Innovation Challenges

Digital health innovation “challenges” are virtual competitions posed to a broad community of entrepreneurs, developers, designers, and clinical teams that submit novel digital solutions to complex healthcare problems. Submissions are evaluated by a panel of expert judges via a rigorous multi-stage system. Finalists are awarded non-dilutive funding, support, and potential partnership opportunities.

Since 2010, Catalyst has managed 90+ innovation challenges providing start-ups with over $9,000,000 in funding to scale and build their healthcare technologies.



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Current Challenges

Substance misuse affects millions of people from all walks of life. The impact of drug misuse is significant not only for patients, but also for their families, friends and the healthcare system at large. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Opioid Challenge addresses the need for technology enabled tools that can help support and connect individuals affected by opioid addiction.

Winners Awarded!

Total Award: $100,000
1st ($50,000) Sober Grid
2nd ($15,000) ResQ
3rd ($10,000) Hashtag
5 Semi-finalists ($5,000) each

Selecting a health insurance plan, finding a physician, or choosing a pharmacy are just a couple of the daunting and complicated decisions that most healthcare consumers will face. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Artificial Intelligence Challenge encourages the development of AI-enabled technologies that help support individuals as they make important health decisions in their day to day lives.

Winners Awarded!

Total Award: $100,000
1st ($50,000) Buoy
2nd ($15,000) INF Robotics
3rd ($10,000) Patient Price
5 Semi-finalists ($5,000) each


Featured Past Challenges

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AARP Caregiver Challenge

Over 40 million caregivers in America dedicate their lives to improving the health of their loved ones while potentially neglecting their own. In effort to help caregivers, AARP issued the Caregiver challenge for solutions that support caregivers and relieve caregiver burden.

Total Award: $20,000
1st ($10,000): Tickit
2nd ($7,000): Salesforce Experience Design
3rd ($3,000): Team Aspen

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Pfizer Advancing Care for Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer (mBC)

Over 316,000 patients are affected by mBC and seek help managing their disease and maintaining their quality of life. To enrich the lives of patients with mBC, Pfizer launched a 3-phase challenge for solutions that help patients manage care and connect with patient support groups. Over the span of 10 months, 168 solutions were submitted to compete for the grand prize of $100,000.

Total Award: $250,000
1st ($100,000): Energize mBC
2nd ($40,000): Savvy Coop Ltd.
3 Finalists ($20,000) each
5 Semi-finalists ($10,000) each

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RWJF Choosing Care Challenge

Health insurance and the plethora of options for pharmacies, labs, and specialists often impede consumers from choosing the best follow-up care. In response, RWJF challenged innovators to simplify the process of choosing a care provider for follow-up services. Across 70 submissions, solutions aimed to enhance and utilize EHR, data integration, AI, etc. to improve patient education and empower patients to make better consumer decisions.

Total Award: $100,000
1st ($50,000): Stroll Health
2nd ($15,000): Moment
3rd ($10,000): Project Helix
5 Finalists ($5,000) each

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AARP and DHHS Easiest Bill to Understand Challenge

Medical bills are often too complex and difficult to interpret for the average healthcare consumer. AARP and DHHS wished to simplify medical bills so that consumers could better understand their cost of care. Over the 5 month period, expert judges reviewed 80 applications to identify the “Easiest Bill to Understand” and “Most Transformative Approach."

Total Award: $10,000
Easiest Bill to Understand: Radnet
Most Transformative Approach: Sequence

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De Beaumont Closing the Data Divide Challenge

Silos within healthcare poses as a threat to the entire healthcare system. Information and data are often inefficiently exchanged or not shared at all. The data divide among providers is most prevalent between primary care providers and public health institutions which serve as the first point of contact for care. De Beaumont and Practical Playbook aimed to address this data concern by calling for technology based tools to bridge the data gap between primary care and public health.

Total Award: $60,000
1st ($30,000): Phrase Health
2nd ($10,000): Healthstead
3rd ($5,000): Health Access

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RWJF Plan Choice Challenge

Purchasing health insurance can be a daunting task as consumers need a good understanding of cost-sharing, in-network vs. out-of-network providers, and other insurance jargon to properly evaluate a plan.The RWJF Plan Choice Challenge offered an opportunity for developers and designers to use data provided by RWJF to create applications that can help consumers make a more informed decision when purchasing health insurance.

Total Award: $250,000
1st ($100,000): Energize mBC
2nd ($40,000): Savvy Coop Ltd.
3 Finalists ($20,000) each
5 Semi-finalists ($10,000) each

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Aetna Foundation Innovation for the Underserved Challenge

Underserved populations suffer from health disparities due to unequal access to care, health education, and other social determinants of health. The Aetna Foundation hoped to mitigate such health inequity by seeking innovation that addresses access to services, childhood obesity, and data exchange. Though the challenge had a short four-month application period, over 100 innovators proposed their ideas on how to help the underserved reach better health outcomes.

Total Award: $75,000
1st ($40,000): Grupo Parada
2nd ($15,000): Food Care
3rd ($5,000): Let’s Epicure
3 Finalists ($5,000)each

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Shire ADHD Transitions Challenge

Nearly 5% of American children are affected by ADHD, which may continue through adolescence and adulthood. However, the symptoms of ADHD may manifest themselves differently as children grow into adulthood. These changes happen at a time when patient’s lives are growing more complex and as a result may present unique difficulties for patients with ADHD. As such, Shire challenged developers to create an app that aids individuals with ADHD during transition from adolescence into adulthood.

Total: $150,000
1st ($100,000):Traxion
2nd ($20,000): ADHDgo
3rd ($5,000): Actions Hero
5 Semi-finalists ($5,000) each

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AllScripts Open App Challenge

Allscripts launched the Open App Challenge to leverage the collective power of emerging innovations to create powerful new solutions that help solve some of the toughest problems in healthcare. The Open App Challenge achieved great success with over 200 applications as developers vied for a $250,000 and a chance to become an extension of Allscripts Open Electronic Health Records software.

Total: $750,000
1st ($250,000): Healthfinch
2nd ($100,000): ePREOP
3rd ($100,000): Keona Health