A Competition to Innovatively Solve Critical Health IT Issues

February 1, 2017

By Carla Smith, MA, FHIMSS, CNM, executive vice president, HIMSS North America

The health sector captures and generates massive amounts of data. I believe that innovations designed to transform raw data into actionable tools and knowledge will produce monumental, positive transformational change. However, I also know that major obstacles get in the way of clinicians, patients, and researchers being able to secure, access, interpret, and turn this data into usable knowledge.

That is why, on April 25-26, HIMSS, Cuyahoga County, the Global Center for Health Innovation, and BioEnterprise are co-hosting an inaugural IT Competition to convene innovators to solve very real problems – what I call “Giant Hairball” kinds of thorny challenges.

I am thrilled to talk about our Medical Capital Innovation Competition, which rewards IT innovations in the health sector. Our competition focuses on new solutions designed to equip health organizations to secure, access, and mine their vast stores of data to improve patient care, privacy & cybersecurity, operations, financial performance.

With $100,000 in cash prizes, our competition will reward the best innovations with meaningful funding, mentoring, and potential access to world-class health systems and collaborators who can turn big ideas into new big business realities. HIMSS champions these competitions, convening in the HIMSS Innovation Center, because they engender a culture of innovation, create new products, help businesses flourish, and support job creation.

We encourage both professional and collegiate teams to participate in the competition. Ideas will be judged by experts using specific criteria, including, but not limited to, commercial and technical viability, financial model, and strength of the team.

Information technology, used effectively, can save lives by ensuring that the right person gets the right treatment at the right time. IT helps us stay well, age in-place, understand the true costs of treatments, prevent duplication of clinical services, and – through mobile health and telemedicine – bridge the divide between geographically distant clinicians and patients.

And, our collaborators understand this. The competition is supported by Cuyahoga County, BioEnterprise, Global Center for Health Innovation, HIMSS, Arras Keathley, Cleveland Clinic Innovations, Case Western Reserve University, Google Cloud, JumpStart, LeanDog, MetroHealth System, Onix, SmartShape, and University Hospitals Cleveland.

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