Dr. Homero Rivas on digit...
Exclusive Interview with ...
HxRefactored Exclusive In...
  • The Nicholson Foundation & Rutgers Announce Winner Of Healthcare Delivery Challenge

    Winning Team Created New Smartphone Application to Help Underserved Populations Manage Type 2 Diabetes & Reduce Healthcare Costs

    Newark, N.J. – The next generation of healthcare innovators took center stage at The Nicholson Foundation & Rutgers Healthcare Delivery Challenge Award Ceremony April 22 at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. To win the Challenge, team “Copernicus Health” presented its smartphone application, which engages and motivates underserved populations to better manage their Type 2 diabetes, while also working to reduce costs to the healthcare system. They received $50,000 to implement the innovation in a Rutgers-affiliated clinic.

    Funded by The Nicholson Foundation, whose mission is to improve the quality and affordability of healthcare for New Jersey’s underserved communities, the event served as the culmination of a four-month Challenge competition, which was managed by Health 2.0. The Challenge encouraged students and faculty to form interdisciplinary teams and work together to submit proposals for ready-to-implement service delivery or technology innovations that can improve the quality and contain the costs of healthcare for underserved populations. More than 50 students and faculty from Rutgers participated in the Challenge, and the award ceremony gave the top three teams the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges, including a representative from a venture capital group, distinguished healthcare professionals, and academic leaders.

    The winning team members, including Rutgers undergraduate computer science student Jeet Patel and second-year medical students at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Tom Nahass, Josh David, Brian Friel, Jonathan Haskel, and Sam Schild, developed Copernicus Health to address Type 2 diabetes complications that are largely preventable. In an effort to lower hospital costs and reduce the incidence of adverse outcomes, Copernicus Health provides a comprehensive mobile platform to engage and motivate patients to meet evidence-based metrics proven to reduce the serious complications that result from poorly managed diseases.

    Using gamification, the application allows patients to receive points for taking their medicine, self-educating about their disease through the app’s embedded learning tools, and monitoring key clinical metrics obtained at the doctor’s office. Once patients accumulate a pre-determined point volume, they become eligible for rewards in the form of direct cash infusions sent to their reloadable Copernicus debit cards or discounts to use at healthy lifestyle businesses, such as fitness centers and farmers’ markets. To help ensure accuracy and real health improvements, users are only eligible for cash rewards after having their lab values verified by their physician.

    “Chronic disease management is often one of the most difficult processes to change within the vulnerable community because it requires not only an improvement in diet and lifestyle, but also an improvement in health literacy, or one’s understanding of his or her disease,” said Nahass. “Copernicus Health aims to meet this need by providing a product that educates patients and encourages healthy behavior.”

    Submissions were judged on the following criteria: creativity, impact (i.e., ability of the intervention to improve health outcomes of vulnerable populations and reduce costs within a year’s time), feasibility of implementation, and sustainability.

    The Nicholson Foundation funded the Healthcare Delivery Challenge as part of its commitment to stimulate a culture of innovation across New Jersey’s healthcare institutions that serve at-risk populations. “The students and faculty from the Rutgers community are helping to lead the way for a healthier New Jersey for all residents,” said Joan Randell, chief operating officer of The Nicholson Foundation. “Their innovative ideas, tenacious problem-solving skills, and commitment to reaching at-risk populations will help change the future of healthcare and the lives of patients in New Jersey.”

    The Nicholson Foundation & Rutgers Healthcare Delivery Challenge also supports the theme of Rutgers University’s strategic plan to “improve the health and wellness of individuals and populations” by addressing health challenges, locally and globally.

    “Those of us at Rutgers who participated in the Challenge are quite proud of the creative, multi-disciplinary concepts the teams developed, many of which have real potential to benefit our state’s residents,” said Margaret Brennan-Tonetta, associate vice president for economic development at Rutgers. “This exciting learning and public service opportunity came about because of The Nicholson Foundation’s generosity, which we greatly appreciate.”

    About the Finalists & Judges

    In addition to Copernicus Health, two other student and faculty finalist teams also presented their innovations during the ceremony.

    Team “Save A Neck” created BreatheNVS, an application that directs patients to educate themselves and share information with their physicians on noninvasive management of their respiratory symptoms to ‘save their necks’ from invasive tubes, which are commonly used for patients with breathing muscle weakness. BreatheNVS educates patients about the benefits of noninvasive ventilation and provides them with the necessary resources in evidence-based medicine to seek and receive optimal care.

    Team “MAP Training” presented its new intervention that combines mental and physical (MAP) exercises to help women overcome severe stress and trauma caused by homelessness, sexual or physical abuse, and mental illness. The intervention was translated from neuroscientific studies that discuss the pairing of aerobic exercise and learning. MAP Training combines 30 minutes of silent meditation followed by 30 minutes of aerobic exercise patterned after the popular Zumba dance exercise program.

    All teams were evaluated by the following expert judges: Mike Wiley, vice president of Foundation Venture Capital Group; Mark Robson, dean of Rutgers Agricultural and Urban Programs; Denise Rodgers, vice chancellor for interprofessional programs for Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences; Wen Dombrowski, aging, healthcare, & technology advisor for Resonate Health; Frank Sonnenberg, medical director of clinical information systems for Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Eric Jahn, senior associate dean of community health for Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; Sabrina Chase, assistant professor and director for joint urban systems PhD program in urban health; Jasmine Cordero, managing director of center for urban entrepreneurship & economic development at Rutgers Business School; and, Gary Minkoff, instructor of professional practice for Rutgers Business School, department of management & global business.

    Healthcare Innovation Taking Off in New Jersey

    The Healthcare Delivery Challenge is the latest in The Nicholson Foundation’s efforts to boost healthcare innovation in New Jersey and bring cutting-edge services to the healthcare safety net. Other Nicholson efforts within this area include a new grants program with the Center for Care Innovations—a California-based nonprofit—to support innovation within New Jersey’s safety-net hospitals and care delivery systems, and a collaboration with New Jersey Health Foundation to implement an Innovations Grants Program that will award $500,000 in grants to healthcare innovators in New Jersey. Since the start of 2015, the Foundation has committed more than $1 million to fund these three efforts.

    About The Nicholson Foundation: The Nicholson Foundation works to improve the quality and affordability of healthcare for vulnerable populations in New Jersey by transforming how it is paid for and delivered. The Foundation’s approach emphasizes partnerships and performance-based grant making; its goal is sustainable systems reform. For more information about the Foundation, visit www.thenicholsonfoundation.org.

    About Rutgers: Established in 1766, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, is America’s eighth oldest institution of higher learning and one of the nation’s premier public research universities, educating more than 65,000 students. Rutgers’ flagship, based in New Brunswick, is the only public institution in New Jersey represented in the prestigious Association of American Universities. Rutgers is a member of the Big Ten Conference and its academic counterpart, the Committee on Institutional Cooperation – a consortium of 15 world-class research universities. Rutgers is among the top 30 universities nationally for total R&D funding. The Office of Research and Economic Development provides a central point for industry to access Rutgers and a new website, businessportal.rutgers.edu.

    About Health 2.0 Developer Challenge Program: With more than $7M awarded in prizes to-date, Health 2.0′s Developer Challenge Programs foster online competitions aimed at tackling the most complex challenges we face in health care. The world’s top developers, designers, health care professionals and entrepreneurs compete in these challenges, pilot programs and code-a-thons to create and prototype innovative applications and tools. These competitions leverage funding, market reach and validation that only Health 2.0 can provide. 



    Join the Aetna Foundation in Creating Tech Solutions for Underserved Communities

    Announcing the launch of the “Innovating for the Underserved” Business Plan Challenge

    Today, a person’s zip code is a greater indicator of their overall health than their genetic code. All too often, members of underserved communities face problems like low access to services and information, childhood obesity and low access to healthy foods, and difficulty navigating systems. The Aetna Foundation believes that these problems can be helped with innovations in health IT – that’s why they’re launching the “Innovating for the Underserved” Business Plan Challenge. We know that scalable solutions can take years to develop and implement, which is why this challenge is being issued to crowdsource ideas from the broader technology community to bring new thinking and fresh ideas.

    aetna                NHIT Logo                hhs

    Aetna Foundation,  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved (NHIT Collaborative) are working in partnership to leverage IT innovations to reduce disparities in health among underserved and minority communities.

    This challenge is an opportunity for the brightest minds in health IT to compete with their best ideas for commercializing products and services that use technology to reduce disparities and address the needs of underserved and minority populations.

    The challenge seeks proposals for leveraging health and communication information technology to address one of three key challenges in underserved or vulnerable populations:

    1. Access to Services
    2. Childhood Obesity
    3. Connecting Data Between Systems

    For more details on the 3 key challenges, click here.

    In addition to improving the health needs of underserved populations, three finalists will be selected to win $5,000 in Phase 1. In Phase 2, a total of $60,000 will be awarded, with first place receiving $40,000 and national recognition from The Aetna Foundation and their partners.

    To join this challenge or for more information, please visit the official challenge page here.



    The Aetna Foundation, Inc. is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed more than $427 million in grants and sponsorships. As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who have volunteered four million hours since 2003. For more information, visit www.aetnafoundation.org.


    The NHIT Collaborative brings together private, public and community partners to bring health IT solutions to underserved communities in an effort to reduce disparities and give every individual the opportunity to attain optimal health.  For additional information on the 2014 roundtable that developed this challenge, please click here.


    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the U.S. government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.  Their work reaches Americans in nearly all areas of health and wellness, in rural and urban areas, and across all stages of life.

    HHS is responsible for almost a quarter of all federal outlays and administers more grant dollars than all other federal agencies combined.

    Dr. Homero Rivas on digital health for hospitals & patient centered innovation

    Health 2.0 Europe interviewed Stanford surgeon, faculty, and entrepreneur, Dr. Homero Rivas on the integration of digital health tools for hospitals and the importance of a patient centered health care innovation movement.

    Aline Noizet: Homero, you are an early adopter, a big user of new technologies.  Can you tell us how you use the new technologies in your practice every day and where you see the biggest opportunities for the healthcare professionals?

    Homero Rivas: Well, yes. In my work I have to be very involved with new technologies; because I’m a surgeon, I do minimal access surgery, so I have to find ways to give no scar to patients.

    Now, there’s a really fine line between health care and innovation in the sense that most health care providers are going to be extremely conservative.  Most people are going to be very risk averse because they want predictable risks.  They don’t want to do things that may get their patients in trouble.

    I’ve been an early adopter in the way that I’ve tried lots of those things from wearables to scales to things that help you assess what lifestyle you may have or not. Some of those I’ve been recommending to some of my patients for the last few years because I believe that they would benefit from them.

    As far as the biggest opportunities that health professionals may have, 1% of healthcare expenses are dedicated to prevention. I think much more should be dedicated to prevention and it makes lots of sense to use digital health wearable technologies towards prevention, so you can actually invest more and better in health than on disease.

    AN: Regulation can be a barrier to use these technologies for some practitioners, but you are using them. We often see healthcare professionals as obstacles to adoption and use of those new technologies. What do you think can be done to pass that? Continue reading →

    Exclusive Interview with Chris Boone, CEO of Health Data Consortium

    Matthew Holt, Co-Chairman of Health 2.0 interviewed Chris Boone, CEO of Health Data Consortium to discuss the health care landscape and the meaningful use of health care data. As the newly appointed CEO of Health Data Consortium, Chris gives us an insight into what’s new and exciting at HDC, and how HDC is accelerating the innovative use of health care data.

    RWJF & HHS Provider Network Challenge Finalists Announced

    By Ariella Cohen

    The RWJF & HHS Provider Network Challenge has announced the Phase I Finalists and is moving forward! Of the 24 excellent entries to the challenge, 5 have been selected to advance to Phase II.

    Congratulations to the Phase I Finalists:

    This challenge focused on finding solutions that allow consumers to easily identify providers that are in their insurance network and crowdsource customer reviews for providers. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recognize that people are now faced with an abundance of options when selecting their health insurance plan and have many decisions to make.

    There is a greater need than ever before for a tool that allows individuals to determine what the best insurance network is for their health care needs. This challenge called on developers and designers to create a tool that would use data to enhance the consumer experience, and offers a function that allows them to view customer feedback from patients. The Phase I Finalists exhibited many of the criteria the challenge was looking for, including creativity, innovation, a user-friendly interface, and potential to be implemented in communities and help consumers understand their insurance plan options.

    Stay tuned to find out who won Phase II!

    2015 Design for Health Awards Winners Announced

    By Ariella Cohen

    The 2015 Design for Health Awards winners have been announced! The awards ceremony, which was held at HxRefactored in Boston on April 1-2, celebrated the innovation and inspiration of effective designs in health care. design for health awards logo

    The first ever Design for Health Awards was a huge success, with 59 compelling entries that showcased all of the teams’ hard work and good design. A panel of 8 judges from across the technology industry evaluated the entries based on Originality, Application of Human-Centered Design, and Potential for Market Success.

    UX transforms a visually appealing concept into a product that can be used by all types of users within the health care system, and improve a patient or provider experience. Though all of the entries were terrific, two really stood out- one for a provider facing design, and one for a consumer facing design.

    Urgent Consult- Provider Facing Design Winner

    Urgent Consult (New York, NY) is a platform that revolutionizes the process of referral workflow. It allows providers to manage all aspects of the process in a single easy-to-use platform, and it works across EMRs! What the judges loved about Urgent Consult was how they thought about the workflow of providers and their staff, and how that will translate to better patient care. Their process helps health care networks increase referral capture, enhance coordination of care, and improve profitability. This company’s cloud-based platform was uniquely created “by physicians, for physicians,” and has also won awards from Pilot Health Tech NYC and was a member of the Blueprint Health accelerator. Dr. Jeff Bander, Founder of Urgent Consult, was present at the conference to receive his team’s award.

    urgent consult

    Pokitdok- Consumer Facing Design Winner

    Pokitdok (San Mateo, CA) is a consumer health and wellness marketplace for services. It allows patients to search for a provider in a number of different ways including: diagnosis, service, device, and treatment. Users can also review and rate their experience and see average prices for services. What the judges loved about Pokitdok was how easy their platform made it for a patient to find the right provider and understand how much that procedure would cost.

    pokitdok full logo

    We can’t wait to see how these platforms will be used to transform future experiences in health care. Congratulations to the winners, and stay tuned for the next Design for Health Awards!

    ONC Market R&D Pilot Challenge Update

    By Ariella Cohen

    The ONC Market R&D Pilot Challenge is wrapping up its evaluation period of the joint proposal applications, and winners are being announced soon! Up to six $50,000 prizes will be awarded to the winning teams to implement their pilot projects.

    Winners of the challenge will be announced live via webinar on Thursday, April 30th at 3:00 PM EDT, so don’t forget to register!ONC image 1

    This challenge is an initiative of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and has been very successful in bridging the gap between health care organizations and innovative companies by facilitating partnerships for the testing of digital health technologies in real health care environments.

    This challenge has two major elements to facilitate meaningful partnership and innovation– Matchmaking and Joint Partner Applications. The “matchmaking” process focused on connecting “host” health care organizations with “innovator” companies that want to test a pilot in a clinical setting. Matchmaking meetings took place in January 2015, with 330 meetings held across New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. These “speed-dating” events were opportunities for startups to meet with health care organizations and try to identify a beneficial scenario for both parties to run a pilot. Next, applicant pairs of hosts and innovators formed partnerships and prepared proposals describing the technology and studies that they would like to run if they are awarded one of the prizes. We received applications from 78 host-innovator pairs from across the nation.

    The host organizations, which include hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies and laboratories, are health care organizations the serve over 150 patients, with the time and resources to devote to developing and running a pilot project. The innovators are all early-stage health tech companies with an easily testable tech-based health care product, and are stable and well-managed.

    A review panel of professionals from throughout the health IT industry have been gathered to evaluate the submissions and select the winners. Once the winners are announced on April 30th, the summer will kick off with pilots being prepared and set up, and finally launching in August 2015, to be completed in January 2016. We can’t wait to see how the pilots develop and succeed!

    For any questions regarding the challenge, please visit the ONC Market R&D Pilot Challenge website at www.oncpilotchallenge.com. For further questions, please contact challenges@health2con.com.

    Don’t forget to stay tuned on April 30th at 1:00 PM EDT to hear who the winners are!

    RJWF Plan Choice Challenge Winners Announced

    The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has named Washington, D.C.-based Consumers’ CHECKBOOK as the winner of its first ‘Plan Choice Challenge,’ a nationwide competition facilitated by Health 2.0 to design a technology application that helps people evaluate their health insurance options. This first place team demoed their winning solution on the HxRefactored mainstage last Thursday in Boston.

    Stride Health (San Francisco, Calif.) and Clear Health Analytics (Stamford, Conn.) took second and third place, respectively. All three winning apps compare health insurance plans in consumer-friendly terms. Each narrows plans by cost-sharing features and help consumers calculate any projected tax credits. Read more about the results and winners at Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. An infographic showcasing the winning entries and how they will be utilized can be found here. Stay tuned for future challenges from Health 2.0!

    HxRefactored Exclusive Interview: Care Delivery Innovation with Mulesoft

    Matthew Holt, Co-Chairman of Health 2.0 recently interviewed David Chao, Director of Industry Solutions at Mulesoft. Mulesoft is a “connectivity company” with a vision to connect the world’s data, devices, and applications. During this interview, David shares the challenges within health care and gives an insight into how Mulesoft  is re-framing health care delivery and ensuring health care data to move freely between multiple systems as well as within organizations to be delivered at the point of care when and where it’s needed the most.

    Join David Chao during the Care Delivery Innovation: Reinventing Access and Expectations session at HxRefactored on April 1-2 in Boston, MA.

    Health goes online in Madrid

    madrid“The best way to predict the future is to invent it” –Alan Kay kicked off the 4th Health 2.0 Madrid meeting last Monday with these words. The session, titled “Internet-based Medical Technologies”, brought together more than 80 information technology and health care professionals and enthusiasts to the iconic Telefonica Flagship Store, located in the very heart of Spain’s capital city. Using the Net as a connecting thread, the Chapter presented three local projects that are helping shape that future, today.

    First on stage was Medimsight, a collaborative cloud service that allows physicians to share, view and analyze medical images. Medimsight showed how it has become a useful tool to help enhance diagnostic speed and reliability.

    Next up was Health Keeper, AXA’s intrapreneurial venture. Health Keeper is an online platform that collects data from wearables and social networks, rewarding customers with discounts in their insurance bill for maintaining an active and healthy lifestyle.

    Nicely closing the cycle was Capital Cell, the first European platform for equity crowdfunding focused on health and biotech companies. It showed how projects can complete funding rounds while at the same time engaging citizens in the process.

    The meeting closed by inviting attendants to network for an hour while enjoying the best Spanish wine and gourmet tapas –a perfect end to the first Health 2.0 Madrid meeting of the year.

    Don’t want to miss the next meeting? Join our community!

    M. Alvaro Berbís is the Health 2.0 Madrid Chapter Head. He can be reached at @aberbix.

    [Photo caption: Speakers and organizers of the 4th Health 2.0 Madrid meeting. From left to right: Javier G. González-Zabaleta (Medimsight), Roi Villar (Capital Cell), Irene Tato and Álvaro Berbís (Health 2.0 Madrid), Sebastian Judez (Health Keeper) and Frederic Llordachs (Health 2.0 Barcelona).]

    ← Older posts