Estonia is looking for digital solutions to increase the welfare of people who are HIV positive

Estonian health technology cluster Connected Health and GlaxoSmithKline Estonia begin to carry out a project called HIVdigital. The aim of this project is to boost the development of digital solutions that would give better healthcare access to people who are HIV+ and help with their adherence to treatment. The project is being financed by ViiV Healthcare and supported by Ministry of Social Affairs.

“ViiV Healthcare, a global company specialising on HIV, rated Estonian project as the best and allocated a large sum of money so we could develop innovative solutions to challenges with HIV in collaboration with Estonian technology sector,” Toomas Pruunsild, representative of GlaxoSmithKline Estonia OÜ said. “By next summer when the project ends, we are expecting at least one innovative solution to truly contribute to quality of life of HIV+ patients – for example, make access to healthcare easier or help with adherence to treatment. What that is precisely will be determine in cooperation with all parties, the wishes and needs of people living with HIV being the key.”

“We are hoping that an award fund of EUR 100 000 for testing and developing the best solutions with an opportunity to receive comprehensive expert advice in the development process will bring a lot relevant participants to the design contest that will be announced in mid-June,” Kitty Kubo, Innovation Manager of the Connected Health Cluster lead by Tehnopol Science Park stated.

For the digital solutions being created to meet the actual needs of HIV+ patients as well as health care and other specialists directly involved with them, the parties involved with the field of HIV will formulate a problem for the design contest in the strategic design workshop held during the last days of May.

“We have called together all parties related to the work with HIV – doctors, nurses, counselors, social workers, patents, officials and others – to determine the problems patients have on their journey to the services that could be resolved using digital solutions. Topics related to HIV call for a complex approach, for the system has many different parts that have to function together. Using strategic design enables us to see a big picture and to approach the problems from the perspective of people with HIV,” explained Kitty Kubo.

Ministry of Social Affairs has supported the project, and according to Ain Aaviksoo, Deputy Secretary General on E-services Development and Innovation, HIV-related topics are a priority for the Government and innovation cooperation with the private sector is to be welcomed. “Good ideas are not only created by the state. We move on faster with the cooperation of private and public sector. We must create an environment for good ideas to become a reality and HIVdigital is an excellent example of how it can be done,” Ain Aaviksoo added.

Project HIVdigital is funded by Positive Partnerships program initiated by ViiV Healthcare (https://www.viivhealthcare.com/) – a global company with the aim of raising quality of life for people with HIV. The goal of the program is to channel the resources to work out more efficient solutions and develop services for HIV+ patients. In total, 22 countries all over the world submitted their ideas to the competition and Estonia was selected together with Italy, Spain, UK, Canada and Brazil. Estonian project HIV Digital was considered to be the best among the participants.

Additional information:

Kitty Kubo, Innovation manager of Connected Health Cluster

E-mail: kitty.kubo@tehnopol.ee; Phone: 5565 4535

Toomas Pruunsild, GlaxoSmithKline Estonia OÜ representative

E-mail: toomas.r.pruunsild@gsk.com; Phone: 6676 900