The opioid crisis has devastated countless families and individuals across the United States and abroad. What once started as a quiet concern has become a full-blown epidemic, requiring the full support and attention of the healthcare and tech communities to address it.
“I am asking for your help to solve an urgent health crisis facing America: the opioid epidemic. Everywhere I travel, I see communities devastated by opioid overdoses. I meet families too ashamed to seek treatment for addiction. And I will never forget my own patient whose opioid use disorder began with a course of morphine after a routine procedure.”
When it comes to navigating healthcare and making decisions about your health, and the health of loved ones, there is no yellow brick road. Even the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), a leading national healthcare nonprofit, could only analyze 1,000 of over 1,400 private healthcare policy options with myriads more in the public arena. Navigating a health care plan, or not, is just the beginning of your healthcare journey.
Let’s say you find a health plan you like, and you get sick. You have to locate the right doctor that works for you, struggle through complicated referrals, tabulate the exact bottom line of these costs, find a pharmacy, perhaps grab a second opinion, and repeat this process every time you get sick.
Opioid overdoses are the leading cause of death for Americans under 50 years old. In fact, the majority of drug overdose related deaths involve an opioid. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, deaths from prescription opioids—drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone—have more than quadrupled since 1999. The U.S. is currently experiencing an opioid epidemic, as more than 2 million Americans have become dependent on, or abused prescription pain pills and street drugs. Substance misuse is not only affecting the users but also their families, friends, and the healthcare system as a whole.
Although improvements have been made to the way opioids are prescribed through clinical practice guidelines, the epidemic has continued to grow. The CDC has made several efforts to combat substance misuse and overdose but there is much more to be done, and you can help. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) is committed to supporting those affected by this issue and launched the RWJF Opioid Challenge live, at Health 2.0’s Wintertech conference in January 2018. This innovation challenge calls for tech-enabled solutions that help identify resources, facilities, and educational content for support, as well as platforms for connecting patients, caregivers and peers for peer community.
RWJF has teamed up with Catalyst @ Health 2.0 to identify and incentivize the development of tech-enabled solutions that should aim to support affected individuals (e.g. opioid users, caregivers, peers, family, etc.) and connect them to relevant resources. Every individual faces a different set of challenges, meaning that needs for recovery can be unique and varied.* The challenge is calling on innovators, developers, entrepreneurs and other bright minds to create tools to support those affected by opioid misuse.
Earlier this week Health 2.0 held a TECHquality meetup focused on diversity in the digital health industry. We hoped that this event would foster an honest and frank discussion about how we can create diverse workplaces and develop inclusive technology for the people we serve. After speakers, Jean-Luc Neptune, Co-Founder at Athletik Health and Nyala Khan, VP of People at Baby+Co, shared their thoughts, meetup attendees were encouraged to share their own experiences and comments in relation to the topic at hand. Following an engaging and insightful discussion, where people of different backgrounds and walks of life shared their individual viewpoints, the hard questions remained, what more can we do to ensure that our workplaces are not only diverse, but inclusive? How do we ensure that the companies we build with people, embed the diverse perspectives of those people from the very start?
There is a dire need for the health tech workforce to keep pace with the changing racial makeup of the nation. According to the Pew Research Center study, from 1960 to 2010, the percentages of Americans identifying themselves as Black, Hispanic, Asian, or “other” increased from just 15 percent of the population to 36 percent of the population:
Roughly one out of every three people in the United States serves as a caregiver for a chronically ill, disabled, or aging loved one at some point in their life*. Not only do most caregivers dedicate a significant amount of time to these duties,
but they often also work full or part-time jobs to make ends meet. These stresses result in 40-70% of caregivers exhibiting clinically significant signs of depression*. Fortunately, there is an increasing focus on caregiver well being, and now, more than ever, innovation in caregiving has the opportunity to make real change and improve tens of thousands of lives.
The Challenge, launched at HxRefactored in June 2017, received over fifty applications, with solutions ranging from AI solutions to podcasts and mobile apps. Submitted solutions were judged by our panel of experts, and scored based on how innovative they were, their potential for scalability, the strength of their design, and the potential for impact in the caregiver community. Winners were announced live this morning at Health 2.0’s 11th Annual Fall Conference. Continue reading…
By ALYX STERNLICHT The tech industry is notoriously lacking diversity. Health tech also lacks diversity in both the innovators creating technology and the technology targeting diverse users.
Last Fall, at Health 2.0’s annual conference, Health 2.0, with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, hosted a panel focusing on minority entrepreneurs and building tech products for underrepresented groups. The discussion that followed the panel was a passionate and thought provoking conversation. Some feedback included questions like: “Why isn’t this discussed more often?” and “there is dire need for inclusive products and support of underrepresented groups in tech.” With that feedback Health 2.0 decided to do something about diversity in health tech. Continue reading…
Much of the time, finding the right partner to test your technology can be difficult and time consuming. From an enterprise healthcare organization’s perspective, identifying innovative technology that fits the strategic needs of the organization can be difficult due to the overwhelming number of startups entering the market. From a startup’s perspective, there are a few major roadblocks including:
Finding organizations ready to pilot new health technology
Completing a first pilot/proof of concept (or second, or third…) to gather the much needed data to grow commercial partnerships
Identifying the right individual in an enterprise organization who will champion new technology
Gaining an insider’s perspective about the potential clients’ strategic needs
Digital Health Marketplace, a New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) program, powered by Health 2.0, connects health technology buyers with market-ready sellers through biannual matchmaking and by providing grants to offset the cost of piloting their technologies in healthcare institutions. The program has provided over $2,500,000 in grant funding over the course of 3 classes. This year, the fourth class of Digital Health Marketplace winning pilots are anticipated to impact over 6,000 patients in New York City throughout the next year. The technologies span from care coordination platforms to patient engagement systems to devices.
It goes without saying that a cancer diagnosis is daunting, terrifying and can be completely life-altering. With approximately 40 percent of men and women being diagnosed at some pointduring their lifetimes. cancer changes a survivor’s life from one-minute daily activities to grand life decisions. GuideWell Innovation is committed to
bringing great minds together to facilitate and transform new ideas into solutions, helping to jumpstart the path to better health. With the launch of the GuideWell Cancer Challenge this past February, GuideWell is harnessing the strength of collaboration to help support cancer patients and survivors with concierge services to support the wide range of needs of living with cancer.
The challenge deadline is nearly here, but it’s not too late to make your mark. We want to hear from you! Simply register or log in to the challenge website to submit an idea for a service, share insights about living with cancer, or view ideas submitted by others. You can then VOTE or COMMENT on any submitted idea. And get this—you don’t even have to submit an idea to be eligible for a prize! Just by providing your thoughts and insight on a submission you can enter the competition for cash prizes ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. Continue reading…