New Ventures: 2019 Global Innovation Challenge Finalist

Predictive Healthcare with

Real World Evidence for Neurological Disorders


Personlising treatment for MS patients


According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) affects the lives of around 2.3 million people worldwide. To date there’s been no evidence of the effectiveness of treatment on an individual patient basis – only on a more large scale group basis. PwC Switzerland has collaborated with Germany's neurologists network to fill this gap. They have developed Predictive Healthcare with Real World Evidence for Neurological Disorders (PHREND). An innovative solution that provides personalised data-driven treatment. It was selected as a finalist in PwC's Global Innovation Challenge 2019.


Setting the scene

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a disease that affects the lives of around 2.3 million people and their families all over the world. It’s a condition whose progression is hard to predict. There has historically been no viable way to identify exactly the right personalised treatment plan for each person with MS.

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"Only by having outstanding people on both sides could this kind of innovation have happened. You could have great data scientists or great doctors—but neither could have done it on their own."

Christian WestermannPartner, PwC Switzerland

How we helped

A collaboration between PwC Switzerland and NeuroTransData (NTD), a German neurologist network has led to the development of an innovative, technology led solution called Predictive Healthcare with Real World Evidence for Neurological Disorders or PHREND.

A combined project team—blending the deep medical knowledge of NTD’s neurologists with the technical knowhow and statistical capabilities of a multi-skilled PwC team—worked to develop, pilot and validate a working model of the solution, and submit a scientific paper for peer review.

The solution is a web-based application that provides personalised comparisons and recommendations for MS treatments, taking into account both the patient’s medical needs and also their lifestyle preferences. PHREND’s integrated machine-learning algorithm enables it to learn constantly, so the more patients it helps the more accurate it gets. The result is personalised treatment that supports the goal of reducing the disease’s progression.

Impact and potential

Having been used by NTD’s doctors with MS patients since late 2017, PHREND has already delivered promising impacts. However, the achievements to date are just the start. The success in Germany demonstrates the solution’s potential for development or extension into other countries. And PHREND may also be extended to other diseases that follow a similar pattern to MS - with work already underway on other neurological disease areas.

Innovation is a mindset – not a technology. 

That’s why the PwC Global Innovation Challenge is commercially and client focused, leveraging what we know, through technology to deliver new ways of working, services, and products. In 2019, over 4300 innovators took part, submitting 273 solutions from 119 territories.

Innovation at PwC

The Global Innovation Challenge is just one of the ways that innovation comes to life in everything we do at PwC. Find out more here.

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Sheridan Ash

Victoria Huff Eckert

Global Innovation and New Ventures Leader, PwC US

Tel: +1 408 817 4136

Sheridan Ash

Dr. Christian B. Westermann

Data & Analytics Leader, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 58 792 2797

Sheridan Ash

Philip van Hövell

Health Analytics Leader, PwC Switzerland

Tel +41 58 792 10 76