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Henry Ford Health System and Ford Launch Innovation Challenge to Develop In-Vehicle Healthcare Tech

December 28, 2015
by Heather Landi
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Henry Ford Health System is teaming up with Ford Motor Co. to sponsor a tech design challenge for employees to develop concepts, such as smartphone apps, wearable devices or in-vehicle systems, that can extend healthcare to the confines of the car.

The companies, both based in Detroit, said in a joint statement that the ideal designs for the Connected Health App Challenge will increase touch points between patients and care providers and in the process expand the boundaries of patient monitoring. Examples of design concepts include in-vehicle health monitoring and warnings, medical test ordering and records access from the road, appointment check-ins, prescription pick-ups and data collection that can be transmitted to a doctor’s office or hospital.

“There’s no limit to the ideas that we’re looking for. Big ideas, small ideas. We’re looking for ways to use technology to do things as simple as increasing convenience for the health consumer and improving the driver experience, to as significant as saving lives,” Ward Detwiler, associate director, Henry Ford Health System Innovations, said in a statement. “There is a clear need to extend patient care beyond the doctor’s office or hospital visit, both to improve patient wellness and lower overall healthcare costs.”

Both companies stated the Connected Health App Challenge is rooted in the need to serve an increasing number of people living with chronic conditions as many are expected to spend more hours behind the wheel.

“We believe this is the first challenge of its kind in the world," Detwiler said. "We are excited to see the kind of creativity that is generated when we combine the tremendous talent of these two organizations. Most importantly, we're excited about the potential to improve patient care and the business of health care overall.”

Submissions open Jan. 20 and ten finalists from online submissions will be chosen in March, followed by prototypes and pitches leading to the selection of three winners by May or June. The winning design will receive $5,000; first runner-up will receive $3,000 and second runner-up will receive $2,000.

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