Innovation Blog

Our Champions Are Ready to Solve Health’s Massive Challenges – Are You? 


At MassChallenge HealthTech, formerly PULSE@MassChallenge, we bring together industry champions and digital health startups to address some of health’s massive challenges.

There are so many benefits to applying to the MassChallenge HealthTech program. Our strategic partnerships between Champions and startups are the greatest value add of our program, especially as they work together to address health’s massive challenges.

Who are some of the MassChallenge HealthTech Champions, and what are some of the challenges they are interested in solving? Here are some of the Reverse pitches from several of our Champion partners.

1. Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH)

Jack Rowe, physician and Assistant Chief Medical Information Officer at MGH, hopes to partner with a startup that has a digital health solution for provider burnout and administrative burden. MGH is excited about impacting health and improving clinical and operational efficiency in our 2019 accelerator program.

2. Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs has a vision of fostering an environment where patients can live and age healthily in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Kathryn Downes, Special Projects Fellow, looks forward to partnering with a startup that will focus on some massive challenges such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as well as patients with disabilities. Do you have a digital health solution that will transform aging?

3. GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

GSK is focused on addressing challenges that prevent patients from living healthy lives. Lori Lauresen, Senior Director of Global R&D Innovation, looks forward to focusing on startups that are ready to innovate in the consumer health sector, especially in the respiratory health space. Do you have a digital health solution that focuses on smoking cessation or improving common cold symptoms?

4. Massachusetts Health Policy Commission

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC) is one of our newest partners. Katherine Shea Barrett, Policy Director of Care Delivery Transformation and Strategy at the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission (HPC), looks forward to partnering with startups that are excited about impacting the digital health ecosystem in Boston. The HPC is focused on addressing healthcare costs and spending within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2019.

5. Sunovion

Sunovion has been one of MassChallenge HealthTech’s partners since the program’s inception. Georgia Mitsi, Head of Digital Health Care Initiatives at Sunovion, is excited about partnering with a startup with a solution that will optimize clinical trials, impact digital therapeutics, or transform patient-provider platforms.

6. Atrius Health

Atrius Health is an outpatient primary care organization in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They, along with the Center of Innovation, are excited about digital health in 2019. George Higgins, Innovation Engineer at Atrius Health, hopes to partner with a digital health startup that is focused on outpatient care.

7. Philips HealthWorks

Peter Osborne, Innovation Lead and Program Director, is excited to be focused on driving innovation in 2019. Philips HealthWorks is looking to partner with a startup that is focused on some of health’s massive challenges such as: sleep, acute care, and cardiology.

8. Optum Ventures

Optum Ventures is one of the newest and most promising healthcare ventures of United Health Group. They are excited to focus on driving innovation in health in 2019. Laura Veroneau, Principal at Optum Ventures, looks forward to addressing health challenges and focusing on innovative digital health solutions.

9. Harvard Pilgrim

Harvard Pilgrim has been a MassChallenge HealthTech partner since the program’s inception, addressing challenges such as end-of-life care and weight loss management. Steven Fink, Director of Business Planning at Harvard Pilgrim, looks forward to partnering with startups that focus on the following challenges: in-home remote monitoring, complex care management solutions, payor-provider integration, and medical-behavior health integration with a focus on substance abuse or depression.

10. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Dr. Oren Mechanic, a Fellow of Health Policy and Management and Emergency Physician at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is ready to partner with startups that are looking to drive innovation and improve patient care. He looks forward to partnering with startups that offer web-based, mobile-friendly solutions that can integrate with their online, home-grown electronic health record.

11. Shire

Dawn Irish, Head of Digital Experience and Brand at Shire, hopes to partner with a startup that focuses on pediatric rare disease. She looks forward to improving health policy, decreasing the time to diagnosis for children, and creating an impact along with Microsoft, the European Organization of Rare Diseases, and various hospitals around the world.

12. Partners

Sunita Patolia, Program Manager at Partners Connected Health Innovation, is looking forward to partnering with a startup that focuses on pain management, while reducing opioid misuse, and hypertension/congestive heart failure. She is excited to address health challenges that impact patient care.

13. City of Boston

Austin Williams, Life Tech Industry Manager for the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development at City of Boston, is looking forward to further developing the life sciences ecosystem in Boston. Marianna Gil, Director of Health Benefits at the City of Boston, is excited to partner with a startup that will empower patients. The City of Boston also hopes to address the opioid epidemic and chronic disease management, among other areas.

14. Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Brigham and Women’s Hospital has been another MassChallenge HealthTech partner since the program’s inception. Mark Zhang, Medical Director of the Digital Innovation Hub at Brigham and Women’s Hospital is excited to focus on various challenges such as, enhancing the patient experience and improving operational efficiencies in the upcoming 2019 accelerator program.

15. Cigna

Rick Long, Head of Strategic Insights, Competitive Intelligence, and Innovation at Cigna, is looking forward to partnering with a startup that address various challenges such as medical management, behavioral health, and risk analysis.

16. Boston Children’s Hospital and Cerner

David McCallie, Senior Vice President of Medical Informatics at Cerner, and John Brownstein, Chief Innovation Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital, look forward to collaborating with startups and improving the patient journey throughout health.

17. AARP

AARP is excited to focus on innovation and impacting health in various aspects such as health and fitness, behavioral health, mental health, and healthy aging.

Some more specific areas include post operative cognitive decline, continuing progress in healthy living initiatives, and improving disruptive health transitions

Are you a startup that is looking to transform health and drive innovation?

Are you interested in working with any of our Champions? Apply before Monday October 15th 12PM EST! 

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