Transform the Future of Self-Care Innovation Contest

GSK’s Transform the Future of Self-Care Challenge

To succeed in our goal to be one of the world’s most innovative, best-performing and trusted consumer healthcare companies, we’re dependent on a steady supply of great ideas and brilliant science. Our R&D organisation employs a team of several hundred exceptional scientists, but we recognise we don’t have all the expertise. Through working with experts externally – exploring new avenues of science in partnership, sharing knowledge, expertise resources and risk – we believe we can achieve much more.


In January 2019, we ran an external crowdsourcing challenge to seek new opportunities in three areas aligned to our business: (1) Digital Health, (2) At-Home Diagnostics and (2) Formulation Technologies.


We had a fantastic response to this challenge, with many brilliant proposals submitted. We are pleased to announce the winners of our “Transform the Future of Self-Care” challenge.  These five winners were each awarded $10,000 USD to progress their work. Below is a summary of each winning concept.  These winners represent new, dynamic start-ups and entrepreneurs who are equally passionate about delivering our transformative vision. 



Submission: BORTEK'S Innovative Solutions on Dental Plaque and Calculus Formation / Formulation Development


BORTEK® Boron Technologies and Mechatronic Inc. is a research and development company established on Technopark in Eskişehir, Turkey in 2006. BORTEK®'s mission is to develop products for energy efficiency, a sustainable environment, and a healthy lifestyle. It has established its core competency on producing high purity hexagonal boron nitride and its end products. In the GSK Consumer Self-Care challenge, Bortek created a new innovative solution that preludes biofilm formation as it prohibits bacteria adherence on teeth and prevents biofilm growth by inhibiting the growth of bacteria.

"Worked hard non-stop for 25 years and achieved success."



Submission: Cara - The first decentralized clinic for chronic gastrointestinal diseases / Digital Health


Cara Care empowers patients suffering from chronic digestive diseases to live healthier and happier lives. Cara Care takes digestive health beyond the pill, bringing together behavioral, microbial and nutritional data. They are a Berlin-based company that helps patients all around the globe. 


For the GSK Consumer Self-Care challenge, Cara Care developed new evidence-based digital therapeutics for individuals suffering from chronic gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS, IBD, GERD, Gastritis and Short Bowel Syndrome. 


"Our team is very happy that we won. This is another small step towards improving the quality of life of millions of people with chronic digestive diseases. Thank you for your support!"




Submission: Perspiration Monitor / Digital Health


Sensirion is the world’s leading manufacturer of digital relative humidity sensors. By pioneering digital humidity sensors 15 years ago, Sensirion has defined an industry standard. Best-in-class products, unmatched experience and excellent application support make Sensirion the No. 1 partner for humidity sensing.


Perspiration is a valuable health parameter as irregularities can indicate stress, anxiety, inflammation or dehydration. 


For the GSK Consumer Self-Care challenge, Sensirion developed a perspiration monitor based on two of its tiny, energy-efficient humidity and temperature sensors. Based on a differential measurement principle, these two sensors could reliably determine the perspiration level emitted from the body and give feedback to the user in case of dehydration.


"Perspiration monitoring will become increasingly important for many applications in the future. Sensirion is convinced that monitoring can improve the health, quality of life and comfort of many people. We are proud to be a winner of the GSK Self-Care Challenge!"





Submission: Bittium Wearable Platform with Philips EmoGraphy & CardioSense / Digital Health


Bittium specialises in the development of reliable, secure communications and connectivity solutions leveraging its expertise in advanced radio communication technologies. Bittium provides innovative products and services, customised solutions based on its product platforms and R&D services. Complementing its communications and connectivity solutions, Bittium provides healthcare technology products and services for biosignal measuring in the areas of cardiology, neurology, rehabilitation, occupational health and sports medicine. 


For the GSK Consumer Self-Care Challenge, Bittium integrated Philips EmoGraphy and Philips VitalSigns Optical technologies into a wearable device that measures stress levels and calculates cortisol contribution from skin conductance. This device will also monitor heart rate and provide predictions of a person’s future stress level an hour ahead.  


"We are truly honored for being recognized by GSK and selecting our Bittium Wearable Platform with Philips EmoGraphy & VitalSigns Optical solution as winner of the GSK Transforming the Future of Self-Care Challenge in the Digital Health Technologies category," said Jani Lyrintzis, Bittium USA Vice President and General Manager.




Submission: iPrescribe Exercise: Automated and personalized physical activity prescription for the prevention and management of chronic disease / Digital Health


iPrescribe Exercise is pioneered by its two founders, who are also chartered physiotherapists with Masters’ degrees in Sports and Exercise Medicine. The two have a history of working in elite sport and a huge amount of experience and expertise in prescribing physical activity for the prevention and management of non-communicable diseases whilst working with the patients. 


For the GSK Consumer Self-Care Challenge, iPrescribe Exercise developed an automated mobile app which allows the user to safely complete their exercise independently, without direct supervision from a healthcare professional. The iPrescribe Exercise app analyses the user's health, resting heart rate (using the camera flash), and current activity level and prescribes a personalised 12-week physical activity program. The program can also specifically target 20 different diagnosed chronic diseases (e.g., diabetes, heart disease, cancer, hypertension, COPD, asthma, MS, dementia, Parkinson’s, depression, osteoarthritis, chronic pain), has the capacity to deal with multiple co-morbidities (e.g., diabetes + heart disease + osteoarthritis) and prescribe exercise in the same way a doctor prescribes drugs to help manage their condition.


 "We are absolutely delighted to be one of the winners of the GSK Transforming the Future of Self-Care Challenge. We truly believe that prescribed physical activity is essential for chronic disease management and prevention. As physiotherapists we’ve seen firsthand the way that personalised physical activity prescriptions, based on the user’s individual needs, can dramatically improve their lives and empower them to take control of their own health. We also know that we can optimise patient outcomes if we work alongside pharmaceutical management, and so we are incredibly excited at GSK’s commitment to improving consumer health with evidence-based digital tools."