Announcing the Novartis Thalassemia App Challenge

Health 2.0 is excited to announce the launch of the Novartis Thalassemia App Challenge sponsored by Novartis Oncology. There is a critical need to develop an innovative app solution that assists Thalassemia patients and their families in managing the disease, including monitoring/tracking of key parameters, treatment/medication adherence and recording of daily personal facts.

Thalassemia is a diverse family of genetic disorders affecting red blood cell production, causing anemia and consequently, patients suffer significant complications.1 Thalassemia can range from milder types to severe cases that start in infancy and require regular blood transfusions for patient survival.2 Clinical complications can vary by type of thalassemia, and patients also  may develop iron overload as a consequence of the disease or because of extra iron absorbed from blood transfusions.3 Most patients with thalassemia are of South and Southeast Asian, Mediterranean or Middle Eastern origin, with immigration broadening the global prevalence.4

Phase I of the challenge focuses on ideation and closes on June 30, 2013. Five submissions will be awarded $5,000 based on the quality and viability of their idea. Phase I requirements include:

  1. Mock-up or drawing of concept
  2. 5-page written document explaining the proposed application

Phase II of the challenge will challenge the finalists to develop working prototypes of the applications proposed in Phase I of the competition. Submissions for Phase II are due September 8th and the top three submissions will receive $100,000, $20,000, and $5,000, respectively.

If you’re interested in participating in the challenge, please visit the challenge website and register for the informational webinar.


1.         Weatherall DJ. The definition and epidemiology of non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia. Blood Reviews. 2012:26S:S3-S6

2.        Taher AT, Musallam KM, Karimi M, El-Beshlawy A, Belhoul K, et al. Overview on practices in thalassemia intermedia management aiming for lowering complication rates across a region of endemicity: the OPTIMAL CARE study. Blood. 2010;115:1886-1892.

3.        Musallam KM, Cappellini MD, Wood JC, Taher AT. Iron overload in non-transfusion-dependent thalassemia: a clinical perspective. Blood Reviews. 2012;26S:S16-19.

4.        Thalassaemia International Federation. The Thalassaemia International Federation’s (TIF) New Focus: Addressing the Management of Non-Transfusion-Dependent Thalassaemias (NTDT). Position Paper 5.2. March 20, 2012. Accessed at:http://www.thalassaemia.org.cy/pdf/NTDT_Position_Paper_Final.pdf.

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