WESTBOROUGH, MA — The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (MeHI) and Lever are pleased to announce the eight finalists for the first Massachusetts Digital Health COVID-19 Recovery Challenge, a new program meant to identify and grow digital health tools that will help drive economic recovery from the pandemic. The Challenge is focused on finding solutions to help unpaid family caregivers manage caregiving tasks that were exacerbated by the pandemic and more easily return to work. The program is sponsored by MeHI and supported by funding from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration and the SPRINT Challenge Grant program.
All eight finalists will participate in a three-month accelerator program run by Lever, including an intensive series of lean startup workshops and tailored mentoring from experts to develop their innovative tool, streamline their business plan, and work on their go-to-market strategy. The finalists will then compete for a total of $250,000 in “tuition” at one of nine R&D centers in MeHI’s Digital Health Sandbox Network, with the winner receiving $100,000 in tuition and $50,000 to the second, third, and fourth runners up. Winners will use the tuition to complete a six-month project with their chosen R&D partner to test and validate their product or service.
The finalists are:
- Beeyonder (Wayland, Mass.): Beeyonder is a guided virtual travel platform designed to offer experiences to people with disabilities or other circumstances that make travel impossible. Founded by double amputee Brittany Palmer, Beeyonder lets users and their families access hundreds of live, interactive tours at locations across the world.
- Cigna Caregiver (Newton, Mass.): Caregiver, an intrapreneur project by Cigna, is a supportive application that offers concierge-level coaching and resources for caregivers, including counseling and planning, chronic condition management, community resources, and more.
- Dear Mémé (Boston, Mass.): Dear Meme is an algorithmically driven provider of activity kits for caregivers and families who care for someone with dementia. Each kit is personalized based on information from caregivers and is designed to bring a shared, fun experience to people living with dementia and those who care for them.
- Help Around Town, Inc. (Lexington, Mass.): Help Around Town is a job board and community marketplace that connects people who want flexible work opportunities with neighbors who need tasks completed. Senior citizens who need help aging in place are among its most frequent job posters and Help Around Town has matched them with people nearby who can assist them for nearly a decade.
- Kinto (Cambridge, Mass.): Kinto is a virtual platform that offers caregiver coaching, a personalized e-learning curriculum, and peer support groups. Trained coaches develop personalized plans with each caregiver, offer advice, and connect caregivers with their peers to provide a forum that lets them share experiences, solutions, and empathy.
- Power of Patients (Boston, MA): Power of Patients is an innovative, AI-driven telehealth app that collects data from patients or caregivers with the option to connect directly to healthcare providers. This data collection allows providers to personalize care plans and offer real-time insights into their patients’ health.
- See Yourself Health (Beverly, MA): See Yourself Health is a peer-to-peer support platform that connects family caregivers to specialists and other caregivers using VR avatar experiences. Specialists help foster knowledge, confidence, and well-being for caregivers coping with their roles and advocating for their loved ones’ health.
- Thriving.ai (Boston, MA): Thriving is an app that brings everyone involved in a senior’s healthcare, social care, informal family care, and professional care together to support independent living. Seniors can keep in touch with their families and the app can actively and passively collect health data, providing updates and insights to both formal and family caregivers, resulting in improved communication, better coordinated care, reduced stress, and more peace of mind.
Learn more at https://massdigitalhealth.org/covidchallenge/challenge-1-innovations-support-caregivers.
About the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech
The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, is the Commonwealth’s entity for healthcare innovation, technology, and competitiveness, and partners with industry, government, and healthcare organizations to support the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative on behalf of Governor Charlie Baker. MeHI also helps all the Commonwealth’s providers harness the benefits of electronic health records and the Mass HIway, the statewide health information exchange. For more information, please visit https://mehi.masstech.org and follow @MassEHealth. Learn more about the Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative at www.massdigitalhealth.org.
Founded in 2014, Lever is an economic development non-profit focused on innovation-driven job creation. Lever supports entrepreneurs with startup expertise, an investment fund, research, mentors, and access to talent. Lever has helped launch dozens of companies that have attracted more than $10M in equity investment and have created more than 200 jobs. Lever supports existing companies by helping their intrapreneurs “innovate from within” using proven entrepreneurial methods for top-line revenue growth and job creation. Since 2018, Lever has produced 11 Challenges in health technology and COVID response, awarding more than $400,000 in grants to Challenge winners. Lever's 2020-2021 COVID Challenge series, developed in partnership with MassTech, helped dozens of mature Massachusetts companies pivot to PPE production and helped six startups develop innovations to support COVID recovery. Learn more at www.leverinc.org.