Three healthcare innovations are a big step closer to reality thanks to partnerships and prize money earned during the 2016 Prime Health Challenge, the largest funded pitch competition of its kind in the nation.
For the third consecutive year, Prime Health, the country’s leading health innovation ecosystem, organized the largest group of healthcare organizations in the U.S. to hear pilot proposals for new health technologies. Fifteen “host” institutions, including large hospital and healthcare systems as well as safety net organizations, bid on opportunities to test the innovations. Some, like SCL Health and National Jewish Health, chose to partner on pilot testing.
David Shine, CEO of dBMEDx, maker of a wireless, fully automated bladder scanner, took home the first place prize of $75,000 and praised Prime Health for providing opportunities to build relationships critical for innovation development. “The Prime Health Challenge, the introductions and awareness it provides are incredibly important for our company and will provide valuable clinical data to support broad deployment of our technology. The Challenge is a powerful driver of the growth of our vibrant Colorado healthcare ecosystem!”
Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock addressed the audience of 600 plus spectators and thanked them for working together to make Colorado a leading state for innovation. Amy Latham, vice president of philanthropy at the Colorado Health Foundation said, “The Foundation is pleased to support the Prime Health Challenge and digital startup companies paving the way to a healthier state. We look forward to seeing how these partnerships help shape Colorado’s health innovation ecosystem and improve the health of all Coloradans.”
The six finalists competing for $150,000 provided by the Colorado Health Foundation had been selected from an original 30 contestants through a comprehensive evaluation process known as Prime Health Qualify. Their presentations were honed over three months of mentoring and pitch coaching. In the end, five companies received pilot offers. A panel of healthcare experts further evaluated those companies and selected the top three to receive cash winnings.
“What an amazing adventure the last three months have been,” said Christine Spraker, president of Matrix Analytics, whose pulmonary nodule management software for lung cancer earned the second place prize at $50,000. “The Prime Health Challenge, with all of the mentorship and feedback, helped us address several gaps we were blind to and we are excited about this next phase! Physicians and large companies across the country are talking about Prime Health. Kudos to you for having the foresight to build this ecosystem!”
Preventative Technology Solutions, maker of an app that identifies high-risk sexual behavior in adolescents won third place and $25,000. Co-founder, Dr. Lisa Rue, shared “ The Prime Health Challenge is like being shot out of a cannon into the digital health space. It would have taken us 5 years to learn what we learned in a few short weeks.”
Jeffrey Nathanson, CEO of Prime Health said, “Having reached our goal of becoming the nation’s #1 health innovation ecosystem, we have now set our sights on making Colorado the healthiest state in the U.S. Our annual Challenge and evaluation process is helping us develop standards and best practices in identifying and integrating health innovations into the healthcare system – something that does not currently exist. What we’ve created in Colorado is unique and has the power to improve healthcare not only in our state but across the country.”