The Office of the National Coordinator for HIT www.healthit.gov reports in their November 10th blog report that in the first quarter of 2014, nearly $700 million was invested in health technology which shows an 87 percent year over year growth. A whole array of web and mobile applications are changing the way patients and providers interact with the healthcare system. These technologies accelerate the flow and availability of data, empower and engage patients in their care, and can help identify safety issues or errors before they occur.
However, many startups still struggle to find pilot partners to build the evidence base that demonstrates that their product works. It is important not only for startups, potential funders, and future customers to acquire the evidence but also for healthcare systems, providers, patients, and payers.
To support health innovators to make connections and demonstrate the value of their solutions to the marketplace, ONC has just launched a new type of Challenge Program called “Market R&D Pilot Challenge” www.oncpilotchallenge.com.
The Challenge calls on health innovators to pair with hospitals, clinics, laboratories, or pharmacies to develop a pilot proposal. The program will select up to six teams to implement the pilot, conduct a rigorous evaluation, and disseminate their findings in collaboration with ONC.
The Market R&D Challenge is a $300,000 year-long commitment by ONC to promote innovation. The first half of the Challenge will focus on team creation, selection, and pilot preparation.
Over the second six months, teams will run their pilot and produce an evaluation report for future learning. ONC will award $25,000 when the teams are selected, and another $25,000 following completion of the pilot and evaluation. Teams will be selected by April 30, 2015.
ONC is also working with startup incubators around the country to host “Health Innovators Bootcamps” to conduct full or half day trainings for the startup community to learn about federal regulations, programs, and funding opportunities that can have a positive effect on their products.
The bootcamps will tackle topics like privacy and security, open federal datasets, new payment models, and ONC’s technical standards for consumer information exchange.