Challenge Structure

Challenge Theme: Strengthening the patient provider connection for better health

Challenge Rationale

The Challenge is founded on the belief that health outcomes can be improved through more fully engaging patients with self-management of their health and with their healthcare professional. Recognizing that patient engagement and enhanced patient-provider communication is critical to improving healthcare quality while simultaneously reducing cost, policy makers in the United States and globally have issued a broad call for more patient-centric healthcare systems.

With several trends foreseen such as a growing aging population, reduced number of health care providers and underserved markets, along with growing health care costs and fragmented access to information, information technologies can play a vital role in facilitating systemic improvements. The past few years have witnessed the emergence of a growing number of nascent solutions that will bring us closer to patient-centered healthcare. However, what is lacking is a major breakthrough idea that will question existing assumptions about patient- provider engagement and offer a novel and innovative solution to this issue. In order to be sustainable and generate interest from investors, the innovation needs to be sustainable through an appropriately crafted business model.

To further put context to patient engagement, examples follow that give some explanation of the broad concept. The expectation is that a student team responding to the Challenge would address a specific innovative solution that targets at least one of the following broadly defined categories:

  • Engagement that will enable the management of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease (COPD), cancer, and mental health disorders
  • Engagement structured around an acute event such as a surgery. Such may include the exchange of information and activities prior to surgery, and, post-surgery through back to full health
  • Engagement due to a major life stage such as pregnancy and aging

The Challenge and opportunity is to derive a Solution (set of tools, processes and technologies coupled with a business strategy) that can benefit the patient via a strengthened connection with the health care provider which delivers demonstrable improvements in patient metrics. The primary metric is patient health outcomes, and secondary metrics which may influence patient health and wellbeing.

Solution Scope and Potential Considerations to Address the Challenge

A subset of examples of what consumer/patient and healthcare provider (HCP) engagement may entail to improve health and wellbeing is provided below. Teams are not restricted to these: innovation is strongly encouraged.:

  • Patient assumes accountability for additional aspects of the chronic or acute event
  • The solution provides patient support at appropriate times or events
  • Trusted relationships are built and agreements are made that may lead to shared expectations for communication and care
  • Dialogue is open; an improved understanding and multi-way communication is created
  • Digital/electronic and other communication paths are created and encourage timely and effective information flow between patients, health care professionals and other care providers
  • Social media and online communities are leveraged as appropriate for a social wellness and/or recovery experience
  • A suite of technology tools are implemented in the patient’s home, smartphone, automobile, body or other touch point that provides monitoring and engagement
  • New linkages between the providers, health care system or wellness experts are developed
  • Co-branding and new partnerships between solution providers yield a full range service offering

The opportunity presented spans a gamut of activities that include an understanding of patients, healthcare activities, providers, and technologies. As such, we envision that a truly compelling solution will be developed by a multi-disciplinary student team that brings diverse skills and perspectives to bear upon the problem. A proposed solution may include some or all of the components listed below. However, each solution must speak directly to the health outcomes it purports to address.

  • Tools and Technologies, such as:
    • Web/personal destination
    • Smartphone/tablet/app
    • SMS/MMS
    • Social media
    • Bluetooth/ANT/Wi-Fi/3G enabled health accessories (e.g. scale, pedometer, glucose meter)
    • Remote monitoring and automated decision support
    • Other digital platforms
  • Improved Health Outcomes such as improved biomarkers (e.g. blood pressure, weight, HBa1c), reduced time in hospital, reduced re-admittances, etc.
  • Content (education, media content, etc.) that may to be delivered
  • Development of prototypes and, if appropriate, pilots
  • Patient/consumer receptivity to the idea and identification of critical success factors for promoting acceptance
  • Health Care Provider receptivity/engagement of the idea and identification of critical success factors for promoting acceptance
  • Evaluation of local and global economic and market factors
  • Consideration of how data will be collected, analyzed, and the findings used.
  • Effectively dealing with privacy, security, HIPAA
  • Potential public and private partnerships that can help drive success on a global basis; identification of major agencies (e.g. HHS, WHO) or technology companies that ought to be engaged, as appropriate.
  • Designing effective pilots and planning for regional launch and adoption

A subset of the above needs should be mutually agreed to as deliverables for this project. We are cognizant of the time constraints imposed both by the academic calendar and the student’s own schedules.

The deliverables include:

  1. A solution description documenting the following, including (maximum of 15 pages)
    • Executive summary
    • An analysis of all considerations, including those related to technology and strategy.
    • A prototype of the proposed solution that demonstrates how technology can be used to effectively obtain, synthesize and engage patients and health care providers. Ideally, this prototype would utilize multiple digital modalities to enable patients to work with the platforms (e.g. web, mobile) that best suit their needs. The prototype does not have to be a functional system – it may be a “mock-up” or diagram demonstrating the capabilities and workflow.
    • A business model, as in how would this be covered and paid for with possibilities ranging for consumer out of pocket payment, reimbursement, advertising or other revenue streams.
    • A go-to-market recommendation on how best to pilot the idea that may include target locations, methodologies, desired learning, expected costs, and next steps.
    • Evaluation of best practices for driving broader adoption amongst consumers/patients, healthcare providers and the larger global healthcare ecosystem.
  2. A 10-slide presentation deck with notes.
  3. Students may optionally choose to include a link to a short video that describes their solution.
    • Must be no more than 3 minutes in length.
    • Must be in a recognized video format (ie: .wmv, .mp4, etc.).
    • The video should be uploaded to a video sharing site (such as Vimeo).
    • A link to the video should be included in the PowerPoint presentation by slide 2.
    • Again, this is optional for those that wish to provide a multimedia view of their innovation.
Competition announced: January 24, 2012
Registration period: January 24 - February 24, 2012
Challenge Participant Webinar: February 3, 2012, 5 - 6 p.m. EST
Round one (written) submissions due: March 6, 2012, 5 p.m.
Round one decisions released: March 22, 2012
Submit presentation materials for Final round: April 17, 2012, 11:59 p.m. EST
Final round (oral presentations) and award ceremony: April 20, 2012, 7:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

To register a team, please follow the below instructions:

  1. Determine who will be on your team before you register.
  2. Choose one person to be the Team Leader.
  3. Have the Team Leader register online.
  4. Once the Team Leader is registered s/he must log in and go to the "My Team" tab.
  5. In the "My Team" tab, choose "Members."
  6. Here, the Team Leader selects "Add Team Member" and enters the name and e-mail address of a new, previously unregistered Team Member.
  7. Repeat for each new team member.
  8. Each team members will then receive an invitation email.
  9. The team member must click the link to the registration page and then register.
  10. After registration, the member will receive a validation email. After clicking on the validation link, the new member will be able to login to the system.
  11. Here's a screen shot of where the Team Leader should go to invite new members.