ONC Market R&D Pilot Challenge Update
By Ariella Cohen
The ONC Market R&D Pilot Challenge is wrapping up its evaluation period of the joint proposal applications, and winners are being announced soon! Up to six $50,000 prizes will be awarded to the winning teams to implement their pilot projects.
This challenge is an initiative of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), and has been very successful in bridging the gap between health care organizations and innovative companies by facilitating partnerships for the testing of digital health technologies in real health care environments.
This challenge has two major elements to facilitate meaningful partnership and innovation– Matchmaking and Joint Partner Applications. The “matchmaking” process focused on connecting “host” health care organizations with “innovator” companies that want to test a pilot in a clinical setting. Matchmaking meetings took place in January 2015, with 330 meetings held across New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. These “speed-dating” events were opportunities for startups to meet with health care organizations and try to identify a beneficial scenario for both parties to run a pilot. Next, applicant pairs of hosts and innovators formed partnerships and prepared proposals describing the technology and studies that they would like to run if they are awarded one of the prizes. We received applications from 78 host-innovator pairs from across the nation.
The host organizations, which include hospitals, clinics, pharmaceutical companies and laboratories, are health care organizations the serve over 150 patients, with the time and resources to devote to developing and running a pilot project. The innovators are all early-stage health tech companies with an easily testable tech-based health care product, and are stable and well-managed.
A review panel of professionals from throughout the health IT industry have been gathered to evaluate the submissions and select the winners. Once the winners are announced on April 30th, the summer will kick off with pilots being prepared and set up, and finally launching in August 2015, to be completed in January 2016. We can’t wait to see how the pilots develop and succeed!
Don’t forget to stay tuned on April 30th at 1:00 PM EDT to hear who the winners are!