Digital Health Festival in Tehran
EghtesadOnline: Iran University of Medical Sciences and the Ministry of Health held the first Digital Health Festival at the campus of the prominent center of learning in Tehran. Leading startups in the health sector participated in a contest during the event and winners were announced.
The competition included digital arts, mobile applications, and websites. According to the event website (hdmf.ir), 350 individuals and teams participated.
An exhibition was also held wherein more 70 startups active in the healthcare sector, along with 10 accelerators and venture capital funds showcased their goods and services. The Oct. 17-18 exhibition aimed to help forge closer ties among companies active in the sector and create conditions for startups to attract funding and investment.
Mohammad Ayazi deputy minister of health said, “During the event, panels were held, where startups presented reports on their performance and future business plans to investors.” The ministry hopes that assisting knowledge-based firms and digital health startups can and should contribute to improving the quality of medical services, Financial Tribune reported.
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Online content producers active in the key healthcare sector were among startups that participated in the two-day event.
In recent years and with the exponential growth in the application of social media platforms in Iran, people’s dependence on online information has been increasing rapidly. As a result, regulating and monitoring Internet-based content producers and publishers has been on the Health Ministry agenda. Reports say some websites and social media outlets publish fake health-related news and are involved in misinformation.
During the exhibition, the need and importance of establishing reliable online sources for health-related issues was reemphasized. Such online services can enhance people’s access to reliable healthcare news and information.
During the festival, the first Iranian startup accelerator specializing in digital health was launched. Known as the Healthcare Startup Accelerator, the company is to provide fledgling firms active in the sector with the support they may need.
Ayazi said, “The number of startups operating in Iran has grown significantly in recent years. However, the health sector is still lagging behind in this regard.” The digital health sector is expected to grow significantly in the near future, he told the festival.
Winners of the contests were selected by academic and business evaluators and were awarded crystal statues along with an 80 million rials ($590) prize for each team.
The top three mobile apps introduced in the event were Karafs, FITAB, and Dr. Saina.
Developed by Iranian mobile app development team Eynak, Karafs is a calorie counter app available for download on local Android market Cafe Bazaar. It has been downloaded more than 200,000 times and has a 4.3-star ranking on Bazaar with 20,675 users giving it five stars.
Karafs was followed by fitness app, FITAB which is also available on Bazaar and has been downloaded over 5,000 times. It has a 3.5-star ranking on the local Android market.
Dr. Saina was the third app selected by judges. Available on Bazaar, it has been downloaded over 5,000 times and has a 4-star ranking from users. Through the app, people can get health care appointments and find physicians in their neighborhood.
In the Digital Arts section, two animated short films about health obsession in modern times and TB along with an infographic about Internet addiction won prizes.
Three websites were also awarded, namely sinahealth.ir, drsaina.com, shafajoo.com. The three assist users to find services and make appointments by listing healthcare practitioners and ranking them based on the opinion of users.