J&J QuickFire Challenge fosters innovation to improve use of medications


NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson Innovation on Wednesday announced the launch of the newest QuickFire Challenge: Advancing the Safe Use of Healthcare Products. The challenge seeks to identify entrepreneurs, academics, scientists, engineers or startup companies who are advancing potentially game-changing, early stage, innovative solutions to advance safety in healthcare products that help inform patients and consumers, simulate surgical procedures, and ensure proper storage and use of prescription, over-the-counter and cosmetic products.

"Dedicated to scientific excellence, bioethics and values-based decision-making, the Johnson & Johnson Office of the Chief Medical Officer has a history of collaborating externally to create innovative solutions for patients and consumers," stated Joanne Waldstreicher, chief medical officer, Johnson & Johnson.  "Through our collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation on this challenge, we hope to identify scientifically sound, breakthrough ideas that will advance both the safe use and a greater understanding of the safety of healthcare products to positively impact outcomes."

"Entrants can submit ideas in one of three focus areas that are critical for ensuring that we make the safest possible products on behalf of patients and consumers," commented Melinda Richter, head of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, JLABS. "In addition to funding, Advancing the Safe Use of Healthcare Products QuickFire Challenge winners will be awarded JLABS support that includes infrastructure, services, educational programs and networks in global hotspots."

The QuickFire Challenge includes three innovation focus areas:

  1. Empowering patients and consumers to make more informed healthcare decisions by providing better information and education about the safety of healthcare products. This challenge focus area seeks ways to maximize consumer and patient education and understanding of healthcare products and their safety and efficacy, including medical devices, pharmaceuticals and consumer products. The objective is to empower patients, consumers and healthcare providers to make more informed decisions and obtain maximum benefit from product use through greater understanding of safety data and by ensuring more effective communication and enhancing education;

  2. Improving training and development for surgeons by identifying new models that simulate the operating room environment. This focus area seeks new and robust models and methods to evaluate medical devices used by surgeons in a simulated environment representative of operating room procedures, with the goal of helping the surgeon understand how to safely and effectively use a medical device and understand variability in device and performance/outcome. Entries should focus on soft tissue models that anatomically represent organ-specific anatomic features and biological properties, such as tissue injury, bleeding and clotting responses; and

  3. Empowering patients and consumers to more safely administer and handle healthcare products. The third focus area seeks ways to address the challenge of prescription medication errors. Entries should identify patient- and consumer-focused devices, solutions or platforms that will prevent errors and solutions to promote safe storage and administration or extend the shelf life of prescription, over-the-counter or cosmetic products.

This initiative is open globally to applicants with solutions across the pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer products sectors. QuickFire Challenge winners will receive research grants totaling up to $200,000, entrance to a Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JLABS facility and/or mentoring from Johnson & Johnson Innovation.

QuickFire Challenge entries that reflect the overall mission of improving the safety of and safe use of healthcare products will be evaluated by a juried panel comprising senior scientific and medical research staff as well as medical safety experts within Johnson & Johnson who have expertise across pharmaceuticals, medical device and consumer sectors.

Information about entering the challenge and entry guidelines can be found online. Participants must indicate whether they have a team in place that can bring their idea to life. Entries must be submitted by May 24, 2017. Winning entries will be evaluated and winners in each category selected in fall 2017.


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