Health Data Challenges Announces Merck | HPN Innovation Challenge Winner - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Health Data Challenges Announces Merck | HPN Innovation Challenge Winner

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SOURCE Health Data Challenges

Wellframe receives additional funding to further develop innovative care plan adherence tool to improve health outcomes

NEW YORK, May 14, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Health Data Challenges announced today Wellframe as the winner of the 2014 Merck | Heritage Provider Network Innovation Challenge.  In turn, Wellframe will receive funding to advance its concept to help patients with chronic disease adhere to their care plans using mobile devices, artificial intelligence, and human-centered design.

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"This challenge has provided us with critical resources, mentorship, and patient experience- all of which have been very valuable in helping us bring the Wellframe solution to market," said Trishan Panch, Chief Medical Officer and co-founder of Wellframe.  "We're very pleased to have been selected from an amazing group of innovators from across the country, and see this as further validation that Wellframe can help lead the way for new models of care management."

As part of the Health Data Challenge Series, this Challenge formed a first-of-its-kind sponsorship by Merck, a global healthcare company and, HPN, a physician-led Accountable Care Organization.  The challenge focused on developing tools that can help patients with chronic diseases follow their care plans, while also managing the cost and quality of care.  The winner was chosen by a panel of judges curated by Health Data Challenges, in a manner independent from the sponsors.

"By tapping into the innovator community, the Challenge advanced exciting ideas that will evolve into real-world tools patients can rely on to help manage often complex regimens and get the best results from their healthcare," said Sachin Jain, M.D., Merck Chief Medical Information and Innovation Officer.

During the multi-stage Innovation Challenge, which launched in the fall of 2013, Wellframe, along with four additional semi-finalist teams, was selected by the independent panel of judges to participate in a virtual accelerator program, which included ongoing mentorship and a live innovators' boot camp focused on design, prototyping and business modeling.  Then, at a demo day in January, semi-finalist teams presented to a live audience and judges, who drilled down into customer discovery and real-world implementation.  After Wellframe was chosen as one of two finalists, along with Sense Health, they entered the final phase of the Challenge - a mini-pilot exercise conducted through Heritage Provider Network's Desert Oasis Healthcare, a medical center in Palm Springs, California, in order to further refine their concept.  The judges then evaluated the teams' effort to incorporate new insights gleaned from the mini-pilot as part of the final selection criteria.

"The experience opened our teams' eyes to the availability of technology we never fathomed," said Lindsey Valenzuela, Pharm.D., director of medication management services at HPN's Desert Oasis Healthcare, which facilitated the mini-pilot exercise.  "The patients who chose to be part of these pilots expressed better engagement with their pharmacists, showing new possibility for scaling our current resources."

"Improving patient care calls for true collaboration from all kinds of stakeholders – from entrepreneurs to big companies to health providers," said Aman Bhandari, director, Merck Medical Information and Innovation.  "The Challenge has been a great test bed for bringing together all our insights and strengths in the interest of patients and more effective health systems."

Challenge winner Wellframe, recently completed a round of $1.5 million seed funding in April, after announcing that the company will bring its platform to South Shore Hospital's cardiac rehab program.  As the Challenge winner, Wellframe receives $100,000 in additional funding.  With finalist Sense Health recently partnering with a New York-based accountable care network as well, Sara Holoubek of Luminary Labs said, "We are thrilled to see the Challenge serve as a springboard to the creation of new tools, providing both the funding and mentorship that are key to commercialization.  It's exciting to see these solutions gain traction, and begin to have real-world impact on the industry."

To learn more about the Innovation Challenge, visit Twitter, Facebook, or the Health Data Challenges blog.

About the Merck | Heritage Provider Network Innovation Challenge
The Merck | Heritage Provider Network Innovation Challenge called on health care innovators to create the products or services that will support patients with diabetes and/or heart disease in adhering to their care plans.  Submitted concepts focused on human-centric opportunities to achieve health and wellness, drew on rich data sets to understand real-life behaviors of patients, and leveraged the patient ecosystem to create novel methods for personalized support.

About the Health Data Challenge Series
The Health Data Challenge Series helps private, non-profit, and government organizations apply the best practices of the leading tech incubators and accelerators to identify the most innovative uses of data to improve health or healthcare. The Health Data Challenge Series is a program of the Health Data Consortium and powered by Luminary Labs.

About The Health Data Consortium
The Health Data Consortium is a D.C.-based collaboration among government, non-profit, and private sector organizations working to foster the availability and innovative use of data to improve health and health care.  The Consortium advocates with data sources to promote best practices and information sharing, and works with businesses, entrepreneurs, and academia to help them understand how to use data to develop new products, services, apps, and research insights.

About Luminary Labs
Luminary Labs, is a New York-based consultancy focused on operationalizing innovation.  Made up of a team of experts with deep roots in business planning, investment, innovation, technology, and design, the company develops strategies and innovation systems for Fortune 500 and government leaders seeking to transform their organizations and industries through financial, organizational, and social outcomes.

About Heritage Provider Network
Heritage Provider Network (HPN) is a limited Knox-Keene licensed organization in California that provides affordable quality care to its members. Through an innovative approach designed specifically for the managed care environment, HPN and its medical groups offer preventative health care services, rigorous programs to review utilization, quality assurance compliance, medical risk management and patient issues and concerns. 

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