Skin Prediction Challenge

Predict the next skin flare-up and improve the quality of life for millions of people living with a chronic skin condition. Read Overview...

LEO Innovation Lab is sponsoring the Skin Prediction innovation challenge with a prize money of $100,000. When living with a skin condition such as psoriasis, your skin tends to flare-up. Not knowing when this will happen can be incredibly frustrating! We are looking for a technology solution that could solve this problem. 

Challenge Description 

We are looking for a solution that will enable people with psoriasis to predict when the next skin flare-up will occur. Such a solution may also tell where the flare-up will occur on the body, however, this is not a requirement. Furthermore, the optimal solution will be tested among people with psoriasis. Solutions which assumes that users have access to a smartphone is accepted.

- Concept Idea deadline is February 13, 2017 
- Prototype deadline is June 1, 2017, 23:59 p.m. UTC +2 (CEST)

Read the challenge Guidelines for the specific submission criteria and rules. Please advise that the challenge guidelines are subject to change. Registered competitors will receive a notification when significant changes are made, however, we highly encourage you to regularly visit the challenge page.


When living with a chronic skin condition such as psoriasis, people often face the issue of not being able to predict the next flare-up. When will it happen? Where on the body will it occur? How bad will it be?

We know that certain factors may trigger outbreaks such as stress, seasonality, certain foods, alcohol and hormonal changes. Nevertheless, psoriasis sufferers still have a hard time predicting the next flare-up, not being able to respond to it before it's too late. 

Maintaining a normal life can often be difficult, as the next flare-up might happen before meeting someone, attending an event, or doing a presentation at work. All situations where you want to look your best. Constantly living with this uncertainty and unpredictability can be frustrating as people feel less in charge of their lives. 

Challenge Breakthrough

Development of a solution that can predict skin flare-ups can help millions of people with a “call-for-action”. A call-for-action would empower people living with psoriasis to be in charge of their skin. Knowing when the next flare-up most likely will take place, would allow for more pro-active treatment, effectively reducing the amount of medicine needed or enable some treatments to even last longer. A solution would also provide the ability to identify the origin of the flare-up and allow people to introduce the necessary behavioral change to prevent future flare-ups. With a solution, millions of people living with psoriasis would much better cope with their condition and maintain a normal daily life. 

Winner Prize

A prize of a total of $100,000 USD will be awarded to the prototype solution that best meets the judging criteria. Apart from the prize money, the winner may become part of the LEO Innovation Lab project portfolio with the potential of:

  • Collaboration for commercialisation
  • Investment 
  • Acess to sales force
  • Acess to a network of patients and healthcare providers through both LEO Innovation Lab and LEO Pharma

In the case of a tie, the winner will be selected at the discretion of the judging panel.


Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease with red, thick and scaly skin and affects at least 100 million people worldwide, with the highest concentration (around 2-3%) in the western population. Along with the physical skin symptoms and lowered quality of life the majority of psoriasis patients also suffer from itch.

What triggers the disease is partly genetic, however, general stress and post-traumatic stress are important predictors of skin flare-ups. Environmental factors such as humidity, certain nutrition, infections and psychological imbalance are also known to be capable of causing flare ups. To read more about flare-ups see the available resources for this challenge.

In general, people with psoriasis more frequently experience other diseases such as arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, overweight and obesity, heart issues and depression.

Psoriasis and Life 
The psychological effects of psoriasis on person's everyday life represent an enormous emotional burden. People experience frequent social stigma and up to 60% of psoriasis sufferers have symptoms of depression as consequence of a lowered quality of life.

“It’s easy with kids, they ask. Adults don’t, they just look and judge. That’s sometimes a hindrance and it effects me. I usually wear long sleeves, also in the summer. I cover up.”- Testimony from a person living with psoriasis 

A recent study done by the Happiness Research Institute and Psohappy concluded that half of people with psoriasis say they have low self-esteem and 41% say they rarely feel confident. The study also found that people living with psoriasis have approximately 20% lower level of happiness compared to the rest of the population.
For more: http://www.psohappy.org/report2016

Other Challenges

Have a look at our other challenge Relieve Itch 


Challenge Sponsor

This challenge is created and sponsored by LEO Innovation Lab.

LEO Innovation Lab is an independent unit, established by LEO Pharma as part of a long-term strategic decision to focus on patient needs.
At LEO Innovation Lab we don’t develop medical treatments – instead, we look at all aspects of everyday life that can affect a person living with a skin condition, with the goal of improving their quality of life.

To learn more about LEO Innovation Lab visit: http://leoinnovationlab.com

About LEO Pharma

Pharmaceutical company LEO Pharma specializes in dermatology helping people globally, that suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema, actinic keratosis or acne. LEO Pharma is owned entirely by the LEO Foundation and has no shareholders. Its profits are reinvested to develop new solutions to support the overall mission: To help people achieve healthy skin.

Updates 18

Challenge Finish Line

Sept. 26, 2017, 1:38 a.m. PDT by LEO Innovation Lab

Despite no solution fully met the submission criteria we would like to acknowledge the following competitors and their efforts as promised: 
1st place: PSOLA - Hugo Shelly 

2nd place: GPSkin - Doug Lee 

3rd place: Psoracle - Alexander Navarini

Thank you for your submissions and your efforts in trying to solve this challenge! 

LEO Innovation Lab

Challenge Statement

Sept. 22, 2017, 4:46 a.m. PDT by LEO Innovation Lab

As a response to some of the comments we have received, we'd like to briefly explain who we are - just so that there are no misconceptions as to why we do as we do.

LEO Innovation Lab is the digital innovation unit owned fully by LEO Pharma. LEO Pharma is owned in full by the LEO Foundation, a self-governing judicial entity based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The foundation is fully independent from heirs, outside shareholders and other interests.

The practical upshot of this ownership structure is that all profits generated in the company are reinvested in the company’s endeavour to live out its mission of helping people achieve healthy skin – through extensive R&D as well as collaborations with universities and research groups throughout the world.
No one else has a take. 

In addition, the LEO Foundation supports international dermatological research projects and activities that address issues in disease understanding, disease treatment, disease awareness and patient wellbeing. In 2016, the foundation granted in excess of 15 MEUR globally.

We would be very interested in providing feedback to the top 3 submissions and to offer to set up a video conference/call to answer any questions you may still have. 

We are very sorry if this has caused misunderstandings in the past and we hope that with this explanation we have been able to clarify our intentions better. 

As always you can write directly to me –  if you have further questions ​

Kristian Hart-Hansen
CEO, LEO Innovation Lab  

Challenge Statement

Sept. 21, 2017, 7:40 a.m. PDT by LEO Innovation Lab

Dear participants of the Skin Prediction Challenge,

There have been some comments regarding our recent statement that concluded the challenge. We apologize if any participants have misunderstood this statement or feel treated unfairly. Allow us to try and explain the conclusion of this challenge. 

As mentioned before, we in LEO Innovation Lab decided last year to try and crowdsource solutions to two difficult and ambitious challenges. If solved they could help millions of people living with a chronic skin condition. Knowing this we were also willing to award such solutions properly should they fulfill the criteria that such solutions must meet. As this was our first time taking on such initiative, we were very uncertain what to expect from using innovation tools such as crowdsourcing. That is also why we stated that we hoped we could find the resources to sponsor similar initiatives in the future. Carrying out an initiative like this is costly and time-consuming. As an organizer, you have various expenses in the form of fee's, labor costs, marketing expenses etc. thus our expectations for the outcome were high.

In the case of both challenges, much to our surprise, very few concepts, as well as prototypes, were submitted. Even so, we have been focused on giving back to the community and treat participants fairly. In our other challenge (Relieve Itch) we have chosen to reward one solution with a small research grant even though it didn't meet the challenge criteria. We saw future potential in their concept and prototype as well as potential relevance. Of course, we hoped we could do a similar thing in the Skin Prediction challenge but after consulting with various partners to be absolutely certain of our initial decision, we simply came to the conclusion that the solutions submitted didn't represent a path that we wish to pursue in LEO Innovation Lab, both in terms of the approach as well as technology and concept. 

As you know choosing a challenge winner is not mandatory for a challenge sponsor/organizer. But exploiting ideas or prototypes of competitors that haven't been identified as winners of the competition is not an option. In accordance with the intellectual property agreement for this challenge, the IP of each submission remains the full ownership of the innovator. Only if the innovator is chosen as a winner does the Shared IP clause come into action. 

We apologize for any misunderstandings there may have been and we can certainly announce the best solutions submitted if this is something that the community wants. We are also happy to provide feedback to the top 3 submissions. Lastly, we want to offer to set up a video conference/call with the top 3 prototype submissions to answer any questions you may still have. Please comment on this post if you are interested in this.

LEO Innovation Lab

Challenge Announcement

Sept. 11, 2017, 7:14 a.m. PDT by LEO Innovation Lab

Dear innovators of the Skin Prediction Challenge,

Thank you for your patience during the judging process. We at LEO Innovation Lab would like to express our gratitude for the interest that has been shown in this innovation challenge! We thank everyone who has submitted a concept or a prototype and we have been inspired by the creativity and diversity of the solutions submitted. Indeed both are central in the pursuit of a flare-up prediction capability.

Last year in LEO Innovation Lab we decided to crowdsource a solution to a difficult and ambitious challenge, that if solved would help the millions of people living with psoriasis. Knowing this we were also willing to award such solution properly. 

Unfortunately, we did not receive any prototypes that fully met the submission criteria or sufficiently satisfied the judging criteria. Nevertheless, we received a number of very interesting prototypes and solutions, that may be on the path to a future prediction capability. With most of them being hardware oriented we have been reaching out to partners for consultation during the judging process. The judging panel has also met numerous times to discuss the solutions and it has been a difficult decision to make. In conclusion, we have decided not to move further with any of the solutions submitted.

We thank all innovators for their contributions and hope that we will come to sponsor similar initiatives in the future!

Kristian Hart-Hansen
CEO, LEO Innovation Lab

Challenge Update

Aug. 9, 2017, 4:35 a.m. PDT by LEO Innovation Lab

Dear innovators of the Skin Prediction challenge, 

We thank you for your patience as we are still evaluating the solutions that have been submitted. 
We are currently working with partner organizations to help us evaluate the solutions in depth and expect that we soon can make a final announcement. 

Thank you for your patience. 

LEO Innovation Lab

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