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.
By Ariella Cohen
This past week, Health 2.0 CEO and Co-Founder Indu Subaiya led a session at SXSW 2015 on “Turning Your Pilot Into Success”. Entrepreneurs, developers, representatives of health care organizations and hospitals, designers and leaders in the industry were all in attendance! For those who caught the talk Live in Austin, the event was a stimulating presentation of proven solutions and real-life examples of companies who faced challenges and pilot successfully. For those of you who couldn’t make it, here are some of the highlights of the session from SXSW!! Continue reading →
Matthew Holt, Co-Chairman of Health 2.0 interviewed Amy Cueva, Chief Experience Officer of Mad*Pow to discuss some of exciting themes behind HxRefactored and what it means to change the experience of health care through design and technology. Amy will be speaking during the HxRefactored conference coming up on April 1-2.
Paris welcomed major pharma players for the BIO-Europe spring conference. Innovation was one of the recurring themes here because pharma companies are facing a strong need to reinvent themselves to stay competitive and find new sources of income. But, there also is a risk where pharma companies would want to play safe and avoid innovation.
Although pharma companies say that they have a holistic view of the patient, there are areas for improvement. For instance, every pharma company is running towards orphan drugs as it is more tractable than chronic diseases. Nonetheless, they need to understand the patients better, and place them more at the center of the processes. Both patients and payers are key groups for pharma companies.
The actual challenge is not so much to innovate but to define patients’ needs in a way that promotes smarter innovation. And this is one of the spots that definitely has room for collaboration between pharma and health tech companies.
Pharma companies are starting to look at the health tech industry, especially the connected objects, seeing them as a new market access point. But many pharma companies are still in the ‘stand-by’ phase- they don’t have an innovation department that could actually embrace health tech. Their main concern towards connected objects remains compliance.
As Pfizer highlighted in its presentation, pharma needs to be involved in the health care ecosystem and play with different actors, in order to innovate new capabilities. That’s the stand that Bayer Healthcare took through its Grants4App program, collaborating with startups who are developing solutions that could enhance business lines.
We will deep dive into that subject in May during our Health 2.0 Europe conference with a Pharma 2.0 panel, where we will discuss how new technologies can help pharma companies go ‘beyond the pills’, revolutionize clinical trials, and pharmacovigilance. We will also be showcasing various tech companies currently collaborating with the pharma industry.
Aline Noizet is the General Manager of Health 2.0 Barcelona. She can be reached at @anoizet.
Why is it so difficult for startup companies to break into health care systems? Every year, thousands of entrepreneurs and developers create innovative products and technologies to improve the health care experience for patients and providers. However, it seems that so many are unable to bring their products to market and grow a customer base. Potential clients want to see a product that has been tested in a clinical setting and validated with that data. Convincing an organization to pilot new technologies is only the beginning– crafting and executing a successful pilot program is a whole different ball-game. The good news? It is absolutely possible to design a quality pilot that is effective and builds a persuasive case to take products to market.
This year, Health 2.0 will be back at SXSW, sharing proven strategies for how to design a digital health pilot and commercialize your product. Come join us on Tuesday, March 17 at 12:30 PM CT at the JW Marriott in Austin, TX, where participants will see how their pilots can be formulated to collect data that validates their solution. Continue reading →
In our brave new world of health data, two things are keeping Watson from becoming our ipso-facto doctor: The human touch and gut instincts. Would it not be a Singular Utopia to arm doctors with enough data to
make them as smart as Watson?
Truth of the matter is, medical schools don’t teach personalized medicine, and it’s tough to get doctors on the bandwagon of data when it is presented in a way that is alien to them. They don’t have the luxury of time to make sense of it all.
As software gurus and designers in the digital health space try to fix all the problems in health care with code and slick design, they often forget what kind of needs a doctor actually requires.
As a result, many companies end up building beautiful products that are far from clinically practical solutions. Open mHealth is on a mission to solve that exact problem.
I had a very enjoyable conversation with David Haddad, Executive Director of Open mHealth, which is an open API platform that allows toolmakers and data consumers to access digital health data with the right clinical context.
It was founded in 2011 as a non-profit (501c3) and is led by an international team of health care veterans, researchers, designers and a rapidly growing developer community.
Omar Shaker: Can you tell us more about the work you guys are doing?
David Haddad: The problem we are solving is the “siloed” approach to digital health data. We developed, in collaboration with both industry and academia, an open API standard that would provide developers the ability to read, write, and authorize against disparate digital health systems all with using a common clinical schema.
OS: How do you create this ubiquitous interoperability?
DH: You need two things: (1) a common logic and (2) a common language. What do we mean by that? We first work with clinical experts and clinical data scientists to understand how they would want to see data given a specific measure.
So for physical activity we might coalesce a cardiologist, an internal medicine doc and a clinical informaticist to think about how to represent physical activity. We then define a JSON Schema and reference existing clinical standards (like LOINC, Snowmed, etc) to give that schema clinical validity.
We then have a data point API that allows a user to read, write and authorize data from disparate sources that use those clinical schemas. Together these two components allow for greater interoperability with the right clinical context around what that data exactly means.
You can see some of our case studies on our website, where we helped clinicians analyze and visualize different datasets from patients with PTSD patients, diabetes and other diseases. The data has to be familiar to the doctor according to the clinical codes he already knows, and our team’s goal is to provide them with exactly that.
OS: Interesting, so how is Open mHealth different from similar platforms in the market?
DH: First off, our API framework is free and open. If you take a look at our offerings you can get started today and contribute back to the community.
Continue reading →
Health 2.0 Co-Founder, Matthew Holt recently sat down with Alan Joseph Williams, Product Designer and User Researcher at Code for America’s Health Lab, which develops digital services for Californians eligible for or enrolled in social services like SNAP and Medicaid. Alan will be participating on a panel at the HxRefactored Conference April 1-2 in Boston, MA. Enjoy this video interview where Matthew and Alan cover the following topics:
- Fellowship opportunities with Code for America and their nation-wide Brigade Program that is made up of civic technology volunteer groups that continue to develop and maintain relationships with their local governments responsible for delivering local services
- Health Lab’s primary focus in 2015 of improving the SNAP participation rate in California–California has one of the nation’s lowest participation rates in SNAP
- Future of technology in this public/social service space, including Healthcare.gov outage and similar web services that need attention
HxRefactored kicks off April 1st in Boston and we are excited to have Kavita Patel participating in a panel titled “Master Class in U.S. Health Policy.” Kavita is a Managing Director at The Brookings Institution in Washington, DC and has a long history working in health reform. Health 2.0 sat sat down with Kavita to talk health care reform impact, insight, technology and and timing.
Matthew Holt: What are the most important changes that you are currently seeing due to Health Care Reform as well as in the health care system as a whole?
Kavita Patel:I would say the most important change is everybody is now intensely focused on transforming every aspect of health care, not only the consumer experience or people who are not already inside the health care system, but also for patients and then for their family members–whether it’s an insurance company that had massive numbers of enrollees, as a result of the Affordable Care Act and the last wave of 11 million people who signed up, or if it’s the one person’s primary care physician who is now looking at whether or not he or she should be part of the patient centered medical home, because he or she is kind of thinking through what the future of medicine will look like, as well as patients and consumers.
Sometimes we hate using those terms. I personally sometimes hate being referred to as a consumer when that implies like I have some choice. Now, we’re finally seeing that there are some choices. It’s not perfect, but it’s something that was a game changer for me in watching of what’s happened since the Affordable Care Act is passed.
MH: This next question is about the pace of transformation. You’ve mentioned that everyone’s thinking about consumers and there’s also this transformation towards value-based care.
How far are we in this transformation that’s going on now? What proportion of health care providers are onboard and how many are hanging back and waiting? Continue reading →
Tokyo, Japan – Health 2.0 announces the Health 2.0 Asia partnership with MedPeer, Inc. to showcase Health 2.0 Asia, Japan on November 4-5, 2015. The conference will be a highlight to a series of growing events expanding the global presence for Health 2.0 in Asia. This conference will feature ground-breaking insights and leadership within the global health care technology industry while showcasing cutting-edge technologies for user-generated health care. The conference will become a forum for attendees to build networks for exchanging innovative ideas and developing new business parternships, which will promote active inbound and outbound investment within the health-tech industry. MedPeer, Inc. will expand the Health 2.0 activities across Japan in collaboration with local chapters by holding health-tech hackathons.
About Health 2.0
Health 2.0 is the premiere showcase and catalyst for the advancement of new health technologies. Through a global series of conferences, thought leadership roundtables, developer competitions, pilot programs, and leading market intelligence, Health 2.0 drives the innovation and collaboration necessary to transform health and health care.
← Older posts Newer posts →
Pascal Lardier, Health 2.0 International Director, recently interviewed Omri Shor, CEO of Medisafe, for the EU funded GET Project. Shor has showcased Medisafe on stage at Health 2.0 several times and recently closed a $6 million Series A funding round. His advice? Shor says “Investors care about two things: the product market fit and the business model fit.” Read on for more.
Pascal Lardier: Omri, to start can you say a few words to describe your solution and what it does?
Omri Shor: For sure. MediSafe is an intelligent medication management platform helping people manage their medications correctly. When we go into details, we’re a cloud and apps company. We have apps, iPhone and Android, that are synced together for a cloud service that we have developed.
In general, we remind people to take their medications. We keep a log of what they took and what they didn’t take. And we’re able to share that data back with physicians. The new layer that we’ve just added is a personalized feed that is dealing with more than just a reminder, it’s now dealing with persuasive technology to make sure that patients understand the need to take their medications as well as the ability to track some measurements and vital signs inside MediSafe and correlate this with the medication that the patient has actually taken.
PL: Can you say a few words about your niche in digital health? How many competitors and what makes MediSafe different and better than other solutions?
OS: MediSafe is dealing with a big problem called medication non-adherence. The niche is actually patient engagement, specifically in the medication management space. There are hundreds of companies from cloudware companies to software companies to app companies. We’ve chosen to be mobile-first because we thought that this is the best place to help patients manage their medications mostly because we all engage with our smartphones so much and we think it’s only going to grow. We have iPhone, Android, and we have smart watches now as well. Some of that have already come, some of that are coming just around the corner.
In the medication management space in terms of apps, there are hundreds of competitors. MediSafe’s first differentiator is the user experience. We’re quite fanatic about user experience. We made sure that we are well-designed. MediSafe looks like a virtual pill Box. We have the design patent on the way that we integrate with the users.
The second piece that differentiated us from the beginning is our ability to sync via the cloud. We have the ability to sync family members. That means that if my father who is diabetic accidentally didn’t take his meds, I get notified and I can help him get reminded and make sure that he takes his meds or at least that he thinks of taking his meds.
These were the first things that differentiated MediSafe. Currently, the most important thing that is differentiating us is that we’ve taken a personalized approach. That means that we’ve created a feed that is dealing with patient’s condition, medication, et cetera. This feed is communicating to the patient how important it is to take his meds safely, correctly, that it would actually help him; and the ability to connect back to the healthcare system and back to the physician to make the physician more knowledgeable of the immediate outcomes of the medications that the patient is taking.
One other thing that is now differentiating MediSafe is that we currently have well over a million downloads of our solution with hundreds of thousands of active users. This is putting us in a position, I would say, in the class that just a handful of the medication management solutions were actually able to achieve. And this is accelerating, so we will see more of those users coming to choose MediSafe to manage their medications correctly.
PL: You have jumped ahead to my next question. The user experience, the personalized approach, this is what makes you different in the eyes of the users. This is why they’re going to choose MediSafe rather than another solution. My next question is, specifically in your niche that you described with hundreds of solutions, what did you think exactly make a difference in your discussions with investors?
OS: Investors care about two things. Investors care about the fact that there is a product market fit. That means that patients are using our solution. The second thing that investors care about is that there is a business model fit. That means that our customers, pharmaceutical companies, are willing to pay us money for the use of MediSafe and for different things that we do with them. These two together, the growth that we’ve seen organically without investing money and marketing and the ability to monetize users, brought them to the conclusion that the company has the ability to be a leading company or a leading solution for a multi-billion dollar problem.
Continue reading →