Looking Back at the RWJF Challenges



Catalyst @ Health 2.0 is proud to have worked with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to address issues in substance misuse and artificial intelligence through two exciting innovation challenges. Following the finalists’ live pitches at the Health 2.0 Annual Conference, Matthew Holt and Indu Subaiya had the pleasure to interview leaders from the six companies that placed in the top spots across both competitions.

First Place Winners

RWJF Opioid Challenge: the Grand Prize award went to Sober Grid, a social network designed to support, assist, and educate those suffering from addiction and substance misuse. The Sober Grid platform incorporates a suite of geolocated support, a “burning desire” distress beacon, and coaching tools. For those looking to get help and support, the Sober Grid platform is a fantastic free utility.

RWJF AI Challenge: the Grand Prize award went to Buoy, a virtual triage chatbot designed to work on any browser. All too often we rely on quick online searches for health information and sometimes receive inaccurate or unreliable results. The Buoy system takes a more conversational approach and emulates similar techniques a doctor would use when diagnosing symptoms and speaking with a patient.

RWJF Opioid Challenge:

Second Place – ResQ makes it fun and easy for a user to receive support and prevent relapses by providing them with instruments that have been adapted to play like video games.

Second and Third place prizes were also awarded to the following organizations:

Third Place –Team Hashtag is a wearable device designed to help identify concerning situations and blast an SOS when a wearer overdoses.

RWJF AI Challenge:

Second Place –INF Robotics created RUDY, an interactive robot that provides at-home care, natural language processing, and ongoing assistance for the elderly to age with dignity.

Third Place –Patient Price, a platform utilizing cost data as a base for offering a suite of services aimed at making healthcare easier to navigate and more transparent.

We would like to congratulate our six winners and send a special thank you to all of the participants involved in both innovation challenges. To learn more about these efforts, you can visit the Opioid and AI Challenge websites.

John El-Maraghy is a Program Associate at Catalyst @ Health 2.0 that focuses on cultivating and creating positive and lasting healthcare partnerships.