Posted by: Ann Treacy | January 11, 2013

UnitedHealth Tech Innovation Contest: Prize $60,000

Thanks to John Schultz for the heads up on an opportunity for enterprising innovators to create tech solutions to health issues…

The “Breakthrough Health Tech Challenge” aims to tap the creativity of innovators worldwide, both within and beyond the health care industry, to bring concepts and solutions that help address some of the greatest challenges facing the health system. This “crowdsourcing” challenge seeks ideas on how common consumer technologies or devices, including video game systems and mobile phones, can be used in new ways to serve people by helping them address their chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Details of the challenge and a submission form can be found here. Ideas are being accepted through April 8, with the winning submission earning a $60,000 prize.

I’ve tried to pull out the “details” that I found most useful…

The Seeker for this Challenge, UnitedHealthcare, seeks to promote healthier lifestyles and/or new approaches for managing widespread chronic conditions by taking advantage of two exciting dynamics in today’s marketplace – innovative consumer technologies and consumer-centric health solutions. Accordingly, they are seeking prototypes of novel combinations or modifications (“mods”) of existing, off-the-shelf consumer technology (including computer software and smartphone applications) that could be used to improve peoples’ health and quality of life.

This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires a written proposal and experimental proof-of-concept data (and/or prototype delivery).  In the absence of a proven solution, however, the Seeker may make a partial award of up to $20,000 USD for a purely theoretical contribution.  In addition to the Challenge award, the Seeker may be interested in further collaboration with winning Solver(s) to further advance this project.

Also the UnitedHealth press release includes info on past projects that I thought might be useful – both to inspire ideas but also as health/insurance consumers…

  • myHealthcare Cost Estimator – This online and mobile tool gives consumers the transparency they need to understand health care costs and quality for specific physicians and hospitals; enables them to compare costs and quality of alternative treatments; and provides personalized out-of-pocket cost estimates based on current benefits, applicable network discounts and health financing accounts.
  • Health4Me – This powerful mobile app helps UnitedHealthcare plan participants on the go find in-network doctors, benefit information and claim status.
  • Senior Digital Journey – By better understanding how individuals experience health care and insurance, UnitedHealthcare is gaining insights in how to change its service delivery to fit the behavior, needs and desires of the people it serves.
  • UnitedHealthcare Community Rewards – This program rewards children with points for healthy habits such as visiting their doctors regularly for checkups or brushing their teeth. Then they are able to redeem the points for valuable rewards such as a camera or a bicycle.

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