Image source: Prime Health Colorado

Prime Health Challenge 2019: Impactful Healthcare Solutions Shared

2019 is probably an exciting year for the Prime Health Challenge with several awe-inspiring ideas from dedicated healthcare organizations around the world. Let's read on to uncover!
By Kaley Nguyen | EnvZone Staff
on December 10, 2019 | 10 min read
Image source: Prime Health Colorado

If you have been in the healthcare landscape for a while, you must have heard of Prime Health as well as its captivating competition - Prime Health Challenge!

Started from 2014, the Prime Health Challenge has amazingly galvanized the burgeoning digital health ecosystem in Colorado as well as sharply accelerated the adoption of digital health technologies - including patient engagement apps, data analytics, remote patient monitoring, artificial intelligence, telemedicine technologies and more - oriented toward achieving the “Quadruple Aim” of improved patient experience, provider experience, improved population health and lower costs.

Such a ground-breaking event, isn’t it? Now, let’s read on to figure out couples of precious insights and innovative ideas that are going to shake things up within the health care industry in the not-too-distant future!

Prime Health Challenge: An Overview

Before diving into the sharing of some avant-garde minds – 2019 challenge winners, it’s essential to first grasp a big picture over Prime Health as well as its innovation event.

1. Prime Health Colorado

Founded in 2012 and based in Denver, Colorado, Prime Health thrives to be a nationally leading health innovation ecosystem focused on improving health care. By 2018, Prime Health forms a community of staggering 3375 healthcare administrators, policymakers, providers, technologists, academics, entrepreneurs and investors – all being dedicated to improving healthcare delivery through collaboration and technological innovation.

Since its founding, Prime Health has served as a community integrator, accelerating the adoption and implementation of evidence-based emerging technologies that enhance access to care, improve clinical outcomes, and reduce costs for underserved Coloradans.

The organization operates innovation programs and events that bring together community stakeholders to discuss needs, identify innovative solutions, provide training and capacity building, and scale partnerships that drive meaningful outcomes.

Its 2018 Colorado Health Ecosystem Report has highlighted some exciting figures over its investment efforts:

  • Through the Prime Health Qualify process, 146 digital health companies have been evaluated by over 150 industry experts and judges.
  • Prime Health has awarded over $550k to fund 19 pilots at Colorado Health Institutions.
  • In November 2017, the State of Colorado Office of eHealth Innovation released the State Health IT Roadmap, providing direction to align industry stakeholders behind 16 initiatives.

2. Prime Health Innovation Challenge

Powered by Prime Health and The Colorado Health Foundation, Prime Health Innovation Challenge is an annual event held within 5 months, enabling Colorado’s top leaders and experts in health and innovation.

  • To vet and validate companies
  • Identify and elevate solutions impactful to health care in Colorado
  • Drive innovation forward through fostering pilots with the leading provider and community organizations developed and funded as part of the Challenge

Such a 5-month program validates companies based on business and clinical rubrics as well as safety net alignment, sustainability and alignment with health care needs in Colorado in order to identify the most impactful, sustainable and commercial-ready solutions.

Healthcare companies or organizations participating in the program will receive coaching, feedback as well as mentorship from industry experts and top leaders on how to better align their companies and products, key information needed to be successful in Colorado, pressing needs facing our providers and patients, guidance on aligning their product to relevant quality measures and reimbursable codes, and more.

Prime Health Challenge 2019 Impactful Healthcare Solutions Shared - Fig 1
Image source: Prime Health Colorado

Plus, hosts, that are the organizations with the infrastructure and patient population to a pilot, participate throughout the Challenge, directly working with Prime Health Board to identify and interview competitors for potential matches for pilots.

Past host institutions seeking pilot programs do include Denver Health, MCPN, SCL Health, Stout Street Health Center, Mt. San Rafael Hospital, AllHealth Network, MHCD, MGMA, Kaiser Permanente, and others.

And in the Prime Health Innovation Challenge last year, the winner Epharmix was awarded $75,000 in pilot funding, receiving pilot offers from All Health Network, Metro Community Provider Network, Mental Health Center of Denver, and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. This remote patient monitoring startup has increased engagement through phone and text messages, which helps Epharmix collect data on numerous chronic diseases.

Prime Health Innovation Challenge 2019

In this year, Prime Health is focused on partnering with some host institutions in search of the most impactful solutions to key problems in Colorado's healthcare future, which include:

  • Behavioral Health
  • Substance Use
  • Foster Care
  • Rural Health
  • Maternal Health
  • Care Coordination
  • Interoperability
  • Access to Care

As regards the participants, thirty-seven companies from around the world have applied for the 2019 Challenge. During the five-month period, they were rigorously evaluated by more than 100 health care, business, and technology experts and leaders. Finalists were chosen based on their ability to radically improve care for underserved patients, as well as their alignment and sustainability potential in Colorado's health care market.

Prime Health Challenge 2019 Impactful Healthcare Solutions Shared - Fig 2
Image source: Prime Health Colorado

“A huge thank you to the Colorado Health Foundation for their continued support of us and the community at large. Colorado is fortunate to have such a passionate and visionary partner in a philanthropic foundation,” said Rachel Dixon, president and executive director of Prime Health.

For the past six years, the Colorado Health Foundation has funded the Prime Health Challenge, enabling the award of more than $900,000 to fund more than 24 pilots, not including the pilots to come from this year’s Challenge.

“The Colorado Health Foundation aims to engage innovations that help safety net providers, particularly those in rural communities across Colorado, to offer culturally competent, high-quality and comprehensive primary care, behavioral and/or social services,” explained Ben Bynum, M.D., Portfolio Director of Program Related Investments at the Foundation. “Collaborative partnerships with organizations like Prime Health help us to scale our mission and impact across the State.”

Besides, hundreds of people from all sectors of health, business, technology, and innovation – who are providers, payers, government, foundations, investors, entrepreneurs, academics, and so many others – donated their time, resources, knowledge, and expertise to support this year’s Challenge.

Prime Health Challenge 2019 Impactful Healthcare Solutions Shared - Fig 3
Image source: Prime Health Colorado

“Colorado is an example of what is possible when we all work together to achieve a shared vision for a community that’s thriving, healthy, innovative, and inclusive to all,” shared Rachel, “It’s truly inspiring to see in action.”

Prime Health Challenge 2019 Impactful Healthcare Solutions Shared - Fig 4
Image source: Prime Health Colorado

“Statewide collaborations like the Prime Health Challenge are one of the major reasons why Colorado ranks as one of the top five health innovation ecosystems in the country.”

Last but obviously not the least, this year’s award is a pilot partnership with one of the more than 20 Colorado provider and payer organizations in the audience, coupled with a portion of staggering $190,000 in prize pilot funding.

So, let's move on to see who actually earned such an invaluable prize!

Prime Health Challenge 2019: The Challenge Winners and Their Awe-Inspiring Insights

#1. First Place Winner: Manatee

The grand prize winner of $75,000 and bids from up to eight Colorado provider organizations has been on a rocket-fueled national journey in their first year of business, winning competitions around the country. Further to Prime Health Challenge, Manatee was accepted into Techstars LA and Futurebound and won Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and HLTH pitch competitions. Manatee’s success speaks to the significant challenges and unmet need around pediatric behavioral health.

“Less than 40% of kids with a diagnosable mental health issue receive any help. We think we can do better. Manatee magnifies the impact that therapists have today and empowers families tomorrow. How? By building digital tools that illuminate treatment, engage families, and track progress,” shared Damayanti Dipayana, Manatee’s CEO and co-founder.

Prime Health Challenge 2019 Impactful Healthcare Solutions Shared - Fig 5
Image source: Prime Health Colorado

"Everyday therapy for kids powered by AI. Manatee empowers providers to break through the barriers of mental health care by sharing treatment goals to the family in real-time, driving patient engagement and tracking progress. Parents receive clear and timely communication through our mobile app, facilitating the continuum of care to support their families. Kids unlock their superpowers through gamifies therapy goals and an AI-powered companion to support them every step of the way."

#2. Second Place Winner: Babyscripts

This year’s runner-up also provides an awesome innovation to an urgent health care issue in Colorado.  Based in Washington DC and currently working with more than 47 health systems in 22 states, deploying remote monitoring solutions to more than 200K patients, Babyscripts brings about a maternal health solution focused on creating a comprehensive, coordinated, and convenient patient journey for moms throughout their entire pregnancy and post-delivery.

Participating moms will receive a personalized kit in the mail with everything they need to manage and monitor their physical and behavioral health at home, in a way that automatically connects with their provider team.

Prime Health Challenge 2019 Impactful Healthcare Solutions Shared - Fig 6
Image source: Prime Health Colorado

“80% of maternal death in Colorado is preventable. Babyscripts has tools that can help.” -Judith Nowlin, Chief Growth Officer, Babyscripts

#3. Third Place Winner: Meru Health 

Meru Health is a digital clinic for greater mental health with remote clinicians (therapists & psychiatrists), biofeedback and a 12-week app-based treatment program. Meru’s program consists of continuous remote clinician support, at-home therapeutic lessons and practices (such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy & Mindfulness) as well as nutritional psychiatry and sleep medicine. Meru has achieved groundbreaking clinical outcomes and published peer-reviewed evidence. Its major customers do include Sutter Health, Cisco and Intel.

Prime Health Challenge 2019 Impactful Healthcare Solutions Shared - Fig7
Image source: Prime Health Colorado

In this challenge, Meru Health received an enthusiastic response from the community, receiving bids from 11 provider organizations to pilot their solution offering evidence-based depression and anxiety treatment programs. Even better, Meru Health partners with existing behavioral health providers in local communities to augment and improve access and capacity collaboratively, leading to a better experience for patients and providers and improving the “health” of the overall health care system.

#4. Rural Innovation Winners: STREAMD & Phas3 Health

Prime Health Challenge 2019 Impactful Healthcare Solutions Shared - Fig 8
Image source: Prime Health Colorado

STREAMD is a service that sends easy-to-understand text messages to patients following an orthopedic surgery such as a hip or knee replacement to clarify and simplify the recovery process. In practice, they create SMS-based physician chatbots that coach patients through their entire surgical episode to keep them engaged, informed, and supported. In a randomized controlled clinical trial, STREAMD has been shown to reduce opiate use, ER visits, and calls to the office while increasing patient satisfaction, mood scores, and time spent on home therapy.

STREAMD was voted this year’s People’s Choice Award winner in addition to receiving a rural health innovation prize.

Prime Health Challenge 2019 Impactful Healthcare Solutions Shared - Fig 9
Image source: Prime Health Colorado

Researches reveal that patients who complete a cardiac rehabilitation program after an event such as a heart attack live on average five years longer than patients who don’t. As a result, patients are more likely to complete a program successfully if it’s available remotely. However, in Colorado, many patients living in rural areas don’t even have the option to participate in a cardiac rehab program because there isn’t one near enough to their home. And Phas3 is changing that with a model that makes cardiac rehab accessible in the home via text message and low-cost technology.

Actually, they provide cardiac rehab departments with the technology and services necessary for implementing home-based cardiac rehab. In addition to decreasing readmissions and improving patient outcomes, Phas3 solutions are Medicaid reimbursable and revenue-generating.

Participating Prime Health Challenge, phas3 did receive $20,000 to support the piloting of their remote cardiac rehabilitation solution in rural Colorado.

#5. Other Finalists

Moving Analytics makes Movn – a digital cardiac rehab program, which is offered to patients after a heart attack or heart surgery.

Movn is specifically designed to tackle the $54B in preventable medical costs from lack of follow-up care after an acute coronary event. Their targeted customers are payers and payer-providers.

Movn is active in 18 hospitals nationwide. A few highlighted payer-provider customers of such an incredible invention include VA Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, and Highmark Health-Allegheny Health Network. 

Different from Moving Analytics, CareCognitics is a digital health company applying consumer loyalty principles and data science to transform patient behavior.

Their unique communication streams, rewards, and patented technology deliver unprecedented patient experience and engagement that in turn drives transformational patient behavior. Furthermore, CareCognitics’ solution does smartly align with Medicare incentives. 

The Bottom Lines

To wrap the whole thing up, 2019 is probably an exciting year for the Prime Health Challenge with so many inspiring ideas from dedicated healthcare businesses around the world. There will be nothing more wonderful than witnessing these innovative healthcare tools reaching the hands of underserved patients and ultimately helping them ease their pains.

This article is also credited to Prime Health.

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