Graduation time for the Digital Garden 2021

Digital health innovation: where big pharma and startups meet

Digital innovation is at the core of Almirall’s commitment to improve patients’ lives and The Digital Garden, powered by Almirall, is our opportunity to take a further step towards this goal and really roll up our sleeves to work together with startups and the broader entrepreneurial community. My driving force has always been to accelerate drug development and drug discovery and I cannot think of a better way to do that than working together with innovative projects and helping them launch the next generation of medical dermatology solutions.

I like being on the vanguard, where there are more questions than answers, and I can assure you that The Digital Garden is a new model of startup accelerator. A model where all parties involved are co-creating and where there is a big emphasis on mentorship. We are not interested in telling startups what they have to do in order to bring their product to the market. We want to walk alongside with them and we also want to bring innovation to our teams and give them a sense of how startups think and work differently. We are creating a space where we’re teaching each other, and this is pretty unique in the industry.

As Almirall’s Chief Digital Offer I have the privilege to zoom out and think about the big picture, about how we want to tackle the ever-changing landscape and challenges that digital transformation is bringing to our organizations. By embracing and fostering and end-to-end digital transformation across all our business areas, we are becoming an agile and flexible company that is ready to face these challenges.

The Digital Garden initiative allows us to partner with medical dermatology startups and co-create with them different digital solutions. It enables us to be in the frontline of digital health innovation and it also keeps us on our toes, learning from the entrepreneurs’ ecosystem. I want to spread the entrepreneurial spirit and mindset throughout Almirall.

I strongly believe that pharma companies need to be where innovation is happening. When we start working with a project, we create a personalized curriculum for each startup to really understand what is it that they need. Then we hook them up with the right experts so that they can provide mentorship and support. I am personally very proud of this mentorship component as it really creates a nurturing and trusting environment both for the startup and for our company. I am looking forward to seeing what these relationships will bring to the community and, ultimately, to our patients. I am sure that we will see great solutions coming out of them.

And why do we care so much about digital transformation? Well, I think that digitalization is not the future, it’s the present and we are already seeing how digital innovation has fundamentally changed the way we utilise healthcare. The Covid-19 pandemic has forced the healthcare system to take a huge step forward and urged it to implement telemedicine and other digital solutions. Virtual consultations have become more and more common and have allowed physicians to stay connected with patients while face-to-face visits were not possible. Telemedicine is here to stay and will play an even bigger role in medical dermatology.

Almirall is a deeply innovative company by DNA and is ready to lead this digital revolution in collaboration with the entrepreneurial ecosystem. With this initiative, we are creating a nurturing environment to further put the patients at the centre of our purpose and help them manage their illnesses with more tools and cutting-edge technology. We would love to start a conversation with you if you are also passionate about this topic. Come join us at The Digital Garden. Let’s flourish together!

Francesca Wuttke, Chief Digital Officer

The Digital Office – Almirall