Independence Blue Cross Announces Winners of IBX Game Changers Challenge
1 Doc Way, Kitchen Cred, and QuickSeeMD selected to receive $50,000 grants, business support
Philadelphia, PA - August 15, 2012 - Independence Blue Cross (IBX) today announced the winners of the "IBX Game Changers Challenge: Enhancing health and wellness through innovation." After receiving 150 entries and choosing 15 finalists, IBX and a panel of expert judges selected 1 Doc Way, Kitchen Cred, and QuickSeeMD as the winners.
Launched in partnership with Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs, the Department of Public Health of the City of Philadelphia,?What If! Innovation Partners, and Venturef0rth, the Challenge is a six-week competition seeking innovative solutions that can improve our region's health and wellness.
"Today's health care challenges — getting quality care, rising costs, and the growing need for primary care and emergency care — are too big and complex to be addressed with yesterday's solutions," said IBX president and CEO Daniel J. Hilferty. "We need to change the game to make a difference. That's why we created the IBX Game Changers Challenge, and called upon out-of-the-box thinkers in the region to submit high-impact, innovative ideas that can improve the health and wellness of our community. The response was greater than we ever imagined: 150 total submissions, 15 incredible finalists, and three winning ideas with tremendous potential to create a healthier community."
Three winners were chosen after a round of in-person presentations from the 15 finalists. Seven judges evaluated the ideas based on the health problem they address, the impact they will have on the problem, the innovativeness and creativity of the idea, the practicality of the idea, and the team working to build the idea into a sustainable product or program.
Each of the winning entries offers a solution to a specific community health issue:
- 1 Doc Way, a telemedicine service created by Samir Malik. 1DocWay is an online doctor's office that will improves access to psychiatric services by connecting hospitals with underserved patient populations. Through 1 Doc Way, patients can schedule appointments online and talk to their doctors in a secure video chat platform. In the past five months, 1 Doc Way has conducted more than 550 doctor-patient sessions.
- Kitchen Cred, a new after school program from Doug Barg. Kitchen Cred will teach middle school and high school students how to cook healthy, delicious food. Kids will learn what healthy food is, how to safely prepare it, and where to source it cost-effectively. In addition, the program will end with a culinary competition. The goal of the program is to help address the poor nutrition crisis facing our kids, our city, and our society.
- QuickSeeMD, a web and smart phone application developed by Lon Hecht. QuickSeeMD will allow patients to locate more appropriate care settings when it is unnecessary to visit the emergency room. By combining a patient's personal data with their health plan data, the QuickSeeMD platform will tailor the services to meet the personal needs of each individual. This tool is aimed at reducing overcrowding in emergency rooms by directing patients with non-urgent conditions to alternate settings such as urgent care facilities and retail clinics.
The three winners will each receive a $50,000 grant toward implementation of their proposed product or program as well as up to three months of office space, business support, and advisory services at Venturef0rth, a health care-focused incubator in Philadelphia. Each winner will also receive business mentoring from Wharton Entrepreneurial Programs and a consulting session with ?What If! Innovation Partners to help build out their idea and maximize its impact.
"The IBX Game Changers Challenge gives us the opportunity to serve as a catalyst for health care innovation and take the lead in finding new ways to improve the health and wellness of our community by helping these entrepreneurs bring their innovative ideas to life," said Hilferty.
See videos of each of the three Game Changers Challenge winners.
About Independence Blue Cross
Independence Blue Cross is a leading health insurer in southeastern Pennsylvania. Nationwide, Independence Blue Cross and its affiliates provide coverage to nearly 3.1 million people. For nearly 75 years, Independence Blue Cross has offered high-quality health care coverage tailored to meet the changing needs of members, employers, and health care professionals. Independence Blue Cross is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit us at ibx.com. Fan us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter@ibx.