On June 27, MeHI welcomed healthcare and technology leaders to celebrate the progress of the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative and the finale of the 2nd Massachusetts Digital Health COVID-19 Recovery Challenge, a pitch competition sponsored by MeHI with support from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) and the SPRINT Challenge Grant program. Massachusetts Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Mike Kennealy offered keynote remarks and Governor Charlie Baker contributed virtual remarks via a video that can be viewed here.
Hosted by Mass General Brigham, the event highlighted the growth of the Commonwealth’s digital health ecosystem and the progress made on the recommendations of the Massachusetts Digital Health Council. MassTech Executive Director Carolyn Kirk noted the investments the state has made in innovation hubs like MassChallenge HealthTech, the success of the 2021 HLTH Conference in Boston, and the resources developed by the Cybersecurity Group of Experts. Attendees also saw a demonstration of cutting-edge tele-critical care from Dr. Julian Goldman, Director of the Massachusetts General Hospital Medical Device Plug-and-Play Program, one of the ten R&D centers supporting digital health companies through the Massachusetts Digital Health Sandbox Program.
The event culminated in the final pitch competition for the COVID-19 Innovations for Healthcare Providers Challenge. During the Challenge, eight companies completed a ten-week accelerator program run by Lever, Inc. At the event, the four finalists pitched their innovative digital health solutions for the chance to win a total of $100,000 in tuition to one of Massachusetts’ Digital Health Sandboxes.
The grand prize went to Slumber One of Boston, which uses "a personalized, science-backed approach” to improve users’ sleep with psychology. Slumber One will conduct a clinical trial of their application with the Brigham Digital Innovation Hub. The three other finalists, which each received $50,000 to complete a Sandbox project, were:
· BurnCam Medical of Boston;
· HealthJay of Palo Alto, California; and
· Outcome Referrals of Framingham, Mass.
“Our thanks to the U.S. Department of Commerce and the EDA for their support of the Recovery Challenge program, which provided us the opportunity to engage with digital health startups nationwide and really leverage the know-how that our Massachusetts ecosystem is known for to advance these innovative, provider-focused solutions,” said Ben Linville-Engler, MassTech’s Chief Investment Strategist. "Helping these firms access the cutting-edge R&D centers will help take these innovative products to the next level and accelerate their pathway to impacting patients around the world.”