The rapid advance of technology has ushered in new paradigms when it comes to healthcare, particularly for patients managing chronic conditions. Rather than traveling to a doctor’s office or healthcare facility, patients now have the ability to use digital tools at home to improve their care or connect with their providers.
“Digital health management, supporting people outside the four walls of care delivery by using technology, offers the potential to extend clinical resources, with some encouraging results,” Trishan Panch, MD, MPH, co-founder and chief medical officer for digital health management provider Wellframe, and AJMC.com contributor, wrote in a column earlier this year.
“As many of these patients are capable of self-managing (at least some of the time), digital health management makes it easier and more effective to do so by virtually connecting patients and clinicians through digital experiences, such as a smartphone app,” Panch continued.
Boston Scientific seeks to add to the arsenal of tools available to help manage chronic conditions at home via its fifth annual Connect Patient Challenge. And now, a month after the launch of the contest, the company has seen a record-breaking number of submissions compared to previous years, and there’s still time for healthcare innovators to submit their ideas.
The challenge, which calls on innovators to submit digital health solutions that improve care at home and help patients better manage chronic conditions, already has received submissions from participants across the world. Entries have come the U.S., Taiwan, Israel, and Thailand, among other countries.
Some submissions leverage artificial intelligence and the internet of things to help aging patients achieve better quality of life. Others seek to help patients manage asthma or chronic obtrusive pulmonary disease via blood pressure monitoring.
The following are examples of submissions and appear to be leading the way in crowd votes so far:
Nicholas Conn, PhD, founder and CEO at Heart Health Intelligence, from New York, has developed a toilet seat that aims to reduce heart failure readmissions. The toilet seat connects to the cloud and can be installed onto a standard toilet. Using advanced algorithms, the seat captures measurements, including blood pressure and cardiac output. The technology can identify deterioration in patients with heart failure before they are aware that something is wrong.
Ravi Vangara, director at EinsCare, from India, posted a health management solution for patients with chronic endocrine disease. The solution offers qualitative and quantitative vital information to endocrinologists to determine a patient’s best treatment options.
The deadline for innovator submissions is January 3, 2020. Participants can find answers to frequently asked questions, entry guidelines, and more information here.
Submissions should focus on disease states that affect large populations, such as cardiovascular, digestive, cancer, neurological/chronic pain, respiratory, and/or urology and pelvic health, with an aim of improving patient outcomes, cost savings, reduction in care needed by patient, better patient experience, and more.
Innovator solutions should also be practical ideas that can realistically be implemented in today’s clinical environment at a reasonable cost.
Along with crowdsourced voting, a panel of expert judges will vote and ultimately select six finalists to compete in a live pitch-off at Google’s campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in February. Finalists will have the opportunity to network with other innovators and experts.
First- and second-place winners will be announced for a share of up to $50,000 in in-kind services from Boston Scientific and Google.