UnitedHealth offers $60K for chronic care technologies


UnitedHealth has launched a new contest with a $60,000 prize that seeks ideas on how technologies can help improve treatment of chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

The "Breakthrough Health Challenge," which UnitedHealth announced Thursday, aims to gather unique combinations of common consumer technologies, including smartphones and video games, that can help the insurer improve people's health and quality of life, the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reported.

"We believe this groundbreaking challenge will inspire new ideas and concepts that could serve as breakthrough solutions to improving people's health and the health care system," UnitedHealth CEO Gail Boudreaux said in a statement. "By engaging people from around the globe, we will be able to identify new thinking that focuses on solutions that promote health, prevent disease and improve medical care."

Submissions must include a written proposal, experimental proof-of-concept data and/or an actual prototype. Theoretical submissions that don't demonstrate a proven solution will only be eligible for a $20,000 award, Twin Cities Business reported.

UnitedHealth will accept contest submissions through April 8; it didn't specify when it would announce the winning idea.

To learn more:
- here's the UnitedHealth statement
- read the Twin Cities Business article
- see the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal article

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