Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pitches Made for Innovation

The “Health Care Innovations Summit” hosted by CMS, West Wireless Health Institute, and Health Affairs on January 26th brought over 1000 people together to hear ideas on how to improve the quality of healthcare and lower costs.

The Summit showcased several major new initiatives with presentations by leading healthcare organizations to discuss their organization’s new 2012 challenges and the prizes available to spur innovation and spark breakthrough ideas.

Farzad Mostashari M.D., ScM, National Coordinator for HIT, speaking at the Summit reported, “HHS has launched a second health IT Challenge to improve care transitions for hospital-discharged patients. The second part referred to as the “Discharge Follow Up Appointment Care Transitions” supports the ONC’s “Investing in Innovation” (i2) program. The goal is to schedule follow-up appointments and post-discharge testing for patients before they leave the hospital to ensure safer and more effective transitions.”

The total prize will be $5,000 and will support a three day site visit to a pilot community for further in-depth discussions. The deadline for the second challenge “Discharge Follow Up Appointment Care Transitions” is April 30, 2012.

Last year, the first health IT challenge “Ensuring Safe Transitions from Hospital to Home” called for developers to create a web-based application to help patients and caregivers better navigate and manage a transition from a hospital. Three winners of this challenge were announced in December. The winners Axial Transitions Suite, iBlueButton, and VoIDSPAN were awarded $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000 respectively.

Others in the private sector are very involved in developing innovative strategies and have issued a call for new ideas and thoughts on how to address critical healthcare issues in 2012 and offering financial prizes.

Pfizer Inc. together with their collaborator on the Alzheimer’s Immunotherapy Program (AIP), Janssen Alzheimer Immunotherapy, and the Geoffrey Beene Gives Back ® Alzheimer’s Initiative, has introduced “Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012”. This initiative open to problem-solvers and any others with creative solutions is calling for inventive concepts to help improve the diagnostic identification and tracking of Alzheimer’s disease.

The Alzheimer’s Challenge 2012 includes awards totaling $300,000 which will include awarding $25,000 to five finalists and $175,000 to one winner. The submission date is March 16, 2012.

The Janssen Healthcare Innovation team within Janssen Research & Development LLC is calling for the “Janssen Connected Care Challenge” to find technology solutions to improve the coordination of care for patients as they are being discharged from the hospital and to find ways to help in the transitional process by using technology.

Janssen Healthcare Innovation will award a total of $250,000 to further develop the top three ideas selected that would improve healthcare outcomes. Submissions for the Challenge will be accepted from February 27, 2012 until March 25, 2012. Three finalists will be awarded $50,000 each and have the opportunity to work with healthcare experts to refine their solutions. Each finalist will present their ideas to a panel of judges at a Demo Day to be held in May. The final winner will be selected May 23, 2012 and will be awarded $100,000 to help develop their concept in the market.

Kaiser Permanente unveiled their “HIV Challenge” to improve health equity for people living with HIV by increasing access to HIV care. The crux of the “HIV Challenge” is to challenge private healthcare providers and public and community health clinics so that more HIV-positive people are able to get effective treatment.

Addressing HIV care effectively can be accomplished if providers and clinics will replicate quality improvement programs that are capable of measuring gaps in care, testing, prevention and treatment guidelines. What is also needed are instructions on how to set up multidisciplinary care team models emphasizing the medical home to enable HIV specialists, care managers, clinical pharmacists, and providers to work together to educate both the provider and the patient.

Allscripts is taking a leading role to deliver best practices care for patients with cardiovascular disease through sponsorship of their “Million Hearts Initiative Clinical Decision Support” (CDS) Challenge which is offering a $50,000 prize

The prize is being offered to persons or groups that create a publicly available resource to accelerate the delivery of optimal care for the millions of patients in the U.S. with cardiovascular disease through clinical decision support functionality.

The goal is to facilitate the translation of the CDS rules associated with the “Million Hearts Initiative” into an unambiguous, machine-readable format that can be read by any EHR. In addition, important elements of the winning solution will be made available to the community and other EHR developers under an open source license to help support the goals of the initiative.

The competition is available to representatives from Allscripts and other public or private healthcare organizations with the final terms and conditions to be available February 27th 2012. The competition closes June 30, 2012.

Diabetes accounts for 11 percent of the total U.S. cost of care, according to Dennis Urbaniak, Vice President, for Diabetes at Sanofi U.S. The organization is offering the “Sanofi U.S. 2012 Innovation Challenge to find data-informed diabetes solutions, design mentorship, and insight into diabetes.

Over $200,000 will be awarded in prize money. Six semi-finalists will receive $20,000 for developing the concept prototype, two finalists will receive $10,000 to create a community-based proof of concept program, and one winner will receive $100,000 to develop their solution.