Harvard Forum on Healthcare Innovation

BOSTON—The Forum on Health Care Innovation, a collaboration between Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Medical School (HMS), announced today the four winners in its Health Acceleration Challenge, which focuses on taking compelling, already-implemented health care solutions and helping them to grow and increase their impact through powerful networking and funding opportunities.

Bloodbuy, I-PASS, Medalogix and Twine Health emerged as winners from a group of nearly 500 applicants from 29 countries and 43 states.  The competition included proven innovations from such industry-leading healthcare innovators as Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, MD Anderson, Kaiser Peranente, and Intermountain Healthcare, amongst others.

The funding for the Health Acceleration Challenge was provided by a generous gift from Howard E. Cox, Jr. (MBA 1969), a former general partner and now advisory partner in one of the country’s first and most successful venture capital firms, Greylock Partners, and a member of both the HBS Healthcare Initiative Advisory Board and the HMS Board of Fellows. During his long and distinguished career, Cox has been involved in the funding and development of many successful healthcare ventures.

At the Challenge’s launch last August, applicants were given five guiding directives: improve quality of care, lower care delivery costs, and expand access to care, while demonstrating real value and the ability to scale to create broader impact. The ensuing applications represented 25 different health care categories, with practice management solutions (22%), personal/consumer health tools (13%), and illness diagnosis/prevention (12%) representing the largest categories.

Each application was reviewed by at least four of the Challenge’s more than 40 judges, comprising senior medical and business professionals. In addition, the Challenge was staged on an Open Forum platform that hosted more than 20,000 website visits. The Forum, operated by the HBS Digital Initiative and designed to foster collaborative online communities focused on solving vexing social problems, functioned as a virtual laboratory for contestants to vet and refine their entries in real time. As a reward for their participation, ten individuals who provided a considerable amount of thoughtful commentary will be invited to the April forum.

“Health care delivery often suffers from extreme fragmentation and localization. This Challenge is a step in trying to change that,” said Cara Sterling, Director of the HBS Health Care Initiative. “It’s exciting to see innovations dealing with all different parts of the health care value chain. These ideas, and many others we received, have the potential to make a great impact on the U.S. health care system if scaled up in a dramatic way.”

The HBS-HMS Forum on Health Care Innovation is led by a steering committee composed of Sterling as well as MBA Class of 1961 Professor of Management Practice Richard G. Hamermesh and Albert J. Weatherhead III Professor of Business Administration Robert S. Huckman, all from Harvard Business School, and from Harvard Medical School, Dr. Barbara J. McNeil, Ridley Watts Professor and founding head of the Department of Health Care Policy, and Joseph P. Newhouse, John D. MacArthur Professor of Health Policy and Management.