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Challenge Awarding $60,000 for Health Technology Ideas



A new challenge is awarding $60,000 for technology solutions, in particular modifications of current products, that promote healthier lifestyles or help manage chronic conditions. Health insurance provider United Healthcare is sponsoring the Breakthrough Health Tech Challenge, which has a deadline of 8 April 2013.

United Healthcare, which announced the challenge at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is looking for ideas that adapt common consumer technologies or devices, such as  video game systems and mobile phones, to help people  address their chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and obesity. The competition is administered by InnoCentive, a crowdsourcing/open innovation company that is taking submissions for this challenge (free registration required).

Entrants need to submit a written proposal, plus proof-of-concept experimental data and evidence of a prototype. The proposal should provide a detailed description of the solution, with a clearly articulated rationale, supported by literature or patented precedents. Entrants should also provide test data proving the concept outlined in the proposal, as well as a statement indicating either that a functioning prototype has been created or would be available for testing.

InnoCentive underscores that entrants should not provide the actual prototypes as part of their submissions, unless requested to do so during the evaluation stage. During the evaluation stage United Healthcare will review the proposals and experimental data submitted by the entrants. To receive the full award, the winner will need to assign to United Healthcare all intellectual property rights to the solution. Partial awards will be considered if full intellectual property rights cannot be assigned.

“Innovative ideas can come from anywhere, including from people outside the health system,” says Gail Boudreax, CEO of United Healthcare. “By engaging people from around the globe, we will be able to identify new thinking that focuses on solutions that promote health, prevent disease and improve medical care.”

In the following video at the Consumer Electronics Show Marti Nyman, director of innovation for UnitedHealth Group, tells more about the Breakthrough Health Tech Challenge.

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