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PharmStars Digital Health Accelerator White Logo

Accelerating pharma-digital health partnerships

Applications now being accepted for Spring 2022!

Applications now being accepted for Spring 2023!

**Participation terms updated to accommodate Covid restrictions**

Deadline extended to 23:59 EST Wednesday Feb 9, 2020

Applications close in:

Spring 2022 Application and Theme Coming Soon

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About PharmStarsTM

PharmStars is the pharma-focused accelerator for digital health startups, dedicated to driving digital health adoption to improve patient outcomes. We educate and mentor digital health startups seeking engagement with pharma and biotech firms. We are supported by our pharma members who are committed to working with startups that graduate from our accelerator.

Promise of digital health

Digital health has the potential to transform the pharmaceutical industry and the patient experience. Digital health and pharma firms are eager to engage with one another. Yet both have found it challenging to create successful partnerships.

Bridging the pharma-startup gap

PharmStars is a novel digital health accelerator aimed at bridging the pharma-startup gap to drive greater adoption of digital health. Our 10-week accelerator program is designed to prepare startups for more productive engagements with pharma by teaching them what they need to know. The program culminates with the Showcase Event. Startups present their solutions to our pharma members and then have the opportunity to meet individually with them.

"Our mission is to facilitate and accelerate successful partnerships between digital health startups and pharma, leading to greater success for each and faster adoption of digital health to improve patient outcomes."
- Naomi Fried PhD, Founder & CEO, PharmStars

Accelerator Highlights

Our next cohort is about to launch! Digital health startups, with market-ready solutions in our theme area and interested in engaging with pharma, are encouraged to apply. Please refer to our Program Terms for the detailed requirements.

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Cohort Theme:
Innovations in Women’s Health and Health Equity

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10 Digital Health 


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Pharma Curriculum

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Pitch Presentation
to Pharma


The centerpiece of the PharmStars accelerator is PharmaU: a unique, comprehensive educational program. Its three components are a curriculum for startups, mentoring for startups, and "Executive Ed" courses for pharma. PharmaU’s courses are developed and led by PharmStars’ experienced team of former pharma executives with deep expertise in digital health, innovation, and startups.

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Courses for startups about how to engage pharma successfully include topics such as:

  • pharma's internal structures and functions
  • pharma business models
  • regulatory drivers
  • pharma-startup deal structures
  • current industry trends
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Individualized coaching from our PharmStars staff on how startups can successfully engage pharma. We guide startups through the process, from building a compelling value proposition through crafting an effective pitch.

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Executive Education

Workshops and seminars for pharma members, providing insight into how to successfully implement digital health programs and partnerships.

Spring 2023 Timeline

Applications open

December 5

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Applications due

January 14

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Acceptances sent

February 23

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Launch Event

March 7-8

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Mar 13 - May 11

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Showcase Event


Spring 2023 Cohort Theme:
Innovations in Women’s Health and Health Equity

Women's Health

Although women comprise half of the world’s adult population, the healthcare establishment has historically overlooked women’s health.

Clinical trials have long focused on how diseases present in men, overlooking the possibility that they may present differently in women. Fewer therapies have been developed for conditions that only affect women. Furthermore, on average women suffer poorer outcomes than men with the same diseases. For example, women have higher morbidity and mortality rates for cardiovascular disease.1

In the last decade pharma has increasingly turned its attention to addressing women’s health issues which presents a growing opportunity for digital health startups.

Health Equity

Health disparities not only adversely affect women but also numerous underserved and minority populations. These health inequities can arise from many sources, such as poor access to quality care; educational inequalities; individual and behavioral factors; and environmental, social, economic, and cultural factors.2

Given the impact these factors have on health, pharma is both eager and well-positioned to deploy digital health solutions that can drive positive change and improve the lives of women and other underserved populations globally. By enhancing and scaling interventions, digital health has the potential to help every person “attain his or her full health potential”3  through improved access to care.

Solutions for Women’s Health and Health Equity

The Spring 2023 PharmStars cohort will focus on startups with pharma-focused digital innovations relating to women’s health or health equity.

We welcome startups that have digital innovations for women’s health conditions, including breast, ovarian, and cervical cancer; endometriosis and gynecological conditions; polycystic ovarian syndrome; osteoporosis and osteopenia; and menopausal, hormonal, and reproductive health conditions.

Startups may also have digital health solutions that address conditions that affect women disproportionately or for which women have inferior outcomes such as cardiovascular disease,4 Myasthenia Gravis,5 and others.6

We also welcome startups with digital innovations that address health inequities and promote equitable, inclusive healthcare by addressing social, economic, and environmental causes of health disparities.

Solutions of interest can include but are not limited to:

  • Digital diagnostics
  • Digital therapeutics
  • Patient-reported outcomes
  • Patient engagement
  • Therapy adherence
  • Delivery platforms
  • Self-care management
  • Care-giver solutions
  • Disease tracking
  • Remote patient monitoring

Digital health startups with a product or prototype connected to our theme are invited to apply by January 14, 2023. Please refer to the Program Terms for full program requirements.

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3362050/
  2. https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/health-equity/health-equity-guide/pdf/HealthEquityGuide.pdf
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/healthequity/index.htm#:~:text=Health%20equity%20is%20achieved%20when,length%20of%20life%3B%20quality%20of\
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4418670/
  5. https://www.myastheniagravis.org/mens-womens-issues-myasthenia-gravis/
  6. https://medlineplus.gov/womenshealth.html
  • RWE analysis
  • Therapy adherence
  • Self-care management
  • Care-giver solutions

2022 Spring Cohort Theme Coming Soon

Are You Ready?

PharmStars Spring 2023 Cohort begins March 7, 2023!