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Arkathon Program is a unique concept where companies, from Switzerland and abroad, leading healthcare organizations and technological institutes, work closely together to co-develop health solutions, with the economic support of public regional funds.
How to ease the burden of pain?
Understanding, treating and managing pain is among the greatest challenges facing healthcare today. Help us to improve quality of life for people with pain and to minimize the burden of pain.
Solutions should address a specific problem in the area of acute or chronic pain on all levels of intervention in the health sector: primary prevention, early diagnosis, treatment, maintaining quality of life, pain management and humane care for the dying (palliative medicine). Pain can include both physiological and psychological factors.
WHAT IS PAIN?
There are several origins and types of pain:
• Psychological and/or psychosomatic pain, which can be translated into various bodily symptoms.
• Acute pain, which can occur following a trauma or a surgical intervention, and which is mainly treated using drugs.
• Chronic pain, which is more complex to treat, because it can be accompanied by numerous side effects such as sleep disturbance, depression, social isolation, etc. Pain is chronic when it persists for a period lasting longer than three months.
• Neuropathic pain, which is caused by damage to nerve fibers, for example due to viral infections or to the consequences of diabetes. This type of pain tends to lead to changes in the nervous tissue and to become chronic.
The perception of pain is very individual and is influenced by a variety of factors, such as gender, age, ethnic origin, and education.
WHAT IS THE INCIDENCE?
Pain is the main cause of consultations with general practitioners (60% of cases). About 20% of the population suffers from chronic pain, both in Switzerland and in Europe. This proportion is expected to increase in the coming years due to the ageing of the population. Pain can be caused by many causes (physical or emotional injuries, operations, unknown, neurological, muscular, etc…) and has an impact on many areas (social, hobbies, daily life, professional, …) of the lives of people who suffer from it.
WHO IS CONCERNED?
Pain hits men and women alike and require a multidisciplinary approach involving, among others, analgesia specialists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, radiologists… Its main causes: osteoarthritis, back pain, cancer (with its treatment-related injuries), trauma (following accidents), surgery (post-operative sequelae), migraines.
WHAT ARE THE CURRENT WAYS OF RELIEVING PAIN?
In addition to medicine, a proper diet, exercise, removal of environmental triggers, social-emotional support and alternatives therapies (hypnosis, acupuncture, meditation…) are important for symptom relief.
WHAT ARE THE CHALLENGES TO DIAGNOSING AND TREATING PAIN?
• Complex to explain, difficult to understand by those around you and sometimes by health professionals, it can have a strong psychological and social impact on the person who is suffering.
• An accurate diagnosis is difficult and leads to frustration and anxiety.
• Depression and anxiety, along with challenging physical symptoms, make difficult for patients to participate in the management of their pain.
• Some therapies include significant side effects.
• Information and guidance about managing symptoms can be hard to find
WHERE ARE THE OPPORTUNITIES FOR INNOVATION?
Pain prevention, diagnosis, management, and care is still a fairly new frontier with many opportunities to provide methods and tools for patients and caregivers to improve their quality of life. Computer-based algorithms, machine learning, better understanding of mental health, Internet, telemedicine, relevant innovations from other diseases, research consortiums and new interest from major industry players bring endless possibilities to entrepreneurs and seasoned companies alike.
Who is this program for?
Healthcare innovators from Switzerland or abroad – i.e., entrepreneurs, startups, intrapreneurs,
willing to test, co-develop and validate an innovative solution or new fonctionnalities of a product under development, at least the demonstrator or prototype stage,
in immersion in a medical ecosystem, coach by experts,
for immediate feedback from end users and a better understanding of market needs.
The advantages of a partnership with us?
- Validation of the clinical-technical-economic feasibility of your solution or your product under development, at least the demonstrator or prototype stage.
- Guidance from our network of experts to find your product market and problem-solution fit
- Immediate feedback from end-users
- Peer-to-Peer coaching
- Connections and co-development within our partnering institutes, as well as desks provided on-site
- Personalized support to accelerate the development of the project
- Award up to CHF 25,000 to further develop your solution or product
Please read detailed information on the program here before applying
To apply, you are asked to complete the application form on the submission portal.
Only fully completed form will be taken into consideration.
In the heart of the highest peaks of the Alps, the Arkathon program thrives in the canton of Valais, Switzerland.
Center of excellence in five strong specialties: Sport, Mountain Medicine, Ageing – care for the elderly, Rehabilitation and Traumatology (S.M.A.R.T.) the canton of Valais benefits from the high quality skills and expertise, recognized nationally and internationally,
of major players established on its territory.
This cutting-edge ecosystem actively participates in the Arkathon Program: