Announcing the Winners of Technology for Healthy Communities!

Technology for Healthy Communities, a pilot program that facilitates the adoption of technology in U.S. communities, has matched three high-performing health tech innovators with three communities in California, Florida and South Carolina to help address local health needs.

Over 200 innovators across the U.S. submitted applications to Technology for Healthy Communities, a program sponsored in 2016 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and powered by Health 2.0. The selected innovators will implement projects that will help the participating communities address the social determinants of health at the point of care, coordinate care for people with chronic disease, and collect bicycle and pedestrian traffic data to improve safety.  The matched community and technology solution pairs will receive funding and guidance from the Technology for Healthy Communities team to implement their pilots.

The program aims to help under-served communities adopt technology solutions to their most pressing health problems. Michael Painter, Senior Program Officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, commented “Many leaders in communities across the U.S. could potentially enhance efforts to build a Culture of Health in those places with the right technology solutions. Efforts like Technology for Healthy Communities offer communities a unique way to test and implement technology to help those leaders address specific health and health care needs of their residents.”

The Pilots

Healthify, a NYC-based company with a leading collaborative software solution, is partnering with ACCESSHealth Spartanburg, a non-profit agency primarily working with the uninsured population in Spartanburg County, SC. Together, along with the support of Spartanburg Way to Wellville and the Mary Black Foundation, they will pilot their community resource platform to provide community interventions for social determinants of health at the point of care.  The Healthify platform addresses current pain points in community health care, such as the inefficiency of addressing social needs of patients and assisting case managers to help make case management easier. With more information collected on social and behavioral needs, they aim to strengthen ACCESSHealth Spartanburg as a center for both quality provision of healthcare and social service referrals.

CTY, a St. Louis-based civic health tech company, will partner with The Health Planning Council of Northeast Florida, the City of Jacksonville and the Clinton Health Matters Initiative to conduct a pilot in Jacksonville, FL. Jacksonville is the 3rd most dangerous U.S. metro area for pedestrians. CTY will deploy its signature product NuminaTM for the pilot project. With this technology, the Jacksonville, FL community will collect bicycle and pedestrian traffic data, which they can use to assess current conditions, plan further improvements, and use as a baseline comparison for impact of forthcoming improvements. Their objective is to utilize the pilot project to identify and encourage safe opportunities in the community for residents to be more physically active, ultimately improving health outcomes and reducing rates of chronic disease.

In Alameda County, CA, the Community Health Center Network (CHCN), as part of their Care Neighborhood initiative, is interested in using technology to sustain high risk patients and guide them to appropriate community resources. As part of the Technology for Healthy Communities program, they selected Welkin Health as their pilot partner. Welkin Health, a San Francisco-based health technology company, focuses on tackling chronic diseases through tools that enhance patient-provider relationships, manage chronic disease care, and promote patient engagement. CHCN will partner with Welkin Health to implement a case management tool that engages members and eases current health care worker burden. Together, they will pilot this case management tool in three centers to help community health workers to effectively and efficiently coordinate care and improve social determinants of health in Alameda County, CA.

The pilots will kick off in October and the Technology for Healthy Communities team will work with the innovators and communities to determine if a sustainable, commercial relationship is possible between the pair. According to Indu Subaiya, Co-Founder and CEO of Health 2.0, ““Technology for Healthy Communities has the opportunity to catalyze the adoption and use of health technologies in communities in order to impact social determinants of health, improve health outcomes and create business opportunities for technology companies. We at Health 2.0, believe that this matchmaking program enables both innovators and hosts to save time and resources in identifying each other and maximizes the chances for sustainable and commercial partnerships to develop.”

This project could not have been possible without the support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the continued dedication of the community organizations and the commitment of the innovators. We look forward to seeing these RWJF supported pilot outcomes and with that success exploring interest with funders about potential opportunities to expand the program in 2017. Congratulations to Healthify, CTY and Welkin Health!

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