Novartis Biome, the new safe haven for innovators of the healthcare industry

Novartis Biome, the new safe haven for innovators of the healthcare industry

Embracing more digital solutions is one of the biggest healthcare trends that is impossible to overlook. The change has been initiated, but if companies expect to remain viable they will need to find ever more solutions to garner necessary funds for not only this area, but also to encourage innovation throughout the industry.

Progress will not wait for everybody to be ready, it is happening now.

Whether we talk about wearable devices, new smart drugs or algorithms to help conduct more precise clinical trials that will push new drugs to the market, the digital transformation of healthcare is advancing.

To try and close the gap that sometimes makes it impossible for brilliant ideas to become novel healthcare solutions, Novartis has recently built Novartis Biome to encourage digital innovation. In essence, it is a global network of digital innovation labs, built for entrepreneurs who want to innovate healthcare by solving real problems.

Novartis Biome allows participants to access key Novartis resources, including relevant datasets, mentorship and customized curriculums. Incubators and accelerators, venture capital, industry partners, data providers etc will be able to work together towards finding new and better solutions to improve and extend patients’ lives using data and digital technologies.

“The idea is to give the health tech ecosystem a boost and a clear ‘on-ramp’ to work with Novartis,” says Robin Roberts, Head of Innovation and Strategy of the Novartis Biome and one of its co-founders. “It’s clear to anyone who works in digital health that the vast majority of disruptive technologies are not going to come from big pharma companies. But we can engage and work with startups and innovators, and together make something bold, sustainable and scalable.”

Novartis had a different approach when structuring Biome. Startups are allowed to access data from hundreds of the company’s clinical trials, in order to test whether their own ideas have the potential to work in real-life settings.

Novartis Biome welcomes innovators in many ways, one of which is through HealthX World Series. The teams that enter it have the chance to work with a Novartis mentor, someone who has already identified some interest for Novartis in their projects. Together, they think of and execute a validation study to test the idea. If the outcome is satisfactory, Novartis has the option to invest in the technology. “Another big differentiator is that we don’t require entrepreneurs to give us an ownership stake in their company to participate,” says Mohanad Fors, Head of the Novartis Biome and co-founder.

In a recent blog post from world renowned cardiologist and successful healthcare entrepreneur, Simon Stertzer, “When current methods are leading to poor results and high levels of risk, it becomes time to look for a new solution.

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