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Connected Patient Challenge

What can we do with big data?

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An open innovation model inspires ideas on harnessing analytics in digital health

The annual Connected Patient Challenge is one way Boston Scientific engages with the startup community to drive meaningful innovation. The global contest is designed to address unmet healthcare needs by encouraging companies and individuals to turn big data into actionable intelligence that optimizes patient care and efficiency. This event is a great example of the power of collaboration in producing game-changing technologies that can help transform the way healthcare is delivered.

Here, David Knapp, vice president of R&D at Boston Scientific, describes this year’s exciting turn-out.


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With the data explosion under way in digital health, the ability to analyze and make sense of data is not just imperative, it’s essential to improve the quality of patient outcomes, better customize care and lower costs. The ideas submitted by innovators worldwide presented at the Boston Scientific 2017 Connected Patient Challenge reflect the power of effective and efficient digital data solutions to drive decision-making.

The open competition, developed in collaboration with Medstro, the physician-interactive platform, attracted 46 entries. An independent panel of judges narrowed down the entries to six finalists, whose work drew on patient-engagement technologies, chronic disease management, artificial intelligence and more. The finalists then pitched their concepts to a panel of judges on March 9 at Google’s Cambridge, Massachusetts, headquarters.

The finalists’ entries were insightful and exciting. A company called Medumo was chosen by the panel as the winner. Medumo was founded by a group of physicians in search of a solution to a problem they repeatedly encountered—a lack of instruction and guidance for patients undergoing procedures that require at-home preparation, such as colonoscopies. Patients scheduled for a colonoscopy that do not properly adhere to their at-home preparation may need to reschedule procedures, potentially adding to costs of care. In addition, patients often forget their appointments, leaving spots unfilled that could have gone to other patients. 

For Medumo’s initial application, they created an automated, tailored email-and-text platform that allows a doctor to check in with patients prior to undergoing a colonoscopy to ensure they follow required preparation instructions and adhere to scheduling. In a trial of 80 patients, this simple resource reduced patient cancellations by 67.7%. Medumo recently started a 10,000 patient trial and will explore additional clinical applications as well. 

The runner-up, Pillo, built a home health robot that can visually and verbally interact with patients to generate real-time health data for the patient’s doctor and double as a medication dispensary to track adherence. 

To support their continued growth, Medumo and Pillo will split up to $50,000 of in-kind services from Boston Scientific in addition to cloud-platform credits from Google. Both companies will use their winnings to further develop their concepts to bring them to market.

You can watch the finalist presentations here.

The Boston Scientific Connected Patient Challenge is also sponsored by Google, PULSE@MassChallenge, MassMEDIC, OptumLabs, Johns Hopkins Technology Ventures, Partners HealthCare, Coridea, Redmile group and STAT.

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