Filipino student’s life-saving app wins Global Award in UK

Sandoz president Richard Francis hands the prize for the Sandoz HACk Healthcare Access Challenge to Andrea Relucio and Joel Alejandro. [Joel Alejandro via Rappler]
Joel Alejandro and Andrea Relucio’s ‘Sali’ save-a-life app aims to universalize CPR education and training. The app won the Sandoz HACk Healthcare Access Challenge in London, United Kingdom.

Alejandro invented ‘Sali’ save-a-life app to aid the population in administering and motivating them to do CPR anywhere and anytime.

The app also connects users to a network of fellow life-savers who can provide auxiliary support. Alejandro and Relucio represented the Philippines as one of the six finalist teams.

They spent two days getting feedback from experts to help them refine their pitches. On the last day of the event, they presented their final work to five panelists, including Sandoz chief executive officer Richard Francis.

The win provides them with seed funding worth 20,000 euros (P1.066 million) and mentorship from all of the experts in the event to help bring their ideas to fruition.

“The immediate plan is to build the team who shares the same vision as we do. With that, it will be more on recruiting the right people who can contribute a little bit of themselves for the greater good of the project and the industry,” said Alejandro.

“The Philippines has poor emergency medical response. The gap in that situation is education and access to information and infrastructure,” Relucio stressed.

The six finalists from Ghana, South Africa, Pakistan, the Maldives and the Philippines were chosen out of 110 entries from 30 countries.

Sandoz Global, the generics division of the multinational pharmaceutical company Novartis International AG based in Switzerland, was the main sponsor of the competition.