We also congratulate another winner, Enabled Health, as well as additional finalists Ompractice (an ATC startup participant), Moneta Health, REEV, and SecureSeniorConnections.
MeHI designed the Challenge to seek out innovators with solutions that support healthy aging by helping older adults live as well and independently as possible. As part of the program, each participant was matched with a member of the Sandbox Network — a group of cutting-edge research and development organizations supporting digital health companies — to scope detailed testing and validation projects.
The four winners were selected at a final event where all the finalists pitched their product to a panel of expert judges, with each winner receiving $50,000 awarded by MeHI as part of its work under the MassDigitalHealth Initiative. The winners will use the prize money as tuition to work with their R&D Sandbox partner to further scope, test and validate their products.
The event also featured “The State of Innovation in Aging,” a panel discussion about the general challenges facing the broader innovation ecosystem. The panel featured leaders in the healthcare and AgeTech space, including Andy Miller, senior vice president for innovation and product development at AARP. "We at the AgeTech Collaborative are thrilled to see impactful connections continuing to be made across the ecosystem,” says Miller. “Providing opportunities to gather data and feedback from users to prove the viability of a product is a key way to support our AgeTech founders.”
Miller goes on to note, “Massachusetts eHealth Institute has an exceptional sandbox program that not only provides testing opportunities, but funding for projects. I look forward to following the progress made by the four AgeTech Collaborative startups (Onward, MiiCare, Articts and Ompractice) selected for this year's Healthy Aging Challenge."
Artifcts co-founder Ellen Goodwin reflects on the advantages of participating in the Challenge. “The magic of the MeHI Healthy Aging Sandbox Challenge lies in matchmaking to and within the state's research entities,” she says. “We were able to connect with the researcher working on a solution that has high potential for Artifcts. And with the MeHI research grant, we gain an important new product opportunity to bring digital screening for mild cognitive impairment and dementia to market through the joyful and simple Artifcting experience.”
Kim Petty, co-founder and CEO of Onward, agrees. “Our team at Onward is excited that the Sandbox Challenge award will fund our work with a Sandbox partner to support independent research on the impact of companion interventions,” she says. “We have also been able to continue exploring partnership opportunities with other Sandbox Network partners. We are grateful for the opportunity to participate in the Challenge and for all the support provided by the MeHI team.”