distribution of prize fund dedicated for this stage. There will be 30,000 euros given out in the first stage. The prize money will be complemented by free expert advice from the experienced mentors at Tehnopol and the HIV experts engaged by competition organisers (including clinicians and patients).

The precondition for receiving prize money in this stage is the confirmed willingness by the participant to develop a prototype from the idea within the timeframe of the competition.

The second stage will last from September to December 2016; during this time, the awarded ideas will be developed into prototypes based on the implementation plan and budget laid out by the participant. Compliance with these plans will be monitored by SA Tallinna Teaduspark Tehnopol under an agreement to be concluded for this purpose. In addition, individual and group mentoring sessions will be organised for participants. The prototype development stage will end with presentations made to the jury. On the basis of the presentations, the jury will select one or more prototype to proceed to the next stage and make the decision regarding distributing the prize money dedicated for this stage. There will be 70,000 euros handed out in the second stage. The monetary prize will be complemented by free expert advice from mentors, including HIV experts engaged by competition organisers (including clinicians and patients). The participants that received awards will be presented at a public event.

The preconditions for receiving prize money in this stage are: a) starting up a company if the participant to this point has been an individual or group of individuals: b) confirmed willingness to develop the prototype into a solution within the timeframe of the competition.

The third stage of the competition will last from January to June 2017. During this time, the prototypes will be developed further, including testing with users and preparing for scaling the solution. The activities will take place pursuant to the implementation plan and budget laid out by the participant. Compliance with these plans will be monitored by SA Tallinna Teaduspark Tehnopol under an agreement to be concluded for this purpose. In addition, individual and group mentoring sessions will be organised for participants. Solutions ready by the end of the third stage will be introduced to HIV stakeholders and the public in June 2017.

5. Other terms and conditions

The organisers shall reserve the right to make changes in the competition deadlines and the members of the participating experts (jury and mentors). Changes will be announced on the competition website.

The organisers will not reimburse participants for any expense or cost incurred in connection with submitting the idea for solution or participating in different stages of the competition.

By submitting an idea, the participant confirms the accuracy of their data, their willingness to take part in the competition and their consent to the terms and conditions of the competition.

Evaluation criteria

The jury will use the following criteria to evaluate the quality of submissions at the different stages of the competition:

1. Expected impact

The competition is a search for innovative solutions for improving the quality of life of HIV-positive people. With the help of HIV-positive people and specialists in the field, we have identified 4 challenges that we want to see solution developers focus on. We will evaluate the potential of the (idea for) solution to respond to the challenge(s) and impact key indicators (e.g. UNAIDS 90/90/90 target, including making sure diagnosed HIV-positive people are linked to care and have treatment adherence).

2. Feasibility

As a result of the competition, we expect at least one usable and useful digital health solution by June 2017. We evaluate the likelihood that the (idea for) solution will, considering the timeframe of the competition, develop from idea to a working solution and sustainable business model. The competition is open to concepts at various stages of development (idea, prototype, customisation of solutions from elsewhere for the HIV field, etc.).

3. Usability

HIV-positive people are at the centre of the competition; we have defined two patient groups with different needs – and the family members and specialists (doctors, nurses, support staff, etc.) who help and support them directly. We will evaluate to what extent the (idea for) solution specifies and understands the needs of target audience and incorporates the principles of human-centred design.

4. Scalability

HIV is not just a problem for Estonia, just as the problems that come up in the treatment of HIV are not different from the problems related to other chronic diseases. We will evaluate the potential for implementing the (idea for) solution in Estonia more broadly in the field of HIV, the adaptability of the solution for other healthcare fields (such as other chronic diseases) and the commercialisation potential, including exporting.

5. Commitment

The goal of the competition is not only to generate innovative ideas but also to achieve working solutions with sustainable business model. We will evaluate the team’s dedication and ability to develop and execute the (idea for) solution and to sustain it beyond the competition timeframe.

Submit your idea

Sign up to Hackathon

  • *Required fields
  • Technical information for organisers

  • I have read the terms of participation in the HIVdigital competition and by signing up for Hackathon, I accept the terms.*

Hackathon

Time: 26-28 August Tallinn
Venue: Tehnopoli Startup Incubator Mäealuse 2/1
Working language: English

Agenda:

Day 1Friday, 26th of August

  • 17:30 Check-in, snacks&drinks
  • 18:00 Opening and inspiration
  • 19:00 Ideas presentation
  • 20:00 Team-building
  • 21:00 Hacking starts!
  • 00:00 Doors close

Day 2Saturday, 27th of August

  • 8:00 Doors open
  • 9:00 Breakfast, hacking continues
  • 10:00 Checkpoint #1
  • 10:30 Mentors go around
  • 13:00 Lunch
  • 13:45 More hacking
  • 16:00 Break
  • 16:30 Hacking continues
  • 18:00 Checkpoint #2
  • 18:30 Mentors go around
  • 20:00 Dinner and time to relax
  • 00:00 Doors close

Day 3Sunday, 28th of August

  • 8:00 Doors open
  • 9:00 Breakfast, hacking continues
  • 10:00 Checkpoint #3
  • 10:30 Pitch training
  • 11:00 Prep your pitch
  • 12:30 Lunch
  • 13:15 Prep your pitch
  • 15:00 Pitching to jury, snacks&drinks
  • 17:00 Announcement of winners
  • 19:00 Doors close

NB! Minor changes in the agenda are probable and possible.

Challenges

The current patient journey was analysed in the strategic design workshop, in which experts and people living with HIV took part. Four challenges were revealed from the various problems and needs, and with the HIVdigital competition we will be looking for innovative digital solutions to these. Think of your solutions based on two personas, Artur and Maria, who characterise two different patient groups.

DOWNLOAD CHALLENGES IN PDF

1. How can we effectively share with HIV-positive people knowledge of living with HIV?

Increasing awareness of the nature of the disease and prevention methods, modern treatment options and impacts of treatment is important for both people living with HIV and the sexually active population at large. Knowledge and awareness dictates how good the health behaviour of HIV-positive people is. Specialists who work with HIV-positive people say that some patients have a limited understanding of their disease and the nature of treatment. Apart from monitoring their condition and dispensing medication, healthcare professionals cannot always hold comprehensive conversations or offer motivation and support for every person. The health behaviour of every HIV-positive person however has an effect on whether the virus will continue to spread or not. We expect people living with HIV to get the information they need easily, and the information should be as appealing and understandable for them as possible. We are looking for a communication solution that will help healthcare professionals and social sector specialists engage with their HIV-positive patients’ education in a more time-efficient manner. We are looking for solutions for HIV-positive people in different patient groups.

Problem

  • Ineffective methods, such as brochures, are used to distribute information
  • Information quickly goes out of date, the process of publishing and distributing paper material is slower than the rate at which the information needs to be updated
  • Due to time constraints or other reasons, healthcare professionals and social sector specialists use written information materials as a substitute for counselling patients and they aren’t sure whether patients have understood them or not
  • Patients look for additional information online where they come across a wide variation in quality of information
  • Healthcare professionals do not have the habit or a good method for using digital information channels in providing counselling to patients

Needs

  • Healthcare and other professionals can distribute information and instructions to patients individually
  • Information has been made understandable, appealing and memorable for various patient groups (including e.g. visualisation, video, gamification, etc.)
  • Information must be available regardless of time and place
  • Information is sent out based on the person’s profile and in order to achieve the best result, messages and presentation of information is tested, linked to feedback, improved

Vision

All people living with HIV have a high level of awareness of the disease and the nature of treatment and this has a positive impact on treatment adherence.

Artur

A hopeless feeling
Age: 32


Artur is 32 years old. He has no fixed address, and crashes with different friends and acquaintances in the city of Jõhvi. He lives off of what he steals and state benefits (about 160 euros a month) He has done time in prison twice in his life. He used to have domestic partners. His ties to family have been cut.

  • Alcoholism in family, domestic violence
  • Passivity, general feeling of hopelessness
  • Lacking social reference system
  • Discontinued education
  • Lack of opportunity to develop interests Irregular daily routine
  • Poor self-management skill

Maria

Active but lacks confidence
Age: 42

Maria is 42 years old. She has an apartment in Tallinn but is temporarily living in Pärnu. She works as an accountant. She is separated, and has two grown children from that relationship. She talks frequently with her parents and other relatives.

  • Psychological adjustment with HIV has been very hard
  • Low level of knowledge about her illness
  • Stigma that makes it difficult to adjust
  • Difficulty establishing new intimate relationships

2. How can we bring patient and care team into one information space and monitor a person’s health as a whole?

Modern healthcare involves close teamwork between the person, his or her loved ones and various specialists. Each HIV-positive patient is served by many specialists from various institutions, such as infectious disease specialists, infectious disease nurse, peer counsellor, mental health specialists, GP, social worker and more. Communication between parties is currently seen as fragmented rather than effective. We need a patient-centred solution, one that would bring family members and the specialists working in different institutions or locations into a common information space. We would like every party to have access to the information they need for making decisions. It should be easier for all parties to follow the treatment plan. This is especially important for ensuring the continuity of treatment for people with lower motivation. We await solutions for HIV-positive people from different patient groups, those closest to them and members of the medical and support team.

Problem


  • The existing IT solutions are institution- and reporting-centred, but the exchange of information and the presentation of information based on a given individual is weak (for example, doctors must read summaries of the previous case histories in order to get the full picture of a patient)
  • IT solutions are good for documenting decisions; patient-centred and team-based communication has not yet been developed.
  • There is no uniform way of monitoring people’s treatment plans or feedback from parties. The referring specialist doesn’t know whether the patient will reach the next specialist (for example, upon release from a correctional institution, no one checks whether the person will go to see a specialist and continue treatment or not)
  • People with low motivation to get treatment disappear from view as far as the treatment and support team are concerned; their last visit to a specialist and need for treatment is not visible to other healthcare workers (GP, ER etc.)
  • Healthcare professionals do paperwork (using file folders in hard copy) and Excel spreadsheets) to track the continuity of appointments and medication taken by the patient. This is time-consuming work and leaves less time for direct communication with the patient

Needs

  • Information has to move with the person
  • To facilitate communication, not documentation
  • All medical and support team members must have access to the information they need
  • The patient and his/her informal care team (family and friends) are engaged as parties
  • Depending on the parties’ different needs for information, they have different access to information
  • Patients must have the opportunity to track movement of the information on their health
  • Patients whose treatment is discontinued are readily visible in the system to the medical and support team
  • As a result, to involve and develop a sense of responsibility in the patient

Vision

The person living with HIV, his/her loved ones and the specialists feel they are working like one team, even though they have a different role, employer, location and working hours.

Artur

A hopeless feeling
Age: 32


Artur is 32 years old. He has no fixed address, and crashes with different friends and acquaintances in the city of Jõhvi. He lives off of what he steals and state benefits (about 160 euros a month) He has done time in prison twice in his life. He used to have domestic partners. His ties to family have been cut.

  • Alcoholism in family, domestic violence
  • Passivity, general feeling of hopelessness
  • Lacking social reference system
  • Discontinued education
  • Lack of opportunity to develop interests Irregular daily routine
  • Poor self-management skill

Maria

Active but lacks confidence
Age: 42

Maria is 42 years old. She has an apartment in Tallinn but is temporarily living in Pärnu. She works as an accountant. She is separated, and has two grown children from that relationship. She talks frequently with her parents and other relatives.

  • Psychological adjustment with HIV has been very hard
  • Low level of knowledge about her illness
  • Stigma that makes it difficult to adjust
  • Difficulty establishing new intimate relationships

3. How can we raise the motivation of HIV-positive people with poorer treatment adherence to take care of themselves and their health?

HIV-positive people include those with very different life habits and socio-economic backgrounds. Problems with treatment are often seen in those in socio-economic difficulty, especially those who have dependency problems. Many people with dependency problems would like to turn their lives around, but their motivation is unstable and there are far from enough resources for them. Also, they lack guidance among their acquaintances on whom to turn to for advice and support in changing their lives. People with dependencies have lower than normal coping skills, and they lack feelings of self-worth and confidence that life could be different. They are surrounded by the negative judgments of others. Their past life with dependency, which often involved offences and punishments, makes it harder for them to find official work, especially if the unemployment rate is high. Unstable life rhythm, poverty, exclusion and long-term depression lead to low motivation with regard to taking care of their own or others’ health. We are looking for a solution that will motivate people to take better care of their health and the health of others, and offers them support in doing so, thereby reducing their isolation. The challenge is aimed at helping HIV-positive people in major socio-economic difficulties.

Problem


  • Low self-concept
  • Lacking social skills, inability to make sense of one’s behaviour
  • Unemployment and low educational attainment (due to difficult personal history, holds low appeal for potential employers)
  • Poor management skills, debt trap, poverty
  • Unstable life and unhealthy habits (alcohol, drugs)
  • Lack of positive role models, social circle promotes risk behaviours
  • Exclusion, low engagement in society (e.g. does not see a GP, uninsured)

Needs

  • Bringing the person together with others and showing different lifestyles and life strategies
  • Offering support for understanding and directing one’s behaviour
  • Feeding people’s feeling of self-worth, helping them to feel needed, raising motivation for self-actualisation
  • Promoting a stable routine in their lives, using positive reinforcement for improving health behaviour
  • Creating a positive outlook and motivation to be healthy
  • Keeping people engaged with society and within the healthcare system

Vision

All people living with HIV care about their health, follow the treatment plan and are included in society.

Artur

A hopeless feeling
Age: 32


Artur is 32 years old. He has no fixed address, and crashes with different friends and acquaintances in the city of Jõhvi. He lives off of what he steals and state benefits (about 160 euros a month) He has done time in prison twice in his life. He used to have domestic partners. His ties to family have been cut.

  • Alcoholism in family, domestic violence
  • Passivity, general feeling of hopelessness
  • Lacking social reference system
  • Discontinued education
  • Lack of opportunity to develop interests Irregular daily routine
  • Poor self-management skill

4. How can we offer support and security to HIV-positive people in a manner that’s suitable for them?

HIV diagnosis comes as a major shock for many people at first, and they need support from others to adjust to their disease. Due to stigma, people living with HIV tend only to tell a few of those in their inner circle about the disease. There are also people who may not have enough loved ones who are aware of the disease and who can provide adequate support. Doctors and nurses try to direct people to peer counsellors and psychologists. However, some people may turn down such intervention as going to see a psychologist also comes with a stigma, and they may not find the peer counsellor who they feel is right for them. Thus, some people may find themselves alone with their worry and instead of focusing on treatment and everyday activities, they may sink into depression. For example, HIV-positive people are afraid of discrimination from employers and are in a quandary about whether and how to establish new intimate relationships. We are looking for a solution that would support HIV-positive people at a time and place and in a manner that suits them. It should provide the possibility to serve as a support for other HIV-positive people as well. We are looking for solutions for people living with HIV in different patient groups.

Probleem

  • The stigma of mental health problems keeps people from seeking psychological help
  • The cult of success keeps people from sharing their worries with others and seeking help
  • Counselling is limited in terms of time and place. Peer-to-peer counselling is mostly available for HIV-positive people who are current or former injecting drug users

Needs

  • Opportunity to receive help regardless of location and time of day
  • People can choose to remain anonymous
  • Expand the selection of peer-counsellors taking into account the needs of different user groups (such as unemployed people with dependency problems and working single mothers)
  • Opportunity to talk to other people living with HIV to learn from each other’s experiences and support each other
  • Obtain practical tips for various stages in life and disease (such as starting a new relationship)
  • Counselling needs to be in conformity with treatment guidelines
  • Option to receive help in Estonian and Russian (with the possibility to add other languages)

Vision

No HIV-positive person should be alone with their worries and fears.

Artur

A hopeless feeling
Age: 32


Artur is 32 years old. He has no fixed address, and crashes with different friends and acquaintances in the city of Jõhvi. He lives off of what he steals and state benefits (about 160 euros a month) He has done time in prison twice in his life. He used to have domestic partners. His ties to family have been cut.

  • Alcoholism in family, domestic violence
  • Passivity, general feeling of hopelessness
  • Lacking social reference system
  • Discontinued education
  • Lack of opportunity to develop interests Irregular daily routine
  • Poor self-management skill

Maria

Active but lacks confidence
Age: 42

Maria is 42 years old. She has an apartment in Tallinn but is temporarily living in Pärnu. She works as an accountant. She is separated, and has two grown children from that relationship. She talks frequently with her parents and other relatives.

  • Psychological adjustment with HIV has been very hard
  • Low level of knowledge about her illness
  • Stigma that makes it difficult to adjust
  • Difficulty establishing new intimate relationships

Blog

HIVdigital has created two valuable digital solutions in the field of HIV

The HIVdigital competition with its €100,000 prize pool launched a year ago and has resulted in two innovative digital solutions in the field of HIV. The decision support platform Diagnostic Match is a tool for general practitioners that helps to detect people needing HIV testing in mere seconds. The hINF mobile application facilitates communication between HIV-positive patients and their attending physicians and helps to save time by replacing nearly half of the visits with digital visits.

According to Kitty Kubo, the organiser of the competition and the innovation lead of the health technology cluster Connected Health, the results of the HIVdigital competition are excellent. “Both solutions are driven by actual problems experienced by doctors and patients, and they were co-created by them. One of the solutions is aimed at a better detection of HIV-infected people, and the other engages in better organisation of treatment of HIV-positive patients. Without the HIVdigital competition, those solutions would not exist,” she commented. Kubo says that in addition to particular digital solutions, an extra value is derived from the innovative model for boosting needs-based innovation in healthcare, tested with the HIVdigital competition.

The digital solution Digital Match, originally conceptualized by Dr. Diana Ingerainen, the president of the Estonian Society of Family Doctors, is a tool for smart screening of HIV to be used by general practitioners. With the help of the prize money of HIVdigital and the mentors of Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, it has taken nine months for a team of medical and IT experts to create a primary product out of the idea. Algorithms for supporting decision-making regarding HIV indicator diseases have been developed and their functioning has been tested in four centres of general practitioners. There is also technical readiness to make the application available to 85% of general practitioners in Estonia. “In cooperation with medical experts, we have created a digital solution that supports the quicker detection of currently hiding HIV-positive patients in primary care and getting them tested,” said Grete Kikas, Manager of Diagnostic Match, the startup company developing the solution. She added: “This solution is based on algorithms that analyse the patients’ health data and send a message to the general practitioner’s desktop if a person has been diagnosed with an indicator disease that implies the possibility of HIV. In the future, we would like to extend the logic behind these algorithms to other areas in medicine, as well as make them available for use by patients themselves so that they can take control of their own health.”

The hINF digital solution was created at the initiative of and in close cooperation with health professionals working with HIV-positive patients at the Infectious Diseases Clinic of West Tallinn Central Hospital. Paula Kink, the CEO of the startup company hINF, said: “The purpose of this solution is to make the interaction between the doctor and the patient more convenient and save time for both of them. According to the user survey, 86% of HIV-positive patients consider regular visits to the clinic to be time-consuming and inconvenient, since each visit takes a patient an average of three hours of their working time.” She continued to describe the nature of the application: “The hINF solution provides a secure application for attending digital visits; for the patient, it means that they do not need to actually go to the clinic in order to get analysis results or in case of questions. During a digital visit, the doctor is able to submit the necessary information to the patient using a mobile application.”

The competition HIVdigital was launched in the summer of 2016 by the Estonian health technology cluster Connected Health and GlaxoSmithKline Eesti OÜ (GSK) in order to find innovative digital solutions to the problems in the field of HIV that can be used in Estonia and exported to foreign markets. This innovation competition with its novel design was the first of its kind in the Estonian medical system. As far as the organisers are concerned, it is unique in the world, at least in the field of HIV. The competition consisted of three stages covering the entire innovation process from identifying needs to launching ready solutions on the market, and various parties were included in the process. Fourteen concepts were submitted to the competition. With the help of the prize fund of €100,000 and mentors from Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol, two of them reached the goal of becoming a usable solution.

According to Sirje Kõuts, a representative of GSK Estonia, the competition is a good example of how a pharmaceutical company can contribute to society innovatively. “The HIVdigital project has boosted the creation of patient-centered solutions in the field of HIV with mutual cooperation of all stakeholders. The development and enthusiasm of the teams gives me hope that these developed and applied solutions have a potential to be taken into use in Estonia and abroad,” Kõuts said.

“According to a worldwide trend, global pharmaceutical companies tend to go beyond the pill and look at the environment more broadly. This also means that there is increased interest in contributing to digital solutions. In Estonia, GSK is a trendsetter, and we hope that the positive experience of HIVdigital encourages others to follow the trend,” Kubo said.

The cooperation partners of the competition are the Ministry of Social Affairs, the National Institute of Health Development, the Infectious Diseases Clinic of West Tallinn Central Hospital, the Linda Clinic and the AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The competition was financed by ViiV Healthcare via the global Positive Partnerships Program.

Paula Kink, hINF CEO: We wish to revolutionize obsolete medical routines

hINF enables patients with chronic diseases to replace many of their routine visits to the doctor with convenient digital appointments, which means that they don’t need to show up at a clinic to get their lab results or request necessary information.

“Solutions that allow digital consultations with doctors promote patient independence and strongly focus on prevention. Empowered patients, in control of their health, could make the right choices to improve treatment outcome, and in the long run minimize avoidable medical service use,” says Paula Kink, CEO and co-founder of hINF.

“hINF is a digital solution, currently targeted at HIV positive patients and their care teams,” explains Kink. hINF has set an ambitious goal to replace half of the routine visits, that patients with chronic conditions have, with digital appointments. Digital appointments are scheduled appointments by the patient to chat with their doctor. At the moment, solutions connecting patients and doctors through online consultations are quickly gaining ground. hINF differs from other similar solutions primarily as it is not only a platform for consultation with a medical specialist, it replaces routine visits to the clinic with digital appointments. While many competitors offer the possibility to consult with specialists online, patients with chronic diseases, who need regular monitoring, can use hINF to contact their treating physicians, who have access to patients’ medical history.

Digital appointments are an important step towards modernizing the care provided to patients with chronic conditions. In addition to making digital appointments, patients can use hINF to get an overview of their health status. Test results are presented on self-educating graphs where the red zone stands for bad and the green zone for good results. Contrary to a telephone or face-to-face consultation, hINF helps make sure that patients remember what doctors have told them, or alternatively, they can revisit their digital appointment and test results at any time.

“The mobile application also provides patients with an overview of their antiretroviral treatment,” says Kink. The system includes a smart notification center, which sends alert messages as to when patients need to make appointments, take their medication, or pick up refills. In Estonia, HIV positive patients receive their antiretroviral treatment from a clinic, not a pharmacy, every 1 to 4 months, depending on the patients’ adherence.

At the moment, patients can use the app on their mobile phones and doctors have a web setup. A web-based platform for patients is under development. Initially, it is planned to test patient mobility, or make it possible for patients to have their digital appointment at any place convenient to them.

Users are identified by their RL-HIV code, an anonymous, unique ID code issued to all HIV positive patients in Estonia. The app stores a minimum amount of patients’ personal data, namely his/her name, year of birth, and the RL-HIV code. All of the data stored is encrypted and only visible to the patients and their care team.

The idea was born at the HIVdigital hackathon

The idea behind hINF was born at the HIVdigital hackathon, which took place in Tallinn, August 2016. The hackathon was organized to come up with digital solutions that would simplify the life of HIV positive patients and improve their treatment adherence. The hINF team, including MD Kersti Kink, Paula Kink, Tanel Teemusk, Katrin Charles, and MD Helen Mülle, participated in the event.

“At a brainstorming session we came up with an idea of a patient-doctor platform for digital appointments. Discussions with professionals in the field, mentors and patients only confirmed our assumption that the existing system is outdated and that doctor-patient communication needs to be modernized to be more efficient,” Kink explains. “We saw that patients do not particularly like the idea of making frequent visits to the clinic – instead, they actively seek out alternative options for communicating with their doctors, for example, via telephone. After realizing that their information will most likely to be passed to them unless they visit the clinic, they start to avoid appointments overall. That is why it is crucial to create a suitable medium that would enable parties to communicate with their doctor in a secure setting.”

The app is developed in close cooperation with professionals in the field as well as patients to get immediate feedback and a better grasp of user expectations. “Patients and doctors have contributed to our effort with a number of great ideas,” says Kink. “It is their suggestions and recommendations that the app’s current functionality is based on. Our goal is not simply to develop a great product, but to create a solution that best meets the daily needs of its users.”

Feedback from doctors and patients has been positive. To assess the number of its potential users, a broad survey was conducted among patients. “We found it highly encouraging that 94% of respondents had a smartphone and the majority were advanced users,” Kink comments. “The only ones currently not interested in hINF were primarily patients who didn’t use a smart device.”

The app’s initial version will be launched in June 2017. By then, the digital appointment functionality as well as that of accessing one’s lab results will be ready. What is more, it is planned to integrate the app with hospitals’ registration desks so that in addition to making digital appointments, patients could book routine visits to the doctor’s office as well.  Long-term plans include connecting the app to hospitals’ health information systems, which means that doctors could send and receive necessary data through the electronic health record system during a digital appointment – and with just a few clicks at that. This would make for faster, easier and securer information transfer.

According to Kink, the overall goal of the app is to revolutionize certain routine medical practices, because the existing system is outdated and inconvenient for patients with chronic conditions and their care teams. In addition, the current system is very time-consuming and costly. “Eliminating the need for visiting the clinic at least a couple of times per patient within a year, helps save time and money for all of the parties included in the system of managing a patient with chronic disease,” says Kink.

Source: Connected Health Cluster

Grete Kikas, CEO of Diagnostic Match: We make the solution operational by June!

Diagnostic Match is a decision-making support platform for primary care providers that automates the process of detecting whether a patient falls into an HIV risk group. The solution looks at other conditions to flag patients who are at risk for HIV so that they can be tested as early as possible.

“The solution consists of a digital decision-making platform that helps find HIV-positive patients through indicator diseases,” says Diagnostic Match CEO Grete Kikas in introducing the idea. The system looks for illnesses that are co-morbid with HIV, such as hepatitis B and C, herpes zoster, fungal infections, recurrent lung infections, tuberculosis and others, and helps general practitioners to make the decision on whom to test for HIV.

The idea originated with the Estonian Society of Family Doctors, which also collaborated on developing the solution. “One key to our success is that we have developed very good synergy between the team and our partners in co-operation,“ says Kikas. “The Society of Family Doctors has provided very good input – the whole project evolved out of their needs. I feel we’re doing something really good that will actually help resolve a problem.”

Finding HIV risk group in a matter of seconds

Kikas says that during the pilot project, they noticed that it took general practitioners seven minutes to gather the information needed to find HIV-positive people on the basis of indicator conditions. “Appointments with general practitioners only last ten minutes and if they spend seven minutes of that time dealing with the HIV topic, that steals an awful amount of time away,” says Kikas. “So we’re trying to automate the process so that it would be a matter of seconds, as easy and routine as possible.”

Kikas emphasizes that decision-making support has to be integrated into the existing system. “If it were in the form of a separate app, it’s very likely that doctors won’t find the time to use it. But if it’s on their own desktop, they will be aware of it and there’s no barrier with regard to the ability to use it,” she says.

In this manner, digital algorithms have been developed to allow patient health records to be automatically pulled from the health information system. This shows any indicator conditions and whether the patient has previously been tested for HIV. If the algorithm finds that the patient has been diagnosed as having an indicator condition, the physician will be shown a recommendation that HIV testing be considered.

From idea to prototype

The first step in developing the system was to map the need in collaboration with GPs.

For years, Estonia has been among the world’s countries with the fastest spread of HIV. According to the Estonian Health Board, more than 9,475 people have been diagnosed with HIV, while the number of those infected is thought to be as high as 12,000. About 25 new HIV cases per 100,000 inhabitants are registered each year in Estonia compared to an average of 6 new cases in Europe as a whole.

“Many people don’t know they carry the virus and general practitioners don’t know whom to test. About 50% of people get their HIV diagnosis too late in the game. Physicians must be made more aware of the necessity of HIV testing,” says Kikas.

She adds that they hope the solution will also lessen the stigma associated with HIV. She explains that it’s often assumed people living with HIV are drug abusers or sex workers, yet in fact HIV positive people can also be ordinary schoolteachers. “During the brief appointment, general practitioners don’t consider that the schoolteacher might already have been diagnosed with some indicator condition which based on treatment guidelines, means that they should be tested for HIV.”

Furthermore, because of the stigma associated with HIV, it’s frequently awkward for doctors to ask whether a patient falls into a risk group. “But if the information is automatically displayed on their screen, that part of the job has been done, because the patient is already in a risk group.”

Once the need was mapped and the idea committed to paper, Diagnostic Match took part in the HIVdigital competition held in Estonia, which is focused on problems related to HIV. A hackathon held as part of HIVdigital yielded a prototype that was functional in practice and in the final round of the competition, Diagnostic Match was selected from among five projects as the winner. The prize was 40,000 euros of seed capital for developing the digital solution.

Awaiting new challenges

“We’re currently in a phase where we have a working prototype and are starting to work on a real product in March,“ says Kikas. “I’d like the product to be operational in practice by June 2017.”

At the moment, a solution is being developed for the Estonian market. “We started with GPs, but we’ve got to the point that there’s actually demand for the product from other healthcare workers and specialities. When a person has dealings with the healthcare system, the given doctor, nurse, occupational health physician, or gynecologist should already see a notification if a patient has been diagnosed with specific indicator conditions and the treatment guidelines recommend that HIV testing be considered. We’ve talked with professional associations a great deal and they, too, see that they need this tool and HIV testing reminders based on previous diagnoses,” says Kikas.

In the future, the Diagnostic Match team plans to develop algorithms for foreign markets as well. The Finnish and Danish medicine markets are being eyed. “It will be a completely new challenge as to how to get the algorithm working elsewhere. We are looking forward to meeting the challenge, because there’s a need for it,” says Kikas.

Source: Connected Health Cluster

GlaxoSmithKline – a pharmaceutical company that promotes healthcare innovations

With the support of GlaxoSmithKline Estonia (GSK Estonia), a competition was held in Estonia to target HIV problems through innovative digital solutions. The project has successfully reached its final stages and will hopefully help launch digital solutions that can be used in Estonia as well as elsewhere.

Toomas Pruunsild from GSK Estonia points out that the pharmaceutical industry is among the most innovative industries and in order to be successful, companies need to keep up with the digital world. “For us, it is only natural to look for digital solutions in drug development, including conducting clinical trials, as well as marketing, pharmacovigilance and other areas. In the global pharmaceutical industry, this process works on several levels: companies actively explore and look for innovative solutions, and make decisions as to which solutions merit further development in their specific context. A large corporation typically consists of a number of sub-units: for example, GSK Estonia is operating under the Nordic Cluster as Baltic organisation with a multichannel team specialising in digital marketing and launching several marketing channels. At the country level, we cooperate with our technological partners regarding certain therapy options, for example, to develop digital solutions for patients,” he explains.

Despite the small size of the country, GSK Estonia has successfully come up with an innovation project that has attracted interest even within the corporation: “You can pick up great ideas with global potential from small countries as well,” Pruunsild admits.

HIVdigital – a successful example of the Positive Partnership programme

The HIVdigital project, launched in the summer of 2016 and funded by ViiV Healthcare, a GSK group company, in the amount of some 200,000 Euros, aptly demonstrates that with the successful involvement and systematic effort of all parties it is possible to transform an idea into a fully functional digital solution relatively quickly – in this case, it was done in the area of healthcare. For GSK Estonia, this is the first partnership experience of its kind, and highly successful.

Discussing the project in greater detail, Mr. Pruunsild says that good timing was one of the keys to the success: “Some time ago, we decided to join the Connected Health cluster because it is an excellent platform for being in close proximity to the formation and development of new ideas. It happened to be that at the same time ViiV Healthcare announced a global call for projects under the Positive Partnership programme to deliver new solutions for HIV management. Our joint project with the Connected Health cluster proved to be a successful one – it came first at the global call for proposals, which means we received top support by ViiV’s central innovation unit to co-develop vital digital solutions, working together with tech specialists, doctors and others involved in the sphere of HIV,” Pruunsild explains.

“As I see it, everything that has been achieved as a result of the joint effort of project parties, from situation mapping to developing solutions is a glaring example of positive partnership which was globally expected from this kind of project. The highly active approach of participants in the HIVdigital project and the media attention received also brought more focus to the topic of HIV, on the decision-making as well as on the political level. Our launch of new, better digital solutions in HIV care has generated more interest within the corporation with HIVdigital’s competition. For example, in Latvia, Lithuania and in the Nordic countries in general we can also spread information about potential digital solutions through our networks. Such success would have been impossible without the contribution and support of the Connected Health cluster – the entire concept was based on synergy,” he adds.

The Estonian HIVdigital competition consisted of three phases, the last of which continues until June 2017. The first stage was for generating and validating ideas as well as developing them for concepts. In the second phase, the best ideas were turned into prototypes and in the third one the solutions are being tested and prepared for broader application. “The project is currently in its final stage, which means that two winning prototypes are in the product development phase and those solutions will be presented at the competition’s closing event in June 2017. Hopefully we will launch two digital solutions that are fully functional in real-life conditions,” says Pruunsild.

One of the two winners at the HIVdigital competition is Diagnostic Match, a digital decision-making support tool that generates algorithms for general practitioners. The solution is a tool that helps identify undiagnosed HIV positive patients with indicator-disease guided HIV testing.

The second winner, hINF, is a secure mobile application for making communication between HIV positive patients and their treating physicians easier. hINF allows patient to review his/her health status and treatment outcomes, chat with their treating physician, make a (digital) appointment and find a support person. After all, virtual appointments can help doctors save valuable time.

Possibilities to use HIVdigital model in other areas

Positive experience gained from the HIVdigital project has encouraged GSK Estonia to implement similar solutions also in other fields. The company is caring about major healthcare issues that present a serious challenge in Estonia. Currently, GSK Estonia has turned its attention to respiratory diseases – although there are already many applications and solutions available, there is still a chance to come up with something new and relevant. “We are discussing possible solutions and cooperation platforms.

For example, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is seriously under diagnosed in Estonia compared to other Northern-European countries. Many patients are not aware of their disease or that help is available. I am sure there is still plenty of room for improvement here and technological solutions will help to contribute on that,” Pruunsild concludes.

Source: Connected Health Cluster

Winners of HIVdigital competition announced

On 13 December the winners of HIVdigital competition were announced. The jury of experts named the decision support platform Diagnostic Match developed in cooperation with the Estonian Society of Family Doctors the winner of the first place. The second place winner and the favourite of the audience was the mobile application hINF developed based on the practical needs of doctors and HIV-positive patients of the Infectious Diseases Clinic of West Tallinn Central Hospital. The winners shared 70 000 Euros in prize money.

According to the words of Grete Kikas, project manager of Diagnostic Match, which was awarded 40 000 Euros, last three months were spent for developing a prototype based on the idea. „Thanks to excellent synergy and commitment of the team and cooperation partners, our idea has reached the phase, where we could present a really functioning prototype. In three months we have digitalised more than 400 diagnostic codes of HIV indicator diseases and created really functioning algorithms based on clinical treatment guides, which help to make HIV testing on basic level more purpose-oriented. We have cooperated with several medical specialists for validating the algorithms. We also conducted a pilot study in three centres of general practitioners, where 120 patients were tested based on their indicator diseases. In coming months we will improve the prototype and increase the number of centres of general practitioners participating in pilot projects,“ said Kikas.

Diagnostic Match is a decision support platform to help general practitioners to detect hidden HIV-positive patients with indicator diseases to achieve targeted HIV testing. The idea of Diagnostic Match originates from the Estonian Society of Family Doctors, who were also the cooperation partner for developing the solution. The team includes Grete Kikas, Kristjan Krass and Dr Diana Ingerainen.

hINF, which was awarded 30 000 Euros, is a secure digital health solution, which eases the communication between HIV-positive patients and their medical doctors. hINF gives the patient an overview of her/his health and treatment outcome, allows the patient to chat with his/her doctor, book (digital) appointment and find a support person. The team includes Paula Kink, Dr Kersti Kink, Dr Helen Mülle, Katrin Charles and Tanel Teemusk.

„In case of both winning teams it is worth mentioning that practising clinicians exited from their daily working routine and developed new user-centred solutions together with technology people. Such co-creation is a sound basis for innovation – we hope that it will continue,“ said Ain Aaviksoo, member of the panel and the Deputy Secretary General for E-services and Innovation at the Ministry of Social Affairs. „The decisive factor for declaring Diagnostic Match the winner was the fact that in three months they were able to complete a functioning prototype and test it in real working environment,” he added.

Five HIVdigital finalists presented their prototypes at the HIVdigital Grand Final; the winners were selected by a jury of experts. Two winning teams shared 70 000 Euros, in sums 40 000 and 30 000. In addition to the cash prize, Tehnopol offers a free access to the Startup Incubation Program. HIVdigital organisers expect the winners to turn the prototypes into ready-to-use solutions in next 6 months. Organisers of the competition plan to present the solutions in June 2017.

„We expect the winning teams to continue the development in next six months to turn the prototype into usable and useful product, which success is ensured by sustainable revenue model and capable team,” said Kitty Kubo, an organiser of the HIVdigital competition and innovation manager of the health technology cluster Connected Health.

Doctors and patients lead the way in creating first app for digital doctor’s appointments

Estonian doctors and HIV patients are working together to create the first digital solution enabling digital doctor’s appointments which will help save time and money for everyone involved and simplify the lives of people living with HIV.

Doctors and patients will soon be able to use the app, called hINF. The app was created by start-up pioneer Paula Kink together with the head of the Ambulatory Care Department of the Infectious Diseases Clinic at West Tallinn Central Hospital, infectious disease specialist Kersti Kink and her colleague Helen Mülle, IT specialist Tanel Teemusk and adviser Katrin Charles – all of whom were needed to bring this start-up solution to life.“HIV is a chronic disease,” explained Paula Kink. “Patients have to visit a doctor regularly throughout their lives and take medication every day. We started looking for a way of making life easier for HIV patients during the HIVdigital hackathon event [a competition for digital health solutions that focuses on issues related to the field of HIV – Ed.] that was held in August 2016. hINF is a doctor-patient communication channel that can be used to carry out digital appointments – to share results of analyses and message doctors.”

Digital vs ordinary appointments

Patients’ analyses are considered sensitive personal data that cannot be sent by post or email. The new solution uses several measures to ensure the protection of patient data. Information is only visible to two parties: the doctor and the patient.

Accounts are created using a unique RL-HIV code that functions as the patient’s anonymous identification number. Patients can only create an account once their doctor has approved it.

“Patients with HIV need to be monitored routinely,” said Kersti Kink, who treats HIV patients on a daily basis. “New patients are required to visit their doctor twice a month initially, to give samples and get analysis results. Patients whose HIV viral load is under control see their doctor less often – about once every four to six months. That’s a lot to take into account for working people.”

What do the team behind the idea come up with? Work is underway to build a mobile and online application that will make long-discussed digital appointments a reality. Patients can make an appointment using the app and choose whether they would prefer a digital or regular one. Digital appointments take place at the registered time. Patients can think their questions through in advance and write them down to ensure they get the most out of the appointment.

One of the main purposes of digital appointments is to make the process of asking doctors questions quick and easy. They also serve to replace follow-up appointments. After the patient has provided samples for analysis, hINF books a new digital appointment so that the doctor can inform them of key test results and answer any questions.

The second problem that the app seeks to address concerns patients who do not take medication on a regular basis.

“Using the hINF app, patients can keep track of their results in an interactive diagram,” Paula Kink explained. “Gaps in treatment can cause the viral load to increase within a matter of weeks. That makes the patent a threat to themselves and their loved ones.

The digital solution alerts users when their results enter the danger zone. From talking to patients we’ve learned that they feel more inclined to take care of their health if they can see that their treatment is effective. This motivates them to regularly take their medicines.”

Time is saved

The app has another important function, as it sends patients timely reminders when their medications are about to run out. Antiretroviral (ARV) drugs are prescribed on average for three months. That is more than time enough to forget when supplies need to be renewed.

“UNAIDS, the international AIDS organisation, set the target of 90/90/90 to help end the AIDS epidemic,” said Kersti Kink. “That means that 90% of people with HIV are aware of their diagnosis, 90% of those infected are receiving treatment and 90% of HIV patients receiving therapy have achieved viral suppression and are no longer infectious.

We hope that using the hINF app will boost patients’ motivation. They won’t have to spend as much time going to see their doctor or have to think about their illness as much. It will make interacting with doctors easy and more up-to-date. We’re giving patients the chance to help advance the field of e-health solutions.”

The digital solution will also reduce the workload of the registration desk at the Infectious Diseases Clinic at West Tallinn Central Hospital. “Everyone stands to win: patients, doctors, work organisation and hospitals,” Kersti Kink said. “We’re convinced the state will benefit in the long run, too. Since digital appointments are shorter than regular ones, doctors will be able to see more patients.”

There are currently 25 doctors in Estonia working with HIV patients. The highest concentration of persons living with HIV is at West Tallinn Central Hospital. There are over 5000 HIV patients under observation in clinics around Estonia.

Source:
http://tehnika.postimees.ee/3926905/arstid-ja-patsiendid-votsid-asja-kaesile-valmimas-on-esimene-digivisiite-voimaldav-rakendus

The winners of the HIVdigital Hackathon start to develop game-changing digital health solutions in the field of HIV

The HIVdigital Hackathon that took place from Friday evening until Sunday evening at Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol brought together more than 80 digital health solution developers and HIV subject matter experts. The jury declared the digital solution ideas of LiveHIV, DigiScreen and hINF as the winners of the 48-hour development marathon. The prize fund of 30000 Euros for this stage of the competition was divided among the winners as 6000, 12000 and 12000 Euros, respectively. The financial award plus the coaching by Tehnopol mentors and HIV subject matter experts is aimed at developing the prototypes out of the ideas. The winner teams have three months for creating the prototypes.

All winning ideas are aimed at solving the HIV-related problems, but from different angles.

LiveHIV idea is to create an engaging permanent campaign in order to encourage healthy adults to test themselves on a regular basis and in case of the positive result to guide them to the necessary services. Since HIV-positives on treatment live their regular everyday life and do not infect other people, LiveHIV considers the main aim of their project to significantly impede the HIV infection among heterosexuals of over 35 years old. As an alternative for having a rapid test in the anonymous HIV testing service, LiveHIV.ee wishes to be also the first and most operative source where from the end of November people could receive information about the possibilities of home testing.

DigiScreen wishes to automate finding HIV risk group. The IT-solution helps to filter the people belonging to the HIV risk group through other diseases in order to direct those people to take the test as early as possible. The system takes as the basis the diseases concurring with HIV, such as B and C hepatitis, zoster, fungal infections, recurring pneumonia, tuberculosis etc. and helps the GP and henceforth also other healthcare workers to decide about who needs to take the test.

The aim of hINF solution is to use the mobile application to support the HIV-positive patients who correctly follow their treatment plan, by reducing the need for the ambulant treatment, which in turn will enable to pay more attention to more problematic and new patients. With the help of the mobile application it is also possible to find an experienced support person.

“I am very pleased with the choice, because I see attainable possibility in these ideas, to make the daily life of the HIV-positive people much easier and the fight against the HIV epidemic more efficient,” said Ain Aaviksoo, Deputy Secretary General  of e-services and innovation at the Ministry of Social Affairs and the member of the jury. “I wish that all teams continued with what they started in this weekend, because all ideas presented today have the potential and aspects that are worth to develop further.”

The winners should develop the working prototype from the presented ideas by the end of this year. Then the jury will again make a decision for whom the prize fund of 70000 Euros at this stage of the competition will be divided for testing and implementing the final solution. In addition to the financial prize, the award will include free expert advice from Tehnopol mentors and HIV-experts involved by the organizers.

According to the knowledge of the organizers of the HIVdigital competition, the HIVdigital Hackathon is the first of its kind in the world dedicated to improving the lives of people living with HIV. “In case of sharp focus and engagement of all market players, the format of hackathon fits perfectly to boost the innovation in healthcare,” Kitty Kubo, the innovation manager of Connected Health Cluster made a comment about the experience from hackathon.

14 ideas for digital health solution will compete at the HIVdigital competition

The HIVdigital competition received 14 digital health solution ideas for the deadline; all of these are targeted to solve the problems related to the field of HIV by using the IT. Organisers invite developers, designers and HIV subject matter experts to join the teams at the hackathon.

“Considering the specificity of the topic and period of holidays, the number of received ideas is quite good. A particularly positive is the fact that the ideas were presented by the HIV experts and technology companies as well,“ Kitty Kubo, the innovation manager of Connected Health Cluster commented.

The idea competition will culminate with the hackathon taking place in 26-28 August. This idea development marathon lasting the long weekend is aimed at forming the teams and the first prototyping of solutions.

“In order the ideas could become real solutions the teams will need people who could implement it technologically and those for whom the solutions are developed, in other words the test users. Therefore we invite developers, engineers and designers to the hackathon to join the teams. HIV-positives, doctors, nurses and other future users of those solutions are encouraged to come along and provide their expertise to the teams, “Kitty Kubo added.

The registration to the hackathon is open until the midday of 25 August on the competition’s website www.hivdigital.ee. The number of places is limited and we prefer the candidates with the above mentioned background.

The hackathon will end with the jury selecting the most promising ideas and making the decision about distributing the prize money. In the first round the prize fund will be up to 30 000 Euros. The financial prize is supplemented by free expert advice from the experienced mentors of Tehnopol and the experts of the field of HIV engaged by the competition organisers. In this stage the prerequisite for receiving the prize is the solution developer’s confirmed wish to develop a prototype from the idea within the time limit of the competition.

“During the hackathon we hope to validate the ideas and form capable and committed teams for those ideas. If two to three ideas presented prove to be worthy for the next development stage by the end of the hackathon, then we will be very pleased,” Kitty Kubo explained the expectations of the organisers.

HIVdigital (hivdigital.ee) is a digital solution competition focussing on the problems related to HIV. Its aim is to initiate a discussion about the innovation possibilities regarding HIV, boost the development of innovative practical ideas and support the development of the best ideas into the ready-made solutions. The possibility to present ideas for solution to the competition was open from 14 August until 14 August. The competition prize fund is 100 000 Euros in total.

The competition organisers are Estonian health technology cluster Connected Health managed by the SA Tallinn Science Park Tehnopol and GlaxoSmithKline Eesti OÜ.  The partners are the Ministry of Social Affairs, Linda Kliinik and AIDS Healthcare Foundation. The competition is financed by ViiV Healthcare through the Positive Partnerships program.

Service designer Maarja Mõtus: The communication of HIV-related information to patients is ineffective

According to the service designer Maarja Mõtus who introduced four problems related to the field of HIV at the launch event aimed at the developers of HIVdigital competition every infectious disease nurse dreams about that they could provide nursing care services instead of being simultaneously a secretary, logistician and pharmacist. The patients’ awareness is, however, impaired by the ineffectiveness of communicating information.

“The health behaviour of every HIV-positive person has an impact on whether the spread of the virus continues or stops. This how good is the health behaviour of HIV-positive people depends on their awareness. In addition to observing the health status and prescribing medication, the specialist does not always have time to have a deep health educational conversation with every person. For half of the working time, the infectious disease nurse has to work with prescribing the medications and preparing the corresponding documentation and reports which leaves them less time to the direct communication with the patient, “the service designer Maarja Mõtus explained.

“There are people with different backgrounds among HIV-positives – the people carrying viruses are from all society layers and preparing a complete and suitable information material for all of them is complicated, “Maarja Mõtus explained. “ Main problems that could be solved with new digital applications begin with the fact that today the information is communicated ineffectively to people. For instance, there are information brochures but the info in them is aging fast.

“The vision could include high knowledge of all HIV+ people about their disease and the specificity of the treatment and this awareness could affect positively the adherence to treatment. This means that the health care worker should be able to share information and guidelines to patients personally, based on their profile, the information should be clear, attractive, easy to remember and access without depending on time and place,” she added.

The participants to the competition are expected deliver solution ideas to four HIV-related challenges. First of them is a need to make the disease-related information accessible to HIV-positive people in a clear and memorable way. Second challenge involves the need to provide support and counselling to patients in a suitable way for them. Also, solutions to improve the cooperation and information exchange between the treatment and support teams, which could help to observe completely the people health, are searched for. The fourth challenge is a need to raise the motivation of the patients with poor adherence to treatment to monitor their health and follow the prescribed treatment. The challenges were mapped with the help of the parties working in the field of HIV based on the needs of HIV-positive people and the health care workers working directly with them. Additionally, the patients themselves helped to map the needs that gives confidence that these are realistic needs.

The solutions can be presented until 14 August (incl.) via the website hivdigital.ee. The 100000 Euros award fund of the competition to develop digital solutions will be handed out in two stages. The idea competition will culminate with the HIVdigital hackathon taking place in Tallinn in 26.-28. August where 30000 Euros meant for prototyping the solutions will be distributed among the best ones. In December 2016 the best or the best ones in turn will be chosen from the prototypes, to which up to 70000 Euros will be granted for testing and developing their ready-made solutions.

Digital solutions competition HIVdigital focussing on the HIV problems and with the award fund of 100000 Euros was declared open

The project HIVdigital is searching for new ideas to develop digital solutions that could improve the welfare of HIV positive people. The award fund of the idea competition is 100000 Euros. Main challenges within which the solutions are looked for the problems described, were screened with the parties involved in the HIV field. The ideas can be presented through the website www.hivdigital.ee within the following two months up to 14 August 2016 (incl.).

 “I hope that the solutions born within the HIVdigital will lead to a significant change that would not solve any general or technical problem of the ministry, but a vital problem of a real person,” said Ain Aaviksoo, the Vice-Chancellor of e-services and innovation at the Ministry of Social Affairs while launching the competition. “If we are creating a service, then it is for the reason that it would help real people – today HIV is a chronic disease like any other. There are about 35 million people with HIV+ diagnosis, of which about one third does not know that they are carrying the disease. At the same time a great part of the others do not receive any treatment. While developing a product or service within this project we must keep in mind that we are searching solutions for people. I believe in this project.”

“I have a great hope that this cooperation project will create something that is necessary indeed for HIV-positive people and since we have by now mapped the problems and needs with the patients, then I am confident that we are on the right track,” said Toomas Pruunsild, the representative of GlaxoSmithKline Eesti OÜ when introducing the competition to the technology companies. “Together with Connected Health Cluster we try to find good ideas from Estonia, based on which to create a solution that would help to improve the life quality of the HIV-positive patient – for example which would increase the cooperation between the patient, treatment and support teams and increase the adherence to treatment.”

“We expect that by the end of the project in June 2017, at least one beneficial and working HIV digital solution has been born and its application possibilities might not be confined to Estonia or the field of HIV,” Kitty Kubo, the innovation manager of Connected Health Cluster explained.” Estonia is well-known in the world as being a successful IT and start-up country. The project HIVdigital helps us to mobilise our strength in the digital field and help along to solve one large problem at home, and perhaps why not even at further distance.”

The 100000 Euros award fund of the competition will be handed out in two stages. The idea competition will culminate with the HIVdigital hackathon taking place in Tallinn in 26.-28. August where 30000 Euros meant for prototyping the solutions will be distributed among the best ones. In December 2016 the best or the best ones will in turn be chosen from the prototypes, to which up to 70000 Euros will be granted for testing and developing their ready-made solutions. The ideas can be presented until 14 August (incl.) via the website hivdigital.ee. All eligibility criteria and specific task descriptions are available on the website.

Estonia is looking for digital solutions to increase the welfare of people who are HIV positive

Estonian health technology cluster Connected Health and GlaxoSmithKline Estonia begin to carry out a project called HIVdigital. The aim of this project is to boost the development of digital solutions that would give better healthcare access to people who are HIV+ and help with their adherence to treatment. The project is being financed by ViiV Healthcare and supported by Ministry of Social Affairs. 

“ViiV Healthcare, a global company specialising on HIV, rated Estonian project as the best and allocated a large sum of money so we could develop innovative solutions to challenges with HIV in collaboration with Estonian technology sector,” Toomas Pruunsild, representative of GlaxoSmithKline Estonia OÜ said. “By next summer when the project ends, we are expecting at least one innovative solution to truly contribute to quality of life of HIV+ patients – for example, make access to healthcare easier or help with adherence to treatment. What that is precisely will be determine in cooperation with all parties, the wishes and needs of people living with HIV being the key.”

“We are hoping that an award fund of EUR 100 000 for testing and developing the best solutions with an opportunity to receive comprehensive expert advice in the development process will bring a lot relevant participants to the design contest that will be announced in mid-June,” Kitty Kubo, Innovation Manager of the Connected Health Cluster lead by Tehnopol Science Park stated.

For the digital solutions being created to meet the actual needs of HIV+ patients as well as health care and other specialists directly involved with them, the parties involved with the field of HIV will formulate a problem for the design contest in the strategic design workshop held during the last days of May.

“We have called together all parties related to the work with HIV – doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, patents, officials and others – to determine the problems patients have on their journey to the services that could be resolved using digital solutions. Topics related to HIV call for a complex approach, for the system has many different parts that have to function together. Using strategic design enables us to see a big picture and to approach the problems from the perspective of people with HIV,” explained Kitty Kubo.

Ministry of Social Affairs has supported the project, and according to Ain Aaviksoo, Deputy Secretary General on E-services Development and Innovation, HIV-related topics are a priority for the Government and innovation cooperation with the private sector is to be welcomed. “Good ideas are not only created by the state. We move on faster with the cooperation of private and public sector. We must create an environment for good ideas to become a reality and HIVdigital is an excellent example of how it can be done,” Ain Aaviksoo added.

Project HIVdigital is funded by Positive Partnerships program initiated by ViiV Healthcare (https://www.viivhealthcare.com/) – a global company with the aim of raising quality of life for people with HIV. The goal of the program is to channel the resources to work out more efficient solutions and develop services for HIV+ patients. In total, 22 countries all over the world submitted their ideas to the competition and Estonia was selected together with Italy, Spain, UK, Canada and Brazil. Estonian project HIV Digital was considered to be the best among the participants.

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Experts

Jury, Mentor
Külle Tärnov
Külle Tärnov

Külle Tärnov

Connected Health Cluster

Külle Tärnov is boosting business development and collaboration in health technologies. She is leading Estonian Connected Health Cluster and coaching Estonia health tech tech startups. She is facilitating entry to new markets for technology based companies and has got a significant international network to support it, including European Connected Health Alliance and ScanBalt. Külle sees HIVdigital as an opportunity to help companies enter the market with new products that aren't just innovative but which help make the world a better, more healthy place.

Jury, Mentor
Ain Aaviksoo
Ain Aaviksoo

Ain Aaviksoo

Ministry of Social Affairs

Ain Aaviksoo, MD MPH is currently Deputy Secretary General for E-services and Innovation at the Ministry of Social Affairs in Estonia overseeing the digital transformation and innovation of social security area in Estonia, including health, labour and social matters. Mr Aaviksoo recently chaired two task forces, which prepared National E-Health Strategy and National Personalised Medicine Programme respectively – both approved by the Government. He has earlier work experience as a physician, senior level civil servant, international level consultant on large system transformation and technology adoption in healthcare, health policy researcher and CEO of public policy think-tank Praxis, and health-tech entrepreneur. He is also regularly presenting as invited keynote speaker on e-services and e-society at international health care or public policy events. Ain believes good ideas aren’t conceived by the government alone – cooperation between the private and public sector is needed for faster progress. He considers the HIVdigital competition a trailblazer and a worthy experiment when it comes to co-creation.

Jury, Mentor
Thom Van Every
Thom Van Every

Thom Van Every

ViiV Healthcare

Thom Van Every is a UK-trained medical doctor and specialist in obstetrics, gynaecology and sexual health. He is also an entrepreneur having founded a number of healthcare start-ups some of which he has exited (PatientChoice and DrThom) and some of which are on-going (Lemonaid Health). His work has taken him along most of the healthcare value chain from physician, to payer, to provider, to medical director of a national pharmacy chain and finally to his current role at pharmaceutical company ViiV, where he runs the digital innovation unit. He remains very interested in disruptive innovations that improve the delivery of healthcare and thus looking forward to take part in HIVdigital.

Jury, Mentor
Juta Kogan
Juta Kogan

Juta Kogan

Infectious disease doctor and GP

Dr Juta Kogan works as a physician in Ida-Viru County, the epicentre of the Estonian HIV epidemic. Besides her general practice in Toila, she is an infectious diseases doctor at Ida-Viru Central Hospital and the Linda Clinic, which is a private establishment in Narva specialised in providing care for people living with HIV. Dr Kogan has for years worked with HIV-positive inmates at Viru Prison. She sees nearly 500 HIV positive patients, most of whom are Russian speakers and have drug problems. Dr Kogan says that digital health solutions have the potential to increase treatment efficiency and make the service more user friendly. With her knowledge and experience, she wishes to be of as much help as she can.

Jury, Mentor
Aljona Kurbatova
Aljona Kurbatova

Aljona Kurbatova

Health Development Institute

Aljona Kurbatova is the director of the Infectious Diseases and Drug Abuse Prevention Department at the National Institute for Health Development (TAI). TAI is responsible for implementing Estonian policy on drug abuse and HIV and also carries out national and international cooperation projects. For instance, it develops and funds a voluntary HIV counselling and testing service, services aimed at mitigating harm in people with dependencies (including HIV-positive people with drug dependencies), and counselling services targeted at HIV-positive people, among much else. Aljona has worked in the area of public health since 2002 and has dealt with HIV topics for more than 10 years. She was inspired to participate in HIVdigital by the opportunity to find new solutions for making the services that HIV-positive people need better available and thus improving their quality of life.

Jury, Mentor
Nikos Dedes
Nikos Dedes

Nikos Dedes

Positive Voice

Nikos Dedes is a founding member and president of Positive Voice, the association of people living with HIV in Greece. He is a former coordinator of the Patient and Consumer Commission of the European Medicines Agency and former president of the European AIDS Treatment Group (EATG) - the foremost patient driven advocacy group in Europe. Born and bred in Salonica, he studied film before moving into activism around HIV/AIDS. He is based in Athens and frequently travels to HIV/AIDS conferences around the world.

Information technology (IT) has created applications and social media that have already changed the way people learn, communicate and relate to each other. Nikos is convinced that IT will continue to play an increasing role in health solutions for personal use but also in shaping policies and programs. And that patients and their advocates must be at the forefront of those innovations.

Jury
Anna Žakowicz
Anna Žakowicz

Anna Žakowicz

AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Anna Žakowicz is Europe Deputy Bureau Chief and Director of Programs at AIDS Healthcare Foundation

Mentor
Priit Kruus
Priit Kruus

Priit Kruus

Healthtech innovator

Priit Kruus is a CEO of the digital health strat-up Dermtest and a digital health expert. He has 8 years of healthcare analytics and management experience in the public and private sector. HIV is a complex disease where cooperation of different health system counterparts at all levels of care is needed in order to fight it. Priit believes that Dermtest's experience in fighting skin-cancer can be used in designing the solution for more effective prevention and treatment of HIV also. The goal should be no less than reduction of HIV related deaths and spreading by 100%.

Mentor
Kersti Kink
Kersti Kink

Kersti Kink

Infectious disease doctor

Dr Kersti Kink works at the West Tallinn Central Hospital’s Infectious Diseases Clinic, which is Estonia’s largest centre devoted to the treatment of infectious diseases. In terms of quality of the services provided to people living with HIV, the clinic is of a European calibre. Of the 2,492 HIV-positive patients registered at the clinic, 1,601 are receiving ARV treatment (as of June 2016). Dr Kink is an infectious diseases doctor with considerable experience – she has been working at the clinic for 30 years and is currently in charge of the outpatient department. She has 352 patients on her list, including 23 children who were born HIV-positive in Estonia. The HIVdigital competition appeals to Dr Kink’s desire to contribute to the inception of new solutions on a topic that is important to her.

Mentor
Jekaterina Smirnova
Jekaterina Smirnova

Jekaterina Smirnova

Estonian Network of PLWH

Jekaterina Smirnova is a social worker at the Estonian Network of PLWH.

Mentor
Jelena Antonova
Jelena Antonova

Jelena Antonova

Estonian Network of PLWH

Jelena Antonova is the treatment adherence director and peer counsellor for the Estonian Network of PLWH, the non-profit organization supporting people living with HIV in Estonia. Jelena decided to take part in the HIVdigital competition out of her desire to contribute to defeating the HIV epidemic. In her experience, the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV are obstacles to HIV treatment and prevention. HIV-related problems are familiar to Jelena as both a patient and support service provider. She believes that sharing her experience will also benefit the developers of digital health services taking part at the HIVdigital competition.

Mentor
Madis Tiik
Madis Tiik

Madis Tiik

GP and eHealth innovator

Madis Tiik is an acting general practitioner, entrepreneur and e-health innovator and evangelist. He has had the good fortune to be on board for the launch of e-health developments in both Estonia and Finland. Madis, who previously served as director of the Estonian E-Health Foundation, has in recent years been a health technology advisor at the Finnish Innovation Fund SITRA. Being on the frontlines of health technology, he is a sought-after inspirational speaker on the stages of the world’s start-up events. For inspiration, Madis himself seeks out Dr Eric Topol at the Scripps Translational Science Institute in the US. Madis maintains that new technological solutions won’t be compatible with today’s healthcare system and that’s why he enthusiastically works to change the system. As one example, he is one of the leaders of a virtual clinic being piloted in Finland.

Mentor
Tamara Dmitrijeva
Tamara Dmitrijeva

Tamara Dmitrijeva

Senior nurse

Tamara Dmitrijeva is a senior nurse in Linda Clinic (Narva, Estonia), established for HIV-positive people. She has got a twenty-year medical experience of work in departments of Urology, Oncology, Surgery, Emergency Medicine in Ida-Viru hospital. Since 2013 she has been working in Linda Clinic. Her work is directly connected with drugs dispensing, monitoring the course of treatment and consultancy not only before the start of medication, but later on, during the course of treatment aimed at increasing of adherence. During the HIVdigital competition she would like to share her work experience, discuss relevant problems and to listen to the developers of new ideas to implement them in her work later.

Mentor
Kristi Hakkaja
Kristi Hakkaja

Kristi Hakkaja

Healthtech start-up founder and CEO

Kristi is CEO and founder at HealthDiary. Since 2012 she’s running a team that's passionate about delivering new technology and new mind-set to the healthcare industry that badly needs them.

Mentor
Olev Lumiste
Olev Lumiste

Olev Lumiste

Nurse and counsellor
Mentor
Piret Hirv
Piret Hirv

Piret Hirv

Ministry of Social Affairs I E-health
Mentor
Julia ja Sergei
Julia ja Sergei

Julia ja Sergei

HIV-positive couple
Mentor
Eduard
Eduard

Eduard

HIV-positive
Moderator
Paul Vahur
Paul Vahur

Paul Vahur

HIVdigital Hackathon moderator

Paul Vahur is specialised in innovation events. He has recently organised hackathons for Microsoft in many European countries. He believes in hackathon’s co-creation model and finds that HIVdigital is a great opportunity to promote it in the field of healthcare.

Organisers

HIVdigital team

Kitty

Kitty Kubo

Connected Health Cluster

Kairi

Kairi Kontkar

GlaxoSmithKline Estonia

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