On the 28-29th November 2019 I am attending PNI Cube (PNI: National Innovation Plan) the largest Italian yearly startup competition, this year taking place in Catania, Sicily. I will be there to support my team (in photo) for pitching and presenting MyHealthData (MyHD) an innovative startup idea which proposes a user-centric solution for managing medical data.
What is MyHealthData?
it is a platform which allows every patient to curate their medical data with an intuitive way using user-friendly technologies. MyHd allows the patient to gain control over their medical history and carry their medical data digitally so that it can be shared in any occasion (here the motto "medical data always with you"). MyHD aims at 1) easing the communication between patients and health-professionals, 2) promote data literacy among citizens, 3) ensure data privacy, 4) speeding up medical processes.MyHD offers two services:
1) MyHD historical, in which the user curates their medical history. This happens via a mobile app which uses personal cloud storage services (for example: Dropbox, iCloud, Google Drive). The medical data will not be shared in a centralised database, meaning that the user can choose the system they trust the most. The data will be safe using two levels of encryption.2) MyHD emergency, the GP can write an "emrgency document" with medical information always accessible in case of emergency via an NFC bracelet.
Why is MyHD innovative?
Based on a survey of the related competitors, no existing tool yet implements a user-centric approch in which the patient is the owner of their data - can share or revoke access to their data to a doctor or any other third party. MyHD works as a digital data backpack, implementing the concept of data entitlement. In times where data privacy becomes increasingly because of the introduction of the GDPR, we believe data-sharing systems will become increasingly popular. Yet, for medical data, these systems require synergic cooperation between patients and health professionals. For what concerns MyHD emergency, similar tools exist, as for example Apple Health, but they do not ensure to include always trustwhorty information. This poses a problem in for the emergency rescue doctors, who cannot trust what is written in there. In MyHD, the emergency document signed by the patient's GP.
How did we come up with MyHD?
Me, Luigi and Riccardo are three friends since high school and we all share the passion for innovation. Riccardo and Luigi are medicine students in training at the School of Medicine of the University of Bari. The idea was initiated by Luigi in December 2017, whom after visiting a MedTech conference in Berlin, realised that a common problem is the medical data management. From there we together came to the idea of a user-centric platform. Two years after long evenings of preparation, skype calls, braistorming sessions and pages of text, we decided we were ready for the big step of presenting our innovative idea to a proper innovation competition, hence we applied for the regional StartCup semifinal and got selected for the PNI final in Catania.
How does PNI work?
Every regional antenna in Italy (StartCup), guided by the innovation department of each regional government in Italy, selects 4-5 innovative projects by looking at the video Pitch, Business Plan and presentations. Each project falls into a broader category (for us is ICT). Each project needs the backup of a research institute. In Catania, all the selected project have 3 minutes to pitch their ideas and have a booth to present the idea to the public. An high level jury, selects the most promising idea for each category, that wins a prize of 25K€. There is also an absolute winner who gets elected as Italian startup of the year. The competition in Catania will be highly competitive, we know that. Italy historically remains the country of inventors. For sure, we want to get out the best from this experience and see where do we go from there.
Results of PNI
Taking part at PNI cube was a wonderful experience. I had so much fun with my friends Riccardo and Luigi. We had the oppurtunity to challenge our business idea in a demanding competition. We soon realised that most of our competitors made consistenly more progress in developing their ideas, they released patents, establish contact with potential buyers, got various types of prizes and awards. In addition priority was given to the ideas with a strong university partnership and background, e.g. spin-offs of university projects. In this context our project has still lot of progress to make. We also competed in the ICT field, where our project can be better positioned in MedTech. We take home a lot of feedback, networking contacts, future improvement ideas and a great experience, a dive into the world of Italian innovation with all its opportunities.