New Opportunities at the Intersection of Health and Technology
Technology has become a powerful change agent for healthcare, disrupting traditional models, enabling new ideas and ultimately driving better patient outcomes.
Signs of this disruption are already visible: Venture capital funding in digital health is skyrocketing; the millennial generation is making the leap from being tech-savvy consumers to being empowered patients while a growing number of policy initiatives are encouraging the use of technology to transform how we access, pay for and evaluate healthcare.
“We’ve already seen the impact of this transition from analog to digital in other industries,” says Francisco Rausa, AbbVie senior principal research scientist. “In healthcare, if we’re going to address future challenges like aging, treatment cost, and the demand for transparency, we need to catch up. Find disruptions or be disrupted!”
The implications are tremendous. From personalized medicine that treats the person, rather than the disease, to improved proactive patient-physician communication, technology has the power to dramatically improve outcomes and propel healthcare into the future.
But forging this link between healthcare and technology will require partnerships and collaborations that challenge convention and reward a “think outside the box” approach.
AbbVie has embraced this challenge, putting together a team focused exclusively on finding and investing in the people, ideas and technologies that will drive the future of healthcare. Internally, the group responds to the name “FT2,” which stands for Future Therapeutics and Technologies. Created by Jim Sullivan, AbbVie vice president of pharmaceutical discovery, and led by Steve England, AbbVie director and head of future therapeutics and technologies, FT2 is one of the driving forces behind AbbVie’s commitment to big-picture innovations in healthcare, from diagnosis to delivery.
The following are some of the ways AbbVie is uncovering opportunities at the intersection of health and technology:
TechCrunch disrupt hackathon
The hackathon challenges web developers from all over the world to join forces and develop a product in 24 hours. At the September TechCrunch event, AbbVie is the first-ever pharmaceutical sponsor, challenging participants to come up with solutions for issues ranging from chronic disease management to the use of data in identifying treatment options. Learn more.
“These partnerships allow AbbVie to extend our network into exciting new areas of play,” explains Francisco. “Sometimes it’s an obvious idea, and sometimes the game-changer is 2 or 3 degrees of innovation away. Our resources and experience can make those ideas come to life and have a real impact on patient’s lives, both immediately and 15-20 years down the line.”
AbbVie is proud to be a founding partner of this Chicago-based healthcare technology incubator. MATTER brings together entrepreneurs and industry leaders in a shared space to collaboratively develop solutions across the healthcare continuum. Learn more.
AbbVie innovation center at the University of Illinois research park
The AbbVie Innovation Center brings students to the front lines of technology-driven solutions for healthcare. Projects include using software to visualize clinical trial data in new ways; processing large amounts of data to reveal connections in medical research and using game-based elements to improve patient engagement and compliance. Learn more.
AbbVie cocreate healthcare
Leveraging the power of crowdsourcing, AbbVie Germany has sponsored a public contest to develop solutions for people with chronic inflammatory back pain. The contest, like the TechCrunch Hackathon, challenged individuals to use creativity and technology to address unmet patient needs from the ground up. This year the winning idea took inspiration from existing smartphone/smart watch functionality to create a targeted patient support network. Learn more.