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First-of-its-kind Colorado Digital Health Challenge awards $150,000 in prize money for winning participants

  Prizes were awarded to support technologies that address the Triple Aim of improved population health, lower health care cost and an improved patient experience.

 

Denver, CO (Sept. 22, 2014) – 2014 Colorado Digital health Challenge creator PrIME Health Collaborative worked in partnership with the Colorado Health Foundation to provide $150,000 in awards to this year’s Challenge winners. The competition is the first in the country pairing early-stage digital health and health information technology companies with multiple pilot host institutions and investors.

The Colorado Digital Health Challenge seeks to curate and vet the best and brightest digital health companies in Colorado. It is one of only a few such programs ever in the U.S. to use a challenge format to surface emerging pilots, including those at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and Cleveland Clinic, but is the first of its kind to connect companies with multiple pilot host institutions. The program is designed to address challenges to our health care system by providing breakthrough innovations that achieve the Triple Aim of better population health, lower cost and an improved patient experience

“The Foundation is actively investing in organizations using digital health avenues as a means to address complex challenges that people across Colorado are facing every day,” said Anne Warhover, CEO and president of the Colorado Health Foundation, which is sponsoring $150,000 in cash awards to winning companies and pilot host organizations. “Health information technologies provide an opportunity to help ensure all Coloradans and their families have access to healthcare while empowering them to manage their future health. Competitions like the 2014 Colorado Digital Health Challenge provide a new and innovative model to identify and gain exposure for the most promising of these emerging technologies and the minds behind them.”

For Colorado, a competition focused on growing its digital health technology sector just makes sense. The state ranks among the healthiest in the country and is the second best state for entrepreneurship and innovative technology startups. Colorado is also home to a fast-growing digital health cluster that incorporates more than 90 companies, employing thousands of workers and attracting many tens of millions of dollars in capital investment.

“Emerging digital health startups crave two things above all else: capital and relationships with health care providers and payers for the purpose of creating new solutions to big, expensive problems,” said Jake Rishavy, co-founder of the PrIME Health Collaborative, which was founded as an off-shoot of the Denver South Economic Development Partnership in 2012. “The 2014 Colorado Digital Health Challenge provides startups with both of these vital elements.”

Each of the companies that are accepted into the challenge will receive a business plan review and assessment as well as pitch coaching from a group of mentors that include experienced entrepreneurs, health care payers or providers, digital health investors and angel investors.

The competition is split into two tracks—one to connect applicants with major health systems for pilots of new technologies and another to connect applicants to potential funders.

For companies pursuing pilots, the Challenge concluded during the 2014 Digital Health Challenge @ Denver Startup Week, powered by the Colorado Health Foundation, a live “shark tank” style event giving Colorado’s best and brightest digital health startups an opportunity to pitch live in front of a panel of health care executives and a group of more than 400 interested observers. The event was MC’d at INDUSTRY by PrIME Health Collaborative’s Jeffrey Nathanson and INDUSTRY’s Mike Biselli.

The event was the public culmination of a three-month process of vetting and refining technology companies working to actively address the challenges to our health care system by  providing breakthrough innovations that achieve the triple aim of better population health, lower cost and an improved patient experience. A week prior to the public event, a “Speed Dating” event was held introducing finalist companies to the potential host institutions. (Video: http://vimeo.com/elevationdigitalmedia/review/106423040/c3539d13e4)

“We are excited to be a part of helping connect the innovative health solutions presented by last night’s challenge winners to the Colorado health safety net,” said Jesse Wolff, private sector initiatives director for the Colorado Health Foundation. “The partnership between public and private health care entities will play an important role in the development of comprehensive, person-centered care for all Coloradans.

Each of the six presenting companies was able to make a “deal” with one or more of the judges to pilot or further explore their digital health care platform. Caring in Place, Cirrus MD, RxRevu and Telespine will share the $100,000 prize.

This Challenge process directly aligns with two of the state’s primary initiatives: to be the healthiest state in the nation and to be the most innovative state in the nation. In order to continue to encourage growth within Colorado’s digital health industry, the Colorado Innovation Network also presented a $5,000 award to CirrusMD for being most innovative digital health company.

For applicants pursing funding, the final pitch event was the 2014 Digital Health Venture Showcase on Sept. 9 at the CSU Denver Atrium. At this event, The Finance Track event, the Digital Health Venture Showcase, three companies were awarded $50,000 in prizes to connect applicants to potential funders.

Fourteen companies (out of a total pool of more than 100 digital health companies in Colorado) were selected as finalists for the Finance Track. The selected finalists presented 5-minute pitches and occupied exhibit space in the expo at the Digital Health Venture Showcase on Sept. 9 at the CSU Denver Atrium.

Caring in Place, a technology solution for the family caregivers of seniors, received $10,000. RxREVU, offering a medication transparency and optimization tool, received $15,000. MyRounding received the top prize of $25,000 for their cloud-based mobile platform which provides increased visibility and accountability for every area of healthcare through its intuitive and configurable surveying capabilities. The application also allows for real-time reporting of issues that can then be identified, assigned, tracked, updated and closed on a single platform.

“All of us on the MyRounding team are extremely pleased to have been selected as the premier digital health company in Colorado,” said David Marshall, Founder and COO. “With over 40 hospitals and healthcare systems across the country now using our platform, we are helping to shine the spotlight on the great work emerging in the Colorado market.”

“The 2014 Colorado Digital Health Challenge and the Venture Showcase event aim to surface the best and brightest emerging digital health technologies in the state,” said Jake Rishavy, co-founder of the PrIME Health Collaborative. “These three winning companies and many others in Colorado play a significant role in shaping the future of health care. They are a great example of why Colorado is quickly becoming recognized nationally as a hot bed of emerging digital health innovation.”

For inquiries on next year’s Colorado Digital Health Challenge, please email challenge@primehealthco.com.