Health IT

Merck backs challenge to make diabetes, heart disease care plans more patient-centric

Diabetes and heart disease are chronic conditions with multiplying patient populations. In the latest innovation challenge, the focus is on care plans and what entrepreneurs and innovators in healthcare can do to improve care plan adherence for diabetes and heart disease patients. The competition is run by Luminary Labs as part of the Health Data […]

Diabetes and heart disease are chronic conditions with multiplying patient populations. In the latest innovation challenge, the focus is on care plans and what entrepreneurs and innovators in healthcare can do to improve care plan adherence for diabetes and heart disease patients.

The competition is run by Luminary Labs as part of the Health Data Challenges series.

The idea is to develop ways to make care plans more manageable for patients. It wants to avoid overwhelming them with medication and nutrition instructions and recommendations for healthy behaviors so they don’t get frustrated, give up and risk their condition becoming unmanageable.

Luminary Labs CEO Sara Holoubek told MedCity News that the problem is care plans are often unrealistic and difficult to follow. They could benefit from being more patient-centric.

“What kind of technologies can we deploy to reinvent the care plan or tools to help patients adhere to the careplan? The sky is the limit. We want innovators to come up with ideas they think are best. Heart disease and diabetes were chosen because  they represent the biggest cost and take the biggest human toll.”

Merck (NYSE: MRK) and Heritage Provider Network are co-sponsors of the competition to crowdsource ideas from entrepreneurs and data scientists.

Here’s some of the criteria highlighted from the website:

  • Use data sets to understand the patients’ demographic information and develop a way to create personalized support. Luminary Labs has provided some relevant data sets and Holubek said it might add. It’s open to companies and organizations approaching it with relevant data sets.
  • Submitted concepts should be inspired by, employ, or contribute to open data sets.
  • Make an innovative contribution to the healthcare marketplace. Products and services should be differentiated from those that are currently available.
  • Recognize the diversity of the chronic disease patient population. Issues such as the phase of the disease, comorbidities, life stage, support systems, financial and professional circumstances, etc., all impact care plan success.
  • Submissions must be able to be developed into proof of concept or prototype during the course of the challenge. At point of submission, solutions can be at an early-stage, without proof-of-concept or prototype.

The deadline for entries is November 10. Five semi-finalists will receive $20,000 to develop prototypes of their design. Two of the finalists will get $20,000 to pilot their ideas. The winner will receive $100,000 to develop their produce or service.

 [Photo Credit: FreeDigitalPhotos user renjith krishnan]