If you’ve interacted with the U.S. healthcare system in the past several years—as a patient, provider, family member, friend, volunteer or employee—it is highly likely that part of your healthcare experience occurred outside of the traditional brick-and-mortar hospital. Advancements in technology, telehealth, and remote patient monitoring have helped facilitate the transition of patient care from the hospital to the outpatient/ambulatory care setting.
Because of these changes, in April 2017, MedStar Health partnered with 1776 (the Northeast corridor’s largest network of entrepreneurial incubators) to launch the #Patient2Consumer Challenge. The Challenge recruited startups tackling problems impacting both the current and future healthcare environment. As John Lock, Interim Chief Digital Officer of MedStar Health and Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2) explained: “We are searching for entrepreneurs who want to work with us to help shape and drive the inevitable changes occurring in healthcare.”
Winning startups were paired with clinical and/or executive mentors at MedStar Health and participated in a more than three-month Innovation Lab Cohort program. A full overview of the Challenge, the 2017-2018 winners, and the prize package can be found here.
Meeting the #Patient2Consumer Challenge Winners
Renee and I met the #Patient2Consumer Challenge winners on our first day of the Health for America (HFA) at MedStar Health fellowship.
After settling into our office, enjoying a building tour, and having lunch with our HFA mentors and respective teams, Renee and I ended the day at the MI2 Monthly All Minds Meeting (MAMM). Held on the first Tuesday of every month, MAMMs bring together employees from across MedStar Health and their invited guests, and feature presentations on a wide range of innovation and creative thinking topics.
The September 2017 MAMM introduced four #Patient2Consumer Challenge winners—Care+Wear, Pacify Health, Ride RoundTrip Inc. and VEDA Data Solutions. Level Therapy, one of the five winning startups, was unable to attend the MAMM. Each startup pitched its idea and current business model to the MAMM attendees. At the time of their presentations, the startups had not begun the Innovation Lab Cohort component of their prize packages.
Roughly six months after meeting the startups at the September MAMM, Renee and I traveled to MedStar’s Corporate Office on February 20 to watch the five winning startups re-pitch their ideas to an audience of MedStar executives, investors, and entrepreneurs at the #Patient2Consumer Demo Day. The Demo Day presentations highlighted each startup’s experiences and key learnings from the Innovation Lab Cohort.
Lessons Learned from the #Patient2Consumer Challenge Winners
While Renee and I do not interact with the #Patient2Consumer Challenge winners during our daily fellowship work, we had the unique opportunity to watch each startup’s product and business model evolve over time. The table below summarizes my top three lessons learned from the #Patient2Consumer Challenge winners and how each lesson impacts my work with the MedStar Telehealth Innovation Center.
The last week of February, Renee and I completed the Ideation Phase of the HFA fellowship and recommended to our internal teams which special project to implement during the remainder of our fellowship. The insights and lessons learned from the #Patient2Consumer Challenge winners helped guide my ideation and special project pilot testing. From now through July 31, 2018, Renee and I will work under the guidance of our HFA teams, mentors, and project champions to implement our proposed projects.