Psoriasis is a systemic skin disease with red, thick and silvery scaly skin and affects at least 100 million people worldwide, with the highest concentration in the western population. Chronic skin conditions, such as psoriasis may occur in a person’s life over longer periods of time (several years) or even be life-long.
What triggers the disease may to some degree be genetic, however, environmental factors such as humidity, diet and nutrition, systemic infections such as pneumonia, psychological imbalance, general stress and post-traumatic stress are believed to be some of the key drivers.
In general, people with psoriasis more frequently experience other diseases such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, overweight and obesity, heart issues and depression.
Living with psoriasis is associated with terrible itch and patients often rate this, as the most distressing symptom of their condition. Itchiness is a large burden as the itch often can be so intense, that maintaining a normal life can be hard. Many people experience trouble with concentration and the ability to focus, moreover, it can strongly influence their ability to fall and remain asleep. The constant itch often results in people scratching in their sleep, increasing the risk of infections and amplifying the severity of the disease flare-up.
Current solutions used by people involve non-medical treatments like coconut oil, creams, salt bath, sun, UV light, tar, mud and sleeping with gloves to prevent scratching. Living under these conditions can cause a lack of energy or even depression.
Testimony from a person living with Psoriasis:
“It is terrible. It’s hard to explain because your skin has a totally different texture than normal. It’s not like a mosquito bite. It comes from underneath. And it’s a bigger area. I scratch until it bleeds. And if you scratch a mosquito bite until it bleeds it stops itching but this continues. So, in the end, you scratch yourself skinless.”
The Challenge Breakthrough
The burden of itch and its disabling effect on people’s quality of life is well documented in the literature, but the clinical understanding of itch remains largely unknown. For this reason, people’s ability to cope with itch represents the perhaps largest unmet need in dermatology.
As a parallel to the ongoing work within conventional pharmaceutical research and development, we believe that new digital and/or device technologies represent, an opportunity to support patients in managing severe forms of itch.
We believe that such tools have the potential of decreasing the impact of itch and thereby increasing the quality of life for people living with a skin condition.
Such a solution would not only meet the needs of psoriasis sufferers worldwide but could also have a significant influence on the overall disease management and societal impact, for a broad range of skin conditions.
We are looking for a digital and/or device solution which will enable people with a skin condition such as psoriasis or eczema, to find new relief from their itch or to live more comfortably with their itch. The solution is based on software and/or hardware and solutions which assume that users have access to a smartphone or other state-of-the-art devices are accepted.
A successful solution also entails:
- User validation with 20 users
- Min 75% of the users evaluating the solutions 3 out of 5
- Proof of concept and value proposition
- A self-reported utility of solution, above 80%.
- Functional prototype
- Development plan
- If the solution is a device, production cost can be of no more than $500 USD / unit (assuming an annual quantity of 25.000 units)
Read the Challenge Guidelines for submission requirements and rules
What You Can Do To Cause A Breakthrough
- Click “Follow the Challenge” above to be notified of any status updates to the challenge.
- Click “Yes Sign Me Up!” above to register for the challenge. You will be notified of any status updates and be able to create an entry to the challenge when it opens.
- Click on the “Share” button or social media icons above to share this challenge with your friends, your family, or anyone you know who has a passion for innovation.
- Leave a comment in our Comments Thread to join the conversation, ask questions or connect with other innovators.
Awards:- A prize of a total of $50.000 USD will be awarded to the solution that best meets the submission criteria. In the case of a tie, the winner will be selected at the discretion of the judging panel.