Over the past two years, there has been an increasing focus on the use of big data to make an impact within healthcare – everything from EMRs to tracking personal activity achievement over time. However, Jen van der Meer of Luminary Labs reminds us that data needs to become actionable in order to create the solutions we need.

Enter the Merck | Heritage Provider Network Innovation Challenge earlier this Fall. Quite a mouthful huh? Maybe it’s because of the massive health issue being tackled: chronic disease care. More specifically – diabetes and heart disease. And the challenge has gone out to the smart people, innovators doers around the country. Because that’s what we need – doing:

…calls on entrepreneurs, data scientists, designers, healthcare providers, and big thinkers to create the products or services that will support patients with diabetes and/or heart disease in adhering to their care plans. For people living with these chronic diseases, a care plan maps out critical recommendations around healthy behaviors, medication management, and nutrition.

Since the Challenge got started, a number of submissions came through and they recently announced the semi-finalists. I’m definitely excited to see that one of the teams, Wellframe, I know well and know their commitment to the chronic disease landscape. As the competition continues to gain media attention and more importantly, the teams dig deep to continue honing their service for the next round of judging – I’m looking forward to seeing solutions that are well-designed & sustainable.

Keep an eye out here for more updates as the timeline for the Challenge continues!


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