Francesco Marcellino tells us about Pharmawizard’s aspirations for Data Pitch and beyond.
Q: Describe your Data Pitch challenge idea
Pharmawizard (PW) is a digital platform supporting people to manage their daily healthcare issues. We want to transform healthcare data into valuable information and useful services allowing citizens to search, compare and manage healthcare issues. We have created a set of tools enabling companies to reach, engage and retain their target audiences, and services which increase the efficiency of the patient-doctor-pharmacist relationship.
Q: What does the idea set out to achieve?
With Data Pitch we’ll be improving the effectiveness and accuracy of the ‘Medicine Search’, ‘Symptom Search’ and ‘Compare features’ of Pharmawizard and enabling authorised users to modify or change information themselves. We will also be developing a prototype of Pharmawizard for users in Spain, enabling them to search for information about medicines, compare medication brands and locate their nearest pharmacy.
Q: What makes your idea different or unique?
Pharmawizard helps people to manage information and a variety of other healthcare-related tasks: purchasing medicines, reducing information barriers and bringing more efficiency and transparency to citizens’ relationship with medication. Pharmawizard will allow citizens to have greater civic and community engagement, and better knowledge of medication use.
We believe that the technological novelty of the project is represented by the semantic engine that we use to extract and compare information, and the easy to use mobile and web applications, which are designed and tailored specifically for a wide variety of users. The heart of technological innovation is related to the implementation of complex techniques of natural language processing, computational linguistics, statistical analysis and semantic web tools.
Q: Where did the idea come from?
These days, the management of medication and healthcare products by patients is inefficient, easily influenced by pharmaceutical lobbying groups, and often more focused on profits than on well-being and efficiency. Digital technologies have an opportunity to address the imbalance of information and the mismanagement of inefficiencies that characterise the world of medicine. We are convinced that in the next few years we will see a significant change in the relationship between citizens and healthcare, with digital technologies contributing to greater awareness within the population. PW aims to reshape and improve the pharma market by promoting more inclusive and competitive services for all parties involved. PW aims to be a disruptive innovative force in the pharma market, much like Uber in the transport market and Airbnb in the tourism market. The idea is the brainchild of Massimiliano Magrini, former CEO of Google Italy, and is currently backed by four top Italian business angel investors.
Q: What excites you about the challenge you applied for?
This challenge gives us the opportunity to further our growth and take the necessary next steps in our development. We are very pleased to participate in Data Pitch because we think it is in line with our business model and strategy. PW was born with the aim of creating services that enhance open and third-party data. We will take raw data, turn it into valuable information and build useful services.
Q: How did your team meet?
The founders were colleagues as well as friends. The team was then formed by hiring experts in each key field based on their skill, from pharmacists to developers and designers.
Q: What’s the best thing about working with data?
The best thing about working with data is that in every data set there is a huge amount of potential and we get to realise some of that potential by making the data useful to citizen and healthcare providers. The data becomes valuable, accessible and digestible information, which they can share further. The best thing about data itself is that it is infinite.
Q: Is there anything else you want to tell us about your startup and why you do what you do?
We recognise that there is a real need to digitalise healthcare data and medicine services in order to prepare for the future of the sector. When there is a medical question, people tend to turn to the internet to find a solution; health is the second most-searched category on Google. There are over 180 million forums and blogs on the subject of ‘health’, but health information online is fragmented and often not reliable and users don’t have a digital reference guide when it comes to their health. Our team is committed to developing the best possible solution to address this issue in order to empower patients and improve the quality of healthcare and people’s lives.