Innovation Blog

Solve Massive Healthcare Challenges in 2020 with Our Champions 


The 4th annual MassChallenge HealthTech applications are open! We uniquely match cross-industry Champion partners to work on massive challenges with high-impact digital health startups.

Each of our match-made partnerships begins with a reverse pitch, where our Champions broadcast top challenges they are excited to solve with startups. We have over 20 Champions in this year’s program and 14 of them want to share their reverse pitch podcasts with you.

We hope our Champions inspire you to apply today or learn more about our program – applications are due October 8th!

Full list of challenges (from all of our Champions) below.


We are all getting older, every minute of every day. AARP believes that it is time we start thinking of age not as a condition to fix, but as an asset to enrich and grow our lives. By partnering with an innovative startup, AARP hopes to keep people mobile, conversant, and engaged by addressing 4 main challenges: the silent epidemic of hearing loss, thriving in motion, daily activities, and social connection.

Beth Israel Lahey Health

Beth Israel Lahey Health recognizes that healthcare navigation in the right setting, for the right cost, and at the right time is a key challenge area for all stakeholders. As the business models of medicine continue to change, Beth Israel Lahey Health believes that digital health startups will bring fresh, unbiased eyes to innovate ways to reduce cost, increase access, and improve quality of care to break down healthcare barriers.

Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Brigham and Women’s Digital Innovation Hub, iHub, has a rich tradition of HIT innovation and recognizes digital health as the key to transforming health care industry through increasing access to care, reducing costs, and improving outcomes for all. One of the most important opportunities for innovation is administrative inefficiency in the endless non patient-facing work. The iHub is looking to accelerate tangible everyday impact to get rid of the most time consuming, burdensome, inefficient work.

City of Boston

If you are genuinely serious about making a difference, the City of Boston is the place to be. The City is seeking to focus its residence-centered lens on the most vulnerable populations by applying real-world digital health solutions that address challenges around addiction, mental health, access to care, preventative medicine, and cost reduction.

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare is excited to connect and collaborate with startups who are passionate about healthcare solutions and believe in their mission to help people do more, feel better, and live longer. By partnering with startups who have open eyes, ears, hearts, and minds, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare hopes to transform the future of consumer health by analyzing data for insights to better diagnose, treat, and manage everyday health needs.

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, MassChallenge HealthTech’s 2019 Champion of the Year, is excited to meet the next cohort of startups with fresh energy, a drive to learn, and a passion for helping people. Innovative solutions can accelerate the ability to deliver affordable, quality care in a more seamless way. By partnering with digital health startups, Harvard Pilgrim hopes to address several particular pain points often encountered in healthcare: integration, user experience, and healthcare analytics.

Massachusetts Commission for the Blind

The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind is the oldest and most funded government blind agency in the country focused on ensuring that all consumers are getting the services available to serve them. As a first-time Champion, the Commission for the Blind is excited to partner with a forward thinking startup that wants to leverage technology to benefit people with blindness and improve the human condition.

Massachusetts Department of Developmental Service

The Department of Developmental Service is looking forward to working with creative, compassionate, empathetic, and motivated startups willing to help improve the lives of the uniquely vulnerable Autism Spectrum Disorder population. This population prefers tech-based solutions and, with the right partnership, the challenges of loneliness and isolation, the capability to thrive in community, and care force support can be tackled head-on.

Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs

Boston is becoming known as the “Silicon Valley” of aging, with the ambitious vision that every city, town, and region across the Commonwealth will be a great place for people to grow up and grow old together. Through cross-sector collaboration and innovative outside thinking, Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs (MA EOEA) is looking to partner with a startup to reduce social isolation, help people to age in their community, and support the medical and familial care force.

Massachusetts Health Policy Commission

The Massachusetts Health Policy Commission, HPC, is on a mission to achieve better health and better care at a lower cost for all people across the Commonwealth. This year, HPC is interested in tackling the challenge of connecting medical systems to social services, empowering the consumer to make the most value-based decision to better their healthcare.


MassMutual is a firm believer that innovation and new ideas lead to better strategies in customer experience. Through data analytics, MassMutual hopes to connect with startups at the intersection of digital health and financial health to cut through the depth of data, increase adoption and ease of patient portal usage, and aggregate and orchestrate data sources to help customers secure their future and protect the ones that they love.


Solutions for patients with rare diseases are difficult to come by, so when therapies are available, Takeda wants to be sure that patients have access to them. Digital technologies offer the opportunity to engage and reach patients in new ways, supporting the launch of therapies that give hope to patients where they didn’t have it before. Takeda is excited to see what startups bring to the table and how they can evolve healthcare to be better for patients around the world.

WeHealth Digital Medicine

WeHealth Digital Medicine wants to discover and understand the relationship between disease and data—why do treatments work in one patient with a disease but not another? By accelerating a solution through clinical adoption and, ultimately, deployment around the world, WeHealth aims to use digital tools to increase knowledge and advance chronic disease management.


Vertex is focused on bringing transformational medications to the market, helping patients with serious illnesses. But for patients to get the maximum benefit from Vertex’s innovative treatments, people need education and support to make the most of that therapy. Vertex is excited to partner with startups that match the energy and desire to do something groundbreaking to find better ways to help patients and caregivers deal with life threatening conditions, integrate their solutions into other parts of the health ecosystem, and take advantage of the ever-growing data available to better understand where the needs and opportunities to better support customers are.

What are the challenges our Champions want to solve with you?

MassChallenge HealthTech compiled a complete list of 2020 challenges that you can help solve with our Champions. The challenges we’re facing include:

  • Activities of daily living
  • Addiction recovery
  • Administrative burden
  • Autism spectrum disorder
  • Behavioral health
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Care coordination
  • Caregiving
  • Chronic disease management
  • Clinical decision support
  • Clinical trial management
  • Cold, allergy, or flu
  • Dermatology
  • Diabetes
  • Digital transformation
  • Fitness
  • Health and wellness
  • Healthy aging
  • Hearing loss
  • Home care
  • Loneliness and social isolation
  • Medical education
  • Mental health
  • Oncology
  • Patient access
  • Patient communications
  • Patient education
  • Patient or member experience
  • Patient portal utilization
  • Patient reported outcomes
  • Patient safety
  • Payer-provider integration
  • Pediatrics
  • People with disabilities
  • Point solution integration
  • Precision medicine
  • Prescription medicine
  • Price transparency
  • Rare diseases
  • Security and/or cybersecurity
  • Skin condition diagnosis
  • Smart hospital room
  • Social determinants of health
  • Staff or clinician burnout


We’re looking for enterprise-ready startups who are excited to have a massive impact on healthcare. To be eligible, you must be a healthtech startup that has less than $10M in revenue and less than $10M in funding.

We look forward to reading your application and matching you with our amazing Champions! We can’t wait to see what challenges you will solve.

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