Health IT

American Heart Association partners with Medstartr for innovation challenge

cardiologists ObamacareIn an effort to reduce death from cardiovascular disease and stroke, the American Heart Association is crowdsourcing ideas. It is looking for early-stage health IT companies developing products to help people prevent or manage cardiovascular disease and stroke. It’s part of a collaboration with MedStartr. The idea is to help the association meet its 2020 Impact Goal.

That impact goal is to improve the cardiovascular health of all Americans by 20 percent while reducing death from cardiovascular diseases and stroke by 20 percent by the year 2020.

The deadline for submissions is January 7.

Here’s how it works. A panel of American Heart Association judges will review submissions and the top 10 best ideas will be posted on MedtStartr.


That group will be whittled down to three teams based on a score using criteria that include: who raises the most funding (40 percent), who gets the most social shares (20 percent), and the judges’ opinions (40 percent). The $25,000 award will be split across three  teams. They will also be invited to present their idea to an expert panel of judges and investors at the American Heart Association’s Health Sciences Innovation · Investment Forum event in New York City in March 2014.

Applicants need to be in New York for the investment forum to present their product. Finalists have to enter the crowdfunding challenge in the second stage of the competition or face disqualification. Only 30 percent of crowdfunding they raise can come from friends, families or fellow employees.

About 600,000 people die each year from heart disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

In addition to health IT companies, AHA set up a science and technology accelerator in 2011 to help advance biotech solutions to cardiac problems (in addition to the $135 million in grant money it provides  to researchers each year). So far, there are two companies in it — CytoVas and BioKier.

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