Join the Aetna Foundation in Creating Tech Solutions for Underserved Communities

Announcing the launch of the “Innovating for the Underserved” Business Plan Challenge

Today, a person’s zip code is a greater indicator of their overall health than their genetic code. All too often, members of underserved communities face problems like low access to services and information, childhood obesity and low access to healthy foods, and difficulty navigating systems. The Aetna Foundation believes that these problems can be helped with innovations in health IT – that’s why they’re launching the “Innovating for the Underserved” Business Plan Challenge. We know that scalable solutions can take years to develop and implement, which is why this challenge is being issued to crowdsource ideas from the broader technology community to bring new thinking and fresh ideas.

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Aetna Foundation,  U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved (NHIT Collaborative) are working in partnership to leverage IT innovations to reduce disparities in health among underserved and minority communities.

This challenge is an opportunity for the brightest minds in health IT to compete with their best ideas for commercializing products and services that use technology to reduce disparities and address the needs of underserved and minority populations.

The challenge seeks proposals for leveraging health and communication information technology to address one of three key challenges in underserved or vulnerable populations:

  1. Access to Services
  2. Childhood Obesity
  3. Connecting Data Between Systems

For more details on the 3 key challenges, click here.

In addition to improving the health needs of underserved populations, three finalists will be selected to win $5,000 in Phase 1. In Phase 2, a total of $60,000 will be awarded, with first place receiving $40,000 and national recognition from The Aetna Foundation and their partners.

To join this challenge or for more information, please visit the official challenge page here.



The Aetna Foundation, Inc. is the independent charitable and philanthropic arm of Aetna Inc. Since 1980, Aetna and the Aetna Foundation have contributed more than $427 million in grants and sponsorships. As a national health foundation, we promote wellness, health, and access to high-quality health care for everyone. This work is enhanced by the time and commitment of Aetna employees, who have volunteered four million hours since 2003. For more information, visit


The NHIT Collaborative brings together private, public and community partners to bring health IT solutions to underserved communities in an effort to reduce disparities and give every individual the opportunity to attain optimal health.  For additional information on the 2014 roundtable that developed this challenge, please click here.


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the U.S. government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.  Their work reaches Americans in nearly all areas of health and wellness, in rural and urban areas, and across all stages of life.

HHS is responsible for almost a quarter of all federal outlays and administers more grant dollars than all other federal agencies combined.

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