Friday, March 1, 2013

Think Big and H&R Block Announce Winners of Hackovate Health Innovation Competition

The global health care focused innovation competition Hackovate Health came to a close when it announced four winning business ideas at the Finale event at Union Station in Kansas City, Missouri.  Organized by H&R Block and Think Big Partners, the Hackovate Health Finale brought together innovators, entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals and industry leaders for a half-day pitch fest and awards ceremony.

Ten finalists, four judges and many community leaders, supporters and attendees joined to see innovation and entrepreneurism in action.  At the event, a panel of four Finale judges determined the grand prize winner ($15,000), the runner-up ($5,000) and the second runner-up ($2,500).  Finale judges included Kush Saxena (H&R Block), David Edwards (Cerner), Phyllis Faulkner-Johnson (Google Fiber) and Anna Haghgooie (Sandbox). In addition, attendees had the chance to watch 10 pitches from finalists and vote for their favorite via mobile platform for the Google Fiber People’s Choice Award. 

Tami Hutchinson and her team at eLuminate Health (Kansas City, MO) was announced the winner of the $15,000 grand prize.  eLuminate Health is an online platform where surgeons and patients can easily find one another and compare procedures based on price and quality ratings.  The eLuminate Health platform predicts to save up to 17% on procedures and 5% per year on healthcare costs.  The company solves problems for consumers, payers, administrators and providers while improving healthcare quality and decreasing costs.    In addition to the cash prize, eLuminate Health has been recognized as one of the top startups in the healthcare tech industry.

“We truly appreciated this entire process,” said Tami Hutchison of eLuminate Health.  “Hackovate has helped us think in new ways and we will use this opportunity to get our product into the market and bring value to consumers in the U.S.” 

Karan Srivastava and his team of SHHADE (Miami, FL) was declared the winner of the Google Fiber People’s Choice Award after receiving a majority of the public vote.  SHHADE stands for Supply Home Health Care Alternatives and Dedicated Education.  The SHHADE platform allows for remote patient monitoring, health coaching, care coordination and mobile primary care services.  As the winner of the Google Fiber People’s Choice Award, SHHADE will gain bragging rights and media exposure. 

Liam Ryan of GetHealth (Dublin, Ireland) was announced as the Hackovate first runner-up, receiving a $5,000 cash prize from H&R Block.  The GetHealth mobile app is “Foursquare for health” as it improves consumer health by “checking in” to different healthy activities.  The app incorporates “motifications”, notifications to help consumers improve their health.  GetHealth has already been named an effective WaaS (wellness as a service).

“As a company with a base in New York and Ireland, we are always looking for opportunities to showcase in the United States on a global scale.  Hackovate allowed us to not only do that, but to think big too,” said Liam Ryan of GetHealth. 

In addition, Scott Speranza of InAssist Health Management Solution (Torrance, CA) was announced as the second runner-up and received a $2,500 prize courtesy of H&R Block.  InAssist specializes in medical protection services and solves for the problem of hospital overcharges.  With an integrated portal, consumers can log in to the InAssist system to pay medical bills and better understand what they are getting charged for.  InAssist incorporates TotalCare, which allows for a proprietary method for carriers and doctors. 

In addition to celebrating the announcement of the Hackovate winners, attendees were invited to listen to keynote speakers Ned Holland of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“We are thrilled with the results of the Hackovate Health Finale,” said Herb Sih, co-founder of Think Big Partners.  “Today, we saw a wide range of innovations and ideas that are helping to change the way we think about healthcare.  We hope that attendees, finalists, sponsors, judges and supporters learned something new about the changing healthcare landscape and believe in the innovations that are helping to solve real problems.”  

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