Hospitals

Target launches healthcare innovation challenge. Its aim: simplify healthcare

Target has joined one of the growing trends in healthcare: innovation challenges. It announced on Monday two contests: one will seek a solution that helps people make positive lifestyle and prevention choices, while the other will gather ways to help people live well with a chronic condition. The Target Simplicity Challenge will reward the creators […]

Target has joined one of the growing trends in healthcare: innovation challenges. It announced on Monday two contests: one will seek a solution that helps people make positive lifestyle and prevention choices, while the other will gather ways to help people live well with a chronic condition.

The Target Simplicity Challenge will reward the creators of the winning ideas $25,000 apiece, their own Target-branded flip camera, and a chance to partner with Target to develop the concepts. The deadline for ideas is Oct. 24 and winners will be announced by January.

As the title suggests, Target wants small, simple ideas that can substantively solve the problems outlined in the contest. Jose Barra, Target’s senior vice president of health and beauty, said the company made the challenge topics broad because it wanted to attract an array of individuals who think they have a cool idea but who could get lost in the cracks of bigger competitions.

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

Rewards in healthcare innovation challenges are getting increasingly larger. The Knight Foundation has partnered with the likes of Robert Wood Johnson to hand out more than $2 million, for example.

Target announced the challenges at the Mayo Clinic Transform Conference going on this week in Minnesota.

Target continues to increase its engagement with the healthcare industry. The company was ubiquitous at some of the higher-profile conferences this year, such as TEDMED and World Health Care Congress. Now, they’re launching the challenges. Barra wouldn’t discuss what is coming next for Target, saying only that the Simplicity challenges are the “only challenges we’ve announced,” they’ve opened a series of new Target clinics and plan to do more.

Challenge applicants will be posted on the contest site. Eight finalists – four from each category – will face a collection of judges that includes Target executives, the CEO of design firm IDEO, Everday Health co-founder Mike Keriakos, UnitedHealth Chief Medical Officer Dr. Richard Migloiori, and Diabetes Mine founder Amy Tenderich, among others.

Judges will review ideas based on the following criteria: originality, creativity and the compelling nature of the idea for Target and healthcare. A public vote will also factor into the decision. Six runners up get $1,000 Target gift cards and a branded flip camera.

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