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What We’re Working On: A Novel Partnership to Advance Patient Health

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Late last year, Luminary Labs launched the Merck | Heritage Provider Network Innovation Challenge, a first-of-its kind collaboration between a pharmaceutical company and an Accountable Care Organization aimed at identifying solutions to help patients with chronic disease manage their illness. This is the second challenge in the Health Data Challenge Series, and offers an attractive prize purse of $240,000 in non-dilutive capital.

The Challenge drew submissions from across the country, with concepts employing hardware, behavioral psychology, and messaging technologies. The esteemed jury selected five teams to participate in a rigorous Virtual Accelerator program, which included ongoing mentorship as well as a live Innovators’ Bootcamp focused on design, prototyping, and business modeling. On Demo Day, the semi-finalist teams presented to a live audience and the jury, who drilled down into customer discovery, implementation, and how solutions would work for patients, physicians, and caregivers within the realities of the current system.  

Following Demo Day, the jury narrowed the field to two finalist teams, Wellframe, and Sense Health, to participate in a mini-pilot exercise.  While now on the ground deploying and refining their concepts, the Finalists are already preparing to bring their ideas to market and raising additional funding, showcasing the unmet need for new solutions in this space.

The Challenge has been featured in Forbes, and our CEO, Sara Holoubek recently co-authored a piece in American Journal of Managed Care, discussing how the collaboration can serve as a model for healthcare innovation.  One of the judges, entrepreneur Josh Rosenthal, also comments on how we did it right.

With the winner announcement right around the corner, the Challenge will soon move into its last and final stage, but for the future of patient health, it’s impact is only just beginning.