The Novartis Health Hub Is Bringing New Technology to Market Faster

Brought to you by WBR Insights

Savvy pharma brands are always looking for new and innovative ways to bring the latest in medical technology to market. At the other end of the corporate scale are fresh startups, which are filled with great ideas but often lack the infrastructure to effectively develop, market, and sell their products.

This creates a unique opportunity for big pharma brands to get in on innovative product development at the ground level and provide these eager startups with the development, sales, and marketing support they need. Many big companies have their own innovation center where they give creators the space to come up with great ideas, but many don't extend this philosophy to third-party startups.

Novartis is one exception to this rule and is giving pharma startups in the UK a serious helping hand via its new Health Hub.


As one of the world's leading sellers of pharma products, Novartis is ideally placed to offer the kind of support these innovative entrepreneurs need and has created the Health Hub to facilitate it.

The Health Hub is being jointly run by Novartis and UK-based communication giant O2's innovation arm Wayra UK. Together, these two influential companies have the knowledge, experience, and infrastructure to usher in the next generation of medical products.

"The opportunity to join The Health Hub is immense," said Head of Market Access Strategy at Novartis, Fiona Bride. "The collaboration between Wayra and Novartis really is one of finding people with a suitable passion that will help us find innovative ideas that will challenge the thinking in healthcare and find disruptive solutions that mean that more patients will get better care. Wayra UK alone has raised over $180 million through third-party investors for its start-ups."

The Health Hub is a nine-month intense program which works closely with startups to help them develop their innovative solutions in the existing healthcare ecosystem. Health technology can drastically improve long-term disease management. Practical solutions can contribute to the quality of the healthcare available to the people of the UK. Helping to make this ambition a reality is the long-term goal of the Health Hub.

The Health Hub is employing industry experts, investors, coaches, and mentors to work closely with these fledgling companies and provide all the support they need to bring their amazing and life-changing inventions to market - boosting not only the healthcare industry but the UK's economy and global standing as well.

"I want the UK to be the best place in the world for health tech startups and, through our Long Term Plan and Tech Vision, we are transforming the NHS into an ecosystem of innovation to allow the best technologies to flourish," said UK Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, Matt Hancock. "It is great to see Novartis and Wayra UK launching the Health Hub acceleration scheme to help innovators scale their business."

Health Hub

The Novartis/Wayra UK Health Hub has already attracted several innovative startups which are hard at work developing their products.

Virtue Health - Dedicated to using the latest digital technology to treat the most debilitating age-related conditions, Virtue Health is committed to helping people live longer and more comfortable lives in late-life healthcare. Using technology such as virtual reality and augmented reality, Virtue Health is developing new and effective treatments for illnesses including dementia, menopause, arthritis, and cardiovascular disease.

TestCard - With a unique product designed to make clinical tests more convenient and dignified, TestCard has developed a new way of gathering urine samples from patients. The postcard-sized package contains three fold-out urine dipsticks which work in conjunction with an intuitive smartphone app. The app turns your phone's camera into a medical scanner, allowing patients to get immediate results in the comfort of their own home.

ExSeed - Another startup using smartphone technology to make clinical testing more convenient is ExSeed. This innovative company has developed a smartphone platform which allows men to test and improve the quality of their sperm and help combat male infertility. The platform turns your smartphone into a microscope and contains personalized testing functions as well as the latest fertility advice.

Final Thoughts

With so many great ideas out there, the potential for new solutions to some of the world's biggest medical problems is immense. However, these solutions can only come to pass if these innovative startups receive the right support at the right time, enabling them to turn their amazing ideas into a reality, and then market and sell them in the right way.

"There is no bigger problem than health," said Director of Wayra UK, Gary Stewart. "We are eager to work with Novartis to support clever entrepreneurs that will find the solutions that will help our loved ones and ourselves all live longer, healthier lives."

You can hear Novartis' Director of Marketing, Erric Byrd, speak at Future Pharma 2019, taking place this September at the Boston Marriott Long Wharf, MA.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.