Healthy Habits

Published May-06-10

An innovative website concept to motivate patients to take more responsibility for their healthcare, wins an open innovation competition.

Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation, United States

The Story:

Healthy Habits “Rise to the Challenge: Healthcare Innovation 2010” is the first open innovation healthcare related competition of its kind in the United States and was created to encourage participants to create ideas that will transform the effectiveness, efficiency, quality and safety of healthcare.

21st century healthcare is in urgent need of reform. Western economies spend a sizeable percentage of GDP on healthcare costs, with varying degrees of success, and it doesn’t always follow that those who spend the most get the best results. Costs are rising, demand is increasing but budgets are being squeezed.

Multidisciplinary Teams to Tackle Problems

So the Arizona State University College of Nursing and Health Innovation partnered with Idea Crossing, a company that specializes in creating and hosting global innovation challenges to encourage the formation of multidisciplinary student teams to solve real-world healthcare challenges.

It was important that team members hailed from different disciplines so that each challenge could be examined from different perspectives to offer a truly innovative solution.

The competition organizers believe that interdisciplinary cooperation must become a way of life if healthcare is to be transformed. They recognize that steps have already been taken but believe them to be limited in scope as they have been confined to individual sectors, geographic regions or organizations.

“The purposes of the challenge are to foster inter-industry student collaboration, attract tomorrow’s leaders, and help solve real-world healthcare challenges from the ground," said Linda Mottle, Director of the Center of Healthcare Innovation & Clinical Trials at ASU.

Focused Innovation

The competition sponsors were able to frame the direction of this open innovation competition by setting the challenge questions. Teams of three to five graduate and undergraduate students then had to come up with a five-to-eight page concept paper which was evaluated by a panel of independent experts from healthcare, academic and business backgrounds.

Winners Announced

The winning team was announced on May 3, 2010 and its members all come from Boston University. They picked up a $5,000 prize for their Healthy Habits concept. It is a web-based solution designed to motivate people to take more responsibility for their own healthcare.

The conceptual model creates a social networking center and offers rewards to consumers, which promotes healthy purchasing habits. The concept also pools data for insurance companies and provides networks of customers to reward partners. The Boston University students believe that when these entities work together it is possible to enact changes in the eating habits of Americans.

Intellectual Property Freely Available

This open innovation contest is actually more open than most as the intellectual fruits of the participating teams are available for anyone to build on as Linda Mottle added:

“A unique aspect of this initiative is that the strategic solutions generated by the student teams will generally be open to any innovator as publicly available intellectual property, rather than the sole intellectual property of sponsors.”

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