Mobile health technology startup mClinica has won the top spot in a pitch competition at the 2015 Hack Osaka Conference last month, with the prize money to be used to fund their expansion to other Asian countries. The company bested nine other entries, including ones from the UK, Germany, Thailand, and Japan.
Backed by Globe Telecom’s Kickstart Ventures, 500 Startups, and IMJ-Investment Partners, mClinica is a smartphone tech solution for pharmacies in emerging markets. It’s designed to ease the problems borne out of issues in access, affordability, and quality of essential meds.
“It’s great to see mClinica recognized for the value it creates for all members of the healthcare system,” said Kickstart president Minette Navarrete. “By combining their proprietary software solutions with a deep understanding of patient needs and the pharma industry, mClinica is improving healthcare by making it both more intelligent and more human.”
The company builds digital networks of pharmacies that allow drug manufacturers to reach their distributors at scale. Additionally, it comes up with programs to reduce medicine costs, advocate health awareness, and improve adherence to help patients become and remain healthy.
Farouk Meralli, a Harvard-educated and now mClinica’s CEO, has worked intensively in well-known pharmaceutical giants like Roche and Pfizer. He established the pilot program in the Philippines as he saw the many issues that plague the country’s healthcare system. More than this, he was amazed by the talent and openness of Filipinos to new technologies.
“The win was a validation of our business model both in terms of its commercial value as well as its social impact,” said Meralli. “It encourages us to go even farther in changing healthcare. Following our success in the Philippines, we have entered Vietnam and Indonesia and are actively evaluating opportunities in other countries.”
mClinica currently operates a software research and development center in Manila, along with a network of 1,400 partner pharmacies which provides access to over 20 million patients. One in every two independent pharmacies in the Philippines is on the mClinica platform.