The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) has partnered with Catalyst @ Health 2.0 to launch two innovation challenges on Social Determinants of Health (SDoH) and Home & Community Based Care. As a national leader in building a culture of health, RWJF is inspiring and identifying novel digital solutions to tackle health through an unconventional lens.
Health starts with where we live. As noted in Healthy People 2020 social determinants
of health are, “conditions in the environments in which people are born, live,
learn, work, play, worship, and age… [that] affect a wide range of health
functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.” For example, children who
live in an unsafe area cannot play outside making it more difficult for them to
have adequate exercise. Differences in SDoH heavily influences communities’
well-being and results in very different opportunities for people to be
Despite our knowledge on SDoH, the current healthcare system utilizes care models that often fail to take into account the social and economic landscape of communities– neglecting factors such as housing, education, food security, income, community resources, transportation and discrimination. Little progress has been made on incorporating SDoH into established health care frameworks. Healthcare providers and patients alike either have limited understanding of SDoH or have limited opportunities to utilize SDoH knowledge. RWJF established the “Social Determinants of Health Innovation Challenge” to find novel digital solutions that can help providers and/or patients connect to health services related to SDoH.
Home and community-based care is also important to enable Americans to live the healthiest lives possible. In-patient and long-term institutional care can be uncomfortable, costly, and inefficient. Digital health solutions in the home and community offer opportunities for care that better suit the patient and their loved ones. For example, innovations such as remote patient monitoring (RPM) have created new care models that allow the providers, caregivers, and patients to manage care where a person is most comfortable. RPM serves as a reminder that technologies in the home and community offer alternatives methods to engage the patient, increase access to care, and receive ongoing care. Therefore, RWJF is launching the “Home & Community-Based Care Challenge,” to encourage developers to create solutions that support the advancement of at-home or community-based health care.
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 toBuoy, 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.
Second and Third place prizes were also awarded to the following organizations:
What is the first word that comes into mind when someone says “health” or “health tech?” In 2018, the answer is likely “Opioid” and “Artificial Intelligence (AI).” With a growing public interest in combating opioid abuse and advancing AI, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) teamed up with Catalyst to launch two innovation challenges on those two topics. The first challenge, “the Opioid Challenge,” was designed to address the opioid crisis and support those affected by the opioid misuse while the second challenge, “the AI and the Healthcare Consumer Challenge,” aimed to leverage AI to assist consumer decision making. The challenges sought innovators and entrepreneurs from all around the world and garnered nearly 200 registrations.
Through a rigorous vetting process, 100 amazing competitors proceeded to phase one and five semi-finalists advanced to phase two. Along the way, expert judges analyzed the submissions on a variety of factors such as scalability, impact, UX/UI and more. The final phase of the challenge, a live pitch, was held at the Health 2.0 Fall Conference in Santa Clara where both the expert judges and the audience had a say in who would take home the grand prize.
Jessica DaMassa asks me all about health & technology, in just 2 minutes, featuring venture rounds for Kyruus, Parsley Health, Livongo buying RetroFit, the RWJF AI challenge from Catalyst @ Health 2.0 and a ridiculously long explanation of where the @boltyboy twitter name came from…–Matthew Holt