Massachusetts is home to a variety of cutting-edge research and development facilities, or ‘sandboxes.’ These organizations provide a wide range of services supporting the lifecycle of validation and testing for digital health companies. Startups can learn more about the services sandboxes can provide and explore which sandboxes can support your work on the sandbox capabilities page.
Launched in 2019, the Sandbox Program is administered by the Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) at the MassTech Collaborative and designed to both support digital health companies in their product development and expand the user base for sandbox environments.
Many small digital health companies would benefit from the services offered by sandboxes, but the cost of entry is often prohibitive. There are a variety of opportunities for digital health companies to access funding to work with a sandbox.
Medicaid Challenge: Revolutionizing Home-Based Care
MeHI aims to support the state Medicaid program in its efforts to provide high quality care for individuals aged 65 and older. This Challenge is focused on finding and testing remote patient monitoring (RPM) solutions that have the potential to improve the healthcare of community-dwelling older adults with behavioral and psychological symptoms of dementia (BPSD).
MeHI has selected the UMass Chan Medical School and UMass Lowell Sandboxes to support a pilot of an RPM solution with members of Wellsense, a Medicaid Senior Care Options (SCO) plan. Through this Challenge, one winner will be selected to conduct a pilot of their RPM solution with Wellsense members with the support of UMass Chan Medical School and UMass Lowell.
Applications are due March 8, 2024.
Learn more and apply for the Medicaid Challenge here.
Sandbox Challenge Program
The Sandbox Challenge Program identifies and supports digital health companies with solutions that address key healthcare challenges in Massachusetts. Twice a year, MeHI will put out a call for applications to source, support, and validate solutions in defined areas. Selected entrepreneurs will participate in a virtual Introduction to the Massachusetts Digital Health Ecosystem program and will be matched with Sandboxes. At the end of each program, participating entrepreneurs will pitch for the chance to win $50,000 to fund concrete research and development projects with their Sandbox partner.
Challenge 2: Innovations to Support Women+ Health
This Challenge sought startups that are developing solutions that address women+ health and inequities including in the areas of behavioral and cognitive health, physical activity, disease control, medication management, nutrition, and community connections.
Learn more about the Women’s Health Challenge and the nine finalists here.
Challenge 1: Innovations to Support Healthy Aging
This Challenge sought startups that are developing solutions that improve the lives of older adults and help them remain active, productive, independent, and socially connected.
Learn more about the focus of the Healthy Aging Challenge and the four winners here.
Rolling Grant Opportunity
Digital health companies with a presence in Massachusetts may be eligible for the Sandbox Rolling Grant opportunity. The program provides grants of up to $50,000 to subsidize the fees to work with a sandbox. The first step in applying for a grant is to contact a sandbox to determine if they can support your company. Grant applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis.
Please note that all funding has been awarded for FY 2023. Funding will be available again in FY 2024, which begins July 1, 2023.
Join the Sandbox Network
Massachusetts organizations that provide an environment to test and validate digital health products or services can apply to join the Massachusetts Digital Health Sandbox Network.