“I think that the baseline platform of telehealth adoption created a whole springboard opportunity for the plethora of digital health companies that are out there eager to get into the space and grow their businesses. I think the industry as a whole now is a whole lot more receptive to looking at things like that then they were eight weeks ago.”
Among those in the industry very open to digital health, digital therapeutics, precision medicine, and virtual care solutions in this time of covid19 is GuideWell, which counts Florida Blue and four other healthcare businesses among its subsidiaries.
The national healthcare company is looking to bring together health tech startups around five different kinds of healthcare challenges created by the coronavirus pandemic via its Covid-19 Innovation Collaborative. With the application deadline set for Friday, May 8, we caught up with GuideWell Innovation’s Executive Director, Kirstie McCool, about the details behind the unique model for the Collaborative, its non-dilutive funding awards, and what happens to the startups that are selected to participate. (Hello, other Blues plans!)
If the Collaborative’s areas of focus aren’t enough to clue you in on where the healthcare giant is interested in rounding out its own array of services as a payer, provider, and innovator, we asked Kirstie point-blank to tell us what she thinks is next in terms of supporting the traditional healthcare system with outside-in innovation. Tune in around the 15:20 mark for that part of the conversation, and a final word-to-the-wise for any startup looking to work with a large healthcare enterprise.
GuideWell has launched the COVID-19 Health Innovation Collaborative to identify and support solutions that can immediately increase the scope and scale of resources aimed at reducing the complex stress factors COVID-19 is bringing to bear on the U.S. health system.
There will be five categories of focus under
this collaborative, and proposed solutions must directly address at least one
of these categories:
Home-based self-testing solutions for the COVID-19 virus
Virtual, in-home care solutions for at-risk populations that have limited access to health care services
Solutions that reduce risk for health care providers in clinical settings, including approaches for increasing protection of clinical staff
Solutions focused on reducing social isolation due to COVID-19 diagnosis or social distancing
Solutions for delivering food and urgently needed supplies to at-risk populations and households with COVID-19 exposure or symptoms
The COVID-19 Collaborative’s overarching
objective is to source a diverse portfolio of innovative companies that
collectively have the potential to respond to the pandemic in the above
categories. For each category, a cohort of 3-5 companies will be selected to
work together to create a connected, high impact approach to addressing the
Due to the rapid escalation of the COVID-19
pandemic, America’s health care system is at immediate risk of reaching a level
of over-capacity. While most hospitals have emergency plans for pandemics, the
COVID-19 pandemic has quickly highlighted critical gaps in the nation’s health
care crisis-management infrastructure.
To assist health care workers on the frontlines, GuideWell has launched the COVID-19 Health Innovation Collaborative. The initiative seeks to connect diverse innovative health technology companies across the U.S., in response to the coronavirus. This Collaborative is focused on addressing critical risk areas facing health care professionals and staff, homebound COVID-19 patients/families, and the larger social issues arising from the social distancing mandates across the nation.
GuideWell, in collaboration with Catalyst @
Health 2.0, is excited to announce the finalists of the Caring for Caregivers
Challenge! GuideWell sought organizations with programs, platforms, technology
systems or services that enable family caregivers to provide in-home care of
adult family members and improve the quality of life for both caregivers and
$50,000 was awarded to the Caring for
Caregivers Challenge finalists:
Carallel, LLC (Lake Forest, Ill.): Through the use of a digital platform, Carallel provides tools and personal guidance to help caregivers manage their caregiving responsibilities in one place. “MyCareDesk” is a fully-integrated support system that assists caregivers with planning and coordinating tasks and accessing resources across a range of topics including senior living, in-home care, health, wealth and lifestyle.
Embodied Labs (Los Angeles): Using a virtual reality (VR) training platform designed for family caregivers, care partners or anyone providing support to care recipients, Embodied Labs simulates what it is like to live with certain health conditions. The immersive technology provides a unique learning experience that allows caregivers to experience life from the perspective of someone in need of caregiving.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of American seniors will grow to over 71 million by 2030. To address critical problems that the growing elder population faces, GuideWell is hosting a health and wellness accelerator program for companies and innovators focused on senior care. GuideWell’s Scale Up Accelerator: Aging in Place is seeking solutions that provide affordable, accessible health care or holistic solutions for diverse aging populations.
10 companies will be selected to participate
in an exciting eight week program that consists of a two-day kickoff boot camp,
followed by weekly mentoring sessions and a series of virtual workshops that
focus on challenges in the health care industry (e.g. customer acquisition,
regulatory compliance, etc.).
Caregivers who care for aging, ill and
disabled adult family members face a broad array of challenges within their
daily lives. These challenges include stress, burnout, financial burdens,
career sacrifices, sleep deprivation, depression, isolation, and lack of
privacy. GuideWell believes it
“takes a village” to sustainably support family caregivers, and that single
point solutions are typically not broad enough to provide comprehensive relief
to family caregivers.
GuideWell, in collaboration with Catalyst @ Health 2.0, is excited to
announce the Caring for Caregivers Challenge — a Health Innovation Challenge
that seeks companies or non-profits with programs, platforms, technology systems
or services that have the potential to eliminate critical challenges family
caregivers face. Comprehensive approaches should connect caregivers to
resources, technologies, corporate benefits, and community networks to help
them with their unique personal health and wellness needs. Approaches should
Family caregivers caring for family members over the age of 65
2. Family caregivers caring for partners or adult
children under the age of 65 who are
mentally disabled, permanently homebound due to a physical disability,
terminally ill or who suffer from Alzheimer’s, congestive heart & pulmonary
disease, cancer, and/or stroke.