The Harvard Business School (HBS) and the Harvard Medical School (HMS) recently announced the finalists of their Harvard Health Acceleration Challenge: Bloodbuy, I-Pass, Medalogix and Twine.
The challenge is a “scale-up” competition that focuses on finding and mentoring companies with innovative healthcare solutions. All four finalists will receive networking, funding and mentorship during the next year to help them develop more quickly than they would through normal channels. Each finalist will receive $37,500 and will be featured in a Harvard Business School case study. They’ll also be given the opportunity to present at the exclusive Forum on Health Care Innovation conference next April.
“There are so many great innovations in healthcare happening today,” says Cara Sterling, director of the Harvard Healthcare Initiative. “This challenge breaks down the barriers to sharing those innovations and celebrates the projects that are happening.”
Finalists were scored based on three attributes – potential innovation impact, evidence that the innovation was already working and the dissemination of the project itself. The top four finalists beat out nearly 500 other applicants from 29 countries.
Bloodbuy, a Dallas based company, connects hospitals and blood centers nationwide to ensure the efficient flow of live saving blood products to patients in need. Their cloud-based platform addresses the uneven geographic distribution of the available blood supply in real-time. “We’re very thankful for the opportunity to engage with Harvard over the course of the next several months to accelerate the dissemination of Bloodbuy,” says Chris Godfrey, founder and CEO of the company. “We want to maximize the impact we can have on our healthcare system in terms of our technology’s proven ability to reduce waste and lower cost, while supporting improved clinical outcomes in the arena of transfusion medicine.”
A Boston Children’s Hospital entry, I-Pass, was also chosen as a finalist. I-Pass presents a multifaceted approach to creating tools that connect all the clinicians treating a single patient. The project was submitted by Theodore Sectish, M.D., a pediatrician at Boston Children’s. “We are thrilled by our selection as a finalist and are looking forward to the networking resources that will come about as a result of this selection,” Dr. Sectish says. “We are already being approached by HBS alums who are quite interested in partnering with us to assist in the dissemination of this evidence-based approach to safer patient handoffs.”
The third finalist is Medalogix, a Nashville based company using predictive analytics to identify hospice-eligible patients. “Our selection has given us momentum to further our mission of improving outcomes with analytics,” says Medalogix CEO and founder Dan Hogan. “Most importantly, it’s drawn attention to the problems of end of life care in America.”
Twine Health, the fourth finalist, is a mobile app that allows patients and physicians to co-create treatment plans through an apprenticeship model. John Moore is the co-founder and CEO of Twine Health. “We look forward to continuing our relationship with HBS and HMS as we partner with more healthcare systems who share our interest in improving patient outcomes, lowering healthcare costs and enhancing patient satisfaction,” says Moore.
In the following year, finalists will compete to scale up as much as possible. They will have a challenge advisory network made up of 60 volunteers to help advise and mentor them throughout the process. The winning finalist will receive another $50,000. “We’re moving the needle on sharing best practices and pushing forward good ideas that are already working,” says Sterling.
Soniya Shah is an on-staff contributing writer at MedTech Boston. She's a senior at Carnegie Mellon University pursuing a BS in technical writing. She has experience as a ghost writer and medical writer, and in developing software documentation.
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