Ferrer, a Spanish pharmaceutical company, has launched an international open innovation challenged aimed at identifying start-ups with digital solutions for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Applications for the challenge were opened on June 21 and remain open until August 21. The initiative takes place within the 4th edition of the Ferrer4Future program, which helps to address unmet clinical needs throughout ALS patient care.

Gemma Estrada, head of digital health at Ferrer, said: “Ferrer embraces a collaborative approach to establish projects that will bring value for patients and the healthcare system. This vision is aligned with our dual aim of building a healthier society through digital technologies and contributing to the sustainability of healthcare systems.”

Start-ups need to demonstrate that their technology can positively impact on various areas of ALS care. For example, remote monitoring technology and wearable devices that help track patient data.

Ferrer is also looking for digital and technology-driven solutions that enhance the adherence and effectiveness of ALS treatments such as digital therapeutics or patient support tools.

Finally, it hopes to discover solutions that can enhance the patient experience through the care pathway, such as patient education tools.

Solutions must have been validated in the market, and the challenge is open to all international start-ups.

The Ferrer4Future program was developed by Ferrer to foster collaboration between the organisation and start-ups. It aims to establish a collaborative platform where digital health solutions can be explored, bringing value across the patient care value chain.

The news comes just weeks after femtech was given a similar boost, with the announcement of The Health Innovation Network’s new initiative designed to boost the development of tech solutions to address the challenges in women’s health.