Massachusetts Digital Health COVID-19 Recovery Challenge

Digital Health background image with text reading: Massachusetts Digital Health COVID-19 Recovery Challenge

The Massachusetts Digital Health COVID-19 Recovery Challenge Program is designed to identify and grow digital health solutions that help the economies of Massachusetts and the US recover from COVID-19 more quickly.

Through two Challenges, the program will source, accelerate, and validate potential solutions that support family caregivers and healthcare providers. Selected entrepreneurs will participate in a virtual acceleration program run by Lever, Inc. The most promising solutions will be further supported with concrete research and development projects in partnership with the Massachusetts Digital Health Sandbox Network. The program is sponsored by the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech and is supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration through their SPRINT Challenge Grant.

Challenge 1: Innovations to Support Caregivers

We seek startups, entrepreneurs, and intrapraneurs who are developing digital health-based solutions for family caregivers. Up to eight finalists will be selected for a three-month accelerator program and the winners will compete for prizes worth up to $250,000.

The deadline to apply is July 30, 2021.

Learn More

Challenge Areas

 

The following are examples of challenges that we believe can be addressed by digital health solutions. This is not an exhaustive list and any applicants with ideas for supporting caregivers are encouraged to apply.

Direct Supports for Caregivers

Solutions that Make Caregiving Easier

  • During the pandemic, caregivers faced increased social isolation and stress and had access to fewer resources, disproportionately impacting their behavioral and mental health. 
  • Employers struggle to support their caregivers, particularly during the pandemic, and are in search of low-cost, easy-to-implement solutions to help their caregiving employees return to the office. 
  • Caregivers have fewer social supports and options for respite due to the limitations of the pandemic.
  • Family caregivers often are the first to notice subtle changes in their loved one’s condition. Bi-directional communication about these changes with their loved one’s medical care team is critical to delivering the best possible person-centered care.
  • Caregivers have dealt with more transportation challenges during the pandemic, particularly those who rely on public transportation. 
  • Many caregivers and their loved ones face barriers to accessing telemedicine, including no, or limited, technical skills.  
  • Many more caregivers are supporting their family members from a distance and need solutions like communication tools, remote monitoring devices, and supports for making decisions on end-of-life care and healthcare proxies remotely. 
  • To decrease stress, improve their own health outcomes, and help them return to work, caregivers need solutions that help their loved ones with activities of daily living or that prevent adverse events.