Novartis Hosts Competition to Create Novel Mobile Solutions for Heart Failure Caregivers

Every 30 seconds, someone in the US is hospitalized for heart failure1; mobile solutions could play a role to help manage this disease

Novartis Mobile Health Challenge attracted more than 200 companies and developers who competed for cash prizes

Winning mobile solutions designed to provide caregivers with novel tools to navigate daily challenges of caring for a loved one with heart failure

East Hanover, October 28, 2013 – Novartis today announced the winners of its Mobile Health (mHealth) Challenge, a competition for developers and mobile technology start-ups to participate in creating mobile solutions that can positively impact the lives of caregivers and their loved ones with heart failure. The intensive two-day Challenge brought individuals and teams together to compete for cash prizes totaling $40,000.

“Patients and physicians are increasingly embracing the benefits of mobile solutions to address health conditions, seek healthcare information and improve overall quality of care.” said André Wyss, U.S. Country Head, President of Novartis Corporation and President of Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation. “Novartis has been working to advance the treatment of cardiovascular disease for over 50 years. Today we continue our efforts in an area where there is still great unmet need by supporting the development of innovative technology platforms for heart failure patients and their caregivers.”

Heart failure is a significant and growing public health concern,2 substantially impacting quality of life and reducing life expectancy for an estimated 5.1 million Americans.2

It is the leading cause of hospitalization in patients over 65 years of age,3 and is responsible for approximately 57,000 deaths per year in the US.4 The quality of life of patients is often worsened by frequent hospital admissions,2 as nearly 50 percent of patients hospitalized are readmitted for all causes within six months.5 Optimal management of the disease – including medications, daily weight checks and low-salt, low fat diet – is crucial to help alleviate the cost burden and manage patients symptoms.6,7

Caregivers of patients with heart failure often deal with the stress of caregiving which can impact their emotional and physical health.8 Mobile health applications and tools are increasingly available and have the potential to facilitate caregiving outside of traditional healthcare settings; especially in the context of the rising use of smartphones and mobile technologies.9

About the Novartis mHealth Challenge

Novartis mHealth Challenge took place October 25-27, 2013 at the Spur Building in San Francisco. Participants were asked to create solutions targeting mobile platforms, such as iOS, Android, and web-based technologies that can help caregivers of loved ones affected by heart failure regain control over their lives and provide more effective daily care. The core concept of the challenge was to capture the spirit of competition and to produce concepts outside of the traditional design and development process.

The apps were judged based on:

  • How the challenges facing caregivers and patients were addressed
  • Demonstration of a creative, innovative solution
  • Ability to promote rapid uptake and use in the market
  • Feasibility as a mobile solution

The winning mobile solution, developed by, features an avatar that serves as a medical assistant allowing caregivers to remotely monitor their loved one with heart failure. The app has a simple user interface that leverages voice recognition, captures qualitative and quantitative data, and provides information to assist with lifestyle decisions.

Novartis hopes to build the winning prototype into a fully functional mobile solution that can support heart failure caregivers.



This press release contains expressed or implied forward-looking statements, including statements that can be identified by terminology such as “could,” “can,” “increasingly,” “continue,” “efforts,” “supporting,” “growing,” “potential,” “hopes,” or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements reflect the current views of the Group regarding future events, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results to be materially different from any future results expressed or implied by such statements. These expectations could be affected by, among other things, risks and factors referred to in the Risk Factors section of Novartis AG’s current Form 20-F on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Novartis is providing the information in this press release as of this date and does not undertake any obligation to update it in the future.


About Novartis

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation researches, develops, manufactures and markets innovative medicines aimed at improving patients’ lives. We offer a broad range of medicines for cancer, cardiovascular disease, endocrine disease, inflammatory disease, infectious disease, neurological disease, organ transplantation, psychiatric disease, respiratory disease and skin conditions. The company’s mission is to improve people’s lives by pioneering novel healthcare solutions.

Located in East Hanover, New Jersey, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation is an affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, Novartis offers a diversified portfolio to best meet these needs: innovative medicines, eye care, cost-saving generic pharmaceuticals, preventive vaccines and diagnostic tools, over-the-counter and animal health products. Novartis is the only global company with leading positions in these areas. In 2012, the Group achieved net sales of USD 56.7 billion, while R&D throughout the Group amounted to approximately USD 9.3 billion (USD 9.1 billion excluding impairment and amortization charges). Novartis Group companies employ approximately 133,000 full-time equivalent associates and operate in more than 140 countries around the world. For more information, please visit

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SOURCE: Novartis