Merck | Heritage Provider Network Innovation Challenge

The Merck | Heritage Provider Network Innovation Challenge called on entrepreneurs, data scientists, designers, healthcare providers, and big thinkers to create products or services to support patients with diabetes and/or heart disease in adhering to their care plans.



Awarded $140,000 total

Wellframe’s mobile application translates the care plan into a manageable, dynamic, and personalized daily to-do list, helping care providers scale services while maintaining patient-centricity.

Watch Wellframe’s Demo Day presentation >>

Sense Health

Awarded $40,000 total

Sense Health crafts a text message conversation between providers and patients, creating multiple touch points for care managers to efficiently and effectively interface with patients and influence their daily behaviors.

Watch Sense Health’s Demo Day presentation >>



Awarded $20,000

Fit4D has developed a scalable and personalized program using an optimized mix of its Pathways technology platform and expert clinical service providers. The platform synthesizes workflow, data capture, device integration, and reporting– enabling personalized service delivery via coaches within Fit4D’s national network of nurses, dietitians, exercise physiologists, social workers & pharmacists.

Frame Health

Awarded $20,000

Frame Health leverages the world’s largest personality characteristic database to produce comprehensive patient adherence profiles for the first time. In a 6 minute session, the platform determines the psychological triggers that will be most effective to use to attain medical adherence with each patient.

Vital Score

Awarded $20,000

Vital Score is a new vital sign for the primary care visit, modeled on the APGAR score and checklist — simple interventions that radically improve care. Now, for the first time, the behavioral referral — whether for smoking cessation, medication adherence or care management — is as easy as writing a prescription.

About the Challenge

In a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a pharmaceutical company and an accountable care organization (ACO), the Merck | Heritage Provider Network Innovation Challenge invited entrepreneurs, data scientists, designers, healthcare providers, and big thinkers to submit human-centric, data-driven concepts to support patients with diabetes and/or heart disease in adhering to their care plans.

For people living with these chronic diseases, a care plan maps out critical recommendations around healthy behaviors, medication management, and nutrition. At the same time, the care plan can feel like a daunting regime with unattainable goals. Merck and the Heritage Provider Network sought concepts that focused on human-centric opportunities to achieve health and wellness, drew on rich data sets to understand real-life behaviors of patients, and leveraged the patient ecosystem to create novel methods for personalized support. The Challenge attracted a diverse set of entrepreneurs and innovators who submitted 90 solutions including adherence-focused hardware, standalone care-planning solutions, communications platforms and comprehensive integrated care systems. 5 solutions were selected as semi-finalists, 2 were selected as finalists, and 1 was selected as the grand prize winner.

Bringing together these new healthcare innovators with industry researchers and scientists opens new and exciting doors to advance care. We are excited to drive these new connections and platforms to help people with chronic diseases achieve better health.

Sachin Jain, Merck Chief Medical Information and Innovation Officer

Luminary Labs conceived, developed, and managed the Merck | Heritage Provider Network (HPN) Innovation Challenge, the second in the Health Data Challenge Series, a program of the Health Data Consortium and powered by Luminary Labs.

The Challenge, including the innovation process and implications for further collaborations between ACOs and other healthcare stakeholders, was highlighted in the American Journal of Managed Care.

Criteria (PDF)
Submission Form (PDF)


Call for Submissions – October 15, 2013

Submission Deadline – November 10, 2013

Semi-finalists Announced – November 21, 2013
Five semi-finalists were announced and each awarded $20,000 to prototype their solution.

Virtual Accelerator Kickoff – November 26, 2013
To prepare help them prepare for the Innovators’ Boot Camp, semi-finalists were provided guidance from industry leaders in topics such as health, design, user experience, marketing, and technology.

Innovators’ Boot Camp – December 5-7, 2013
The boot camp provided finalists at opportunity to create and/or refine prototypes of their concepts.

Demo Day – January 23, 2014
Semi-finalists presented their concepts to an audience at AOL Headquarters in New York, with hundreds of people viewing on Livestream.

Finalists Announced – January 27, 2014
Two finalist teams were announced and each awarded $20,000 to refine and iterate their solution.

Mini Pilot Kickoff – February 2014
The finalists tested and iterated prototypes of their concepts on patients with chronic illnesses at Desert Oasis Healthcare, an Individual Practice Association (IPA) and medical group affiliated with Heritage Provider Network.

Winner Announced – May 14, 2014
The winning team was announced at the HxRefactored Conference in Brooklyn, NY and awarded $100,000 to further develop their solution.


Total Prize Pool


From the $240,000 prize pool, 5 semi-finalists were awarded $20,000 each to build a prototype. 2 finalists received $20,000 to conduct a pilot. 1 grand prize winner received $1000,000 to develop their solution.


America Bracho

CEO, Latino Health Access

Allan Chochinov

Chair, Products of Design MFA School of Visual Arts

Josh Rosenthal

Co-Founder & CSO, RowdMap

Michelle Snyder

Executive-in-Residence, InterWest Partners

Mark Wagar

President, Heritage Medical Systems


  • Demo Day

    Wellframe presenting at Demo Day in NYC at AOL to a live 100+ person audience of judges, investors, and health industry and business leaders

  • Demo Day

    Sense Health presenting at Demo Day in NYC at AOL to a live 100+ person audience of judges, investors, and health industry and business leaders

  • Demo Day

    100+ Audience watching finalist presentations at Demo Day

  • Demo Day

    Judges at Demo Day (left to right): Allan Chochinov, America Bracho, Michelle Snyder, Josh Rosenthal, and Mark Wagar

  • Wellframe Team

    Team members from Wellframe, the grand prize winner (left to right): Jacob Sattelmair, Archit Bhise, Trishan Panch, and Vinnie Ramesh