Thursday, April 26, 2012

Facebook-Like Approach to Helping Critically Ill Babies Wins Innovate 4 Healthcare Challenge!

An online platform to improve outcomes for sick babies by better engaging parents in their care drew first place last Friday in the Innovate 4 Healthcare Challenge, a collegiate competition based on radically improving healthcare through new processes that are enabled by innovative information technology applications and supported by a sustainable market strategy.

"NeoStream," developed by graduate students in the Biomedical Informatics Department in the Stanford University School of Medicine, captured the top-prize.
"NeoStream," developed by graduate students in the Biomedical Informatics Department in the Stanford University School of Medicine, captured top-prize at the recent Innovate 4 Healthcare IT Challenge hosted by Center for Health Information and Decision Systems (CHIDS) at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

"The challenge drew 26 high-quality solutions from a broad range of schools and programs from across the country, and even a few from overseas, to answer the call to how to strengthen patient-provider engagement to improve health outcomes," said the competition's director Kenyon Crowley, Director of Health Innovation at the UMD Center of Excellence in Health IT Research and associate director of CHIDS. "The solutions were creative and most importantly, they were derived from multi-disciplinary viewpoints ranging from business and engineering to public health and medicine.”

NeoStream employs a social network approach, similar to Facebook, "to improve communication between caregivers and the parents of babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, with the ultimate goal of improving short and long term outcomes for critically ill babies," said Stanford team member Jon Palma, a physician and neonatal informatics specialist for Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford and biomedical informatics student at the university.

The Stanford team, that also included Hua Fan-Minogue, Ken Jung and Katie Planey, was among eight finalists that presented projects to a judging panel of industry, clinical, and government professionals, and academics, on April 20 at the Smith School's center in the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington D.C. Their $20,000 first prize includes a potential venture with challenge co-sponsor Johnson & Johnson Services Inc. "We're excited about winning the competition, and the opportunity to work with Johnson and Johnson to further our idea," said Palma.

A pair of runner-up entries each netted $5,000, including "So They Can Know," a Web application designed by Johns Hopkins University graduate students for newly diagnosed STD patients to anonymously alert previous partners; and the University of Georgia Terry School of Business team for its "Play Hard, Live Long" game-based software that calculates lifestyle variables to health-related outcomes.

For the full write-up and additional photos visit:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Challenge Finalists Announced!

Over the past few weeks the first round judges have been diligently reviewing the impressive submissions of over 25 entries from universities across the nation and even a few from overseas.  The quality and volume of responses indicate a deep interest from students in identifying ways process innovation, technology enablers and a market strategy can be used to strengthen the engagement between patients and healthcare providers for better health outcomes.  It was a welcome sight by the judges and a trend the Innovate 4 Healthcare Challenge organizers look forward to seeing grow each year.

After much debate, the following eight teams were selected for the final round (in alphabetical order):

Dynamic Diagnostics
Georgetown University
Stanford University
Non‐Invasive Real‐Time Health Monitoring
University of Maryland
OptiMantra Health
University of Maryland
Play Hard, Live Long
Terry College of Business, UGA
Harvard University
So They Can Know
Johns Hopkins University
Team KeyOSK
Carnegie Mellon University

These finalists will present their solutions in person to leaders in the healthcare industry.  The Final Round Presentations and Awards Luncheon will be held on April 20, 2012 at the Smith School campus at the Ronald Regan International Trade Center in Washington, D.C. If you would like to be considered for the guest list, please email us at

Thank you to all of the participants for the hard work and creativity you put into your submissions, and congratulations and best of luck to the eight finalist teams!

- Challenge Organizers

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Reminder: March 6th 5:00pm EST deadline for the Innovate 4 Healthcare Challenge

Challenge Contestants,

Reminder that your submissions are due to be uploaded to the Challenge site by the Tuesday, March 6th 5:00 pm EST deadline.

The deliverable structure is copied below from Challenge website (

Good luck!
Challenge Organizers

The deliverables include:
  1. A solution description documenting the following, including (maximum of 15 pages)
    1. Executive summary
    2. An analysis of all considerations, including those related to technology and strategy.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    1. Must be no more than 3 minutes in length.
    2. Must be in a recognized video format (ie: .wmv, .mp4, etc.).
    3. The video should be uploaded to a video sharing site (such as Vimeo).
    4. A link to the video should be included in the PowerPoint presentation by slide 2.
    5. Again, this is optional for those that wish to provide a multimedia view of their innovation.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Challenge FAQs

Visit our FAQ's Page to see answers to questions we have received:
  • Will there be opportunities for students to network with other participants or identify others interested from their school to form a team?
  • Do the submissions become the property of the competition or the supporters?
  • Do the proposals submitted need to be profitable?
  • Is it required that the submission address all types of conditions or can it focus on a specific condition?
  • How many teams will advance to the final round?
  • Is the competition aimed to promote product-focused innovations or service-focused innovations?
  • Will the list of judges be made available prior to the final round of competition?
  • How much emphasis should be placed on the security of the solution?
  • Can we focus efforts on managed care systems?
  • Are technological tools required as part of the proposed business models?
  • Will more than one team from a school be allowed to advance to the final round?
  • How should HIPAA concerns be addressed in the business plan?
  • Will Johnson & Johnson use this challenge for potential employment opportunities?
  • Are undergraduate students eligible to compete?
  • Will teams selected for the final round be provided with a travel stipend?
  • What limitations exist on the types of people that can be consulted by the teams as they develop their business plan?
  • How do I register my team?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

About IP in the Innovate 4 Healthcare Challenge

During the Innovate 4 Healthcare Challenge informational webinar, several questions were asked regarding the intellectual property (IP) surrounding contest submissions.  IP refers to creations of the mind: inventions, literary and artistic works, and symbols, names, images, and designs used in commerce.1   The Challenge is designed to incentivize and stimulate ideas (IP) for strengthening patient and healthcare provider engagement by developing a solution that merges process innovation, technology enablers and a compelling market strategy.  The Challenge organizers carefully considered the issues regarding intellectual property or “IP” while planning the Challenge.  The organizers want all entrants to clearly understand these rules.   The rules pertaining to IP include clauses S. Non-return and R. Right of Refusal from the Guidelines, copied below:

S. Non-return
By participating in the Challenge, Teams grant to the organizers a royalty-free, non-exclusive and irrevocable license to copy, reproduce, display or distribute the technology and data from the Challenge, and to make derivative works based upon the entry or a substantial portion of the entry without attribution or prior permission. Entries become property of the organizers and will not be acknowledged or returned.

T. Right of Refusal
JJSI shall be granted the option of first-right to develop and commercialize any technology, information or data generated from the Challenge, including all of the materials from the contest entries (the “Option”). JJSI will have the right to access the information in the contest entries to determine if it or any of its affiliates wants to develop and commercialize the technology or information. JJSI will receive and retain rights to use and secure intellectual property protection for the technology or information obtained from the Innovation Challenge.

What this means plainly is that the organizers will have the option to develop the concept further.  If the organizers do not choose to further develop the concept in a twelve months timeframe, student teams may advance the solution independently.   The organizers expect that the student team would be engaged to collaborate further on select submissions, but there is no guarantee of this.

We look forward to compelling ideas to improve healthcare.  If you have further questions on the IP issue or any other issue, please email us at

Good luck!
Challenge Organizers

1.      1. WIPO (2012) Definition of IP. Accessed at