Cutting-Edge Ideas Win Healthcare Open Innovation Challenge
A smartphone app for first responders, a catheter that fights infection and a web-based system to detect eye disease.
American Medical Association, United States
Like the software, automobile, agriculture and telecommunications industries, the healthcare and medical technology industry are also engaging with open innovation initiatives. These are opening the doors to new ideas, approaches, inventions and technologies that are improving patient care, lowering costs and providing services to populations that are not well served by healthcare systems.
Inaugural Open Innovation Challenge
In 2016, the American Medical Association (AMA) launched its inaugural AMA Healthier Nation Innovation Challenge, an open innovation search for cutting-edge healthcare innovations. The goals were to uncover and support novel concepts that would help physicians improve their practice and help patients live longer and healthier lives.
Medical students, physicians and residents across the United States were invited to share their innovative ideas. More than 100 teams put forward their concepts which were reviewed by the challenge's community of physicians, medical students, nurses, partners, investors and healthcare leaders.
The most popular projects went through to a judging phase where they were assessed by a panel of healthcare leaders and experts.
The climax of the open innovation challenge was a live event where the top five finalists pitched their ideas to the panel and a live audience. This resulted in the selection of three overall winners.
In first place was a platform called 'Twiage: Accelerating Life-Saving Care' developed by Dr. YiDing Yu, MD, who received a check for $25,000. This is a smartphone app for first responders to share real-time patient data (such as vital signs, photos, videos and patient demographics) from the ambulance to the hospital. In receiving this information, hospitals can accurately predict patient arrival and prioritize resources.
Among the problems the innovation seeks to address are the current challenges of communication between ambulances and hospitals. Typically, these involve radio channels which are subject to interference. Plus, without photo and video, diagnosis can be delayed until the patient arrives at the hospital. Such delays can be more costly to health and also to the health system. For some patients, such as those who suffer heart attacks, every second counts.
The second place winner was the Light Line Catheter by VERITAS Medical L.L.C. They received a check for $15,000 for a catheter that employs a visible light phototherapy technology to disinfect the device while it is in a patient's body. Currently, one in every 25 patients in U.S. hospitals have at least one health care-associated infection (HAI). These are infections that patients get while receiving medical treatment, and some of the biggest causes are catheter-associated.
The winner of the third prize check for $10,000 was a team that has developed a web-based test technology to detect and diagnose eye disease. It is a non-invasive screening and diagnosis system that can be easily used in clinics and aims to provide affordable mobile test technology to those populations that have limited access to healthcare.
In addition to receiving their checks, the winners were also given support and access to the AMA's network of accelerator an
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