UHG Launches Health-Tech Contest, Offers $60K Prize
In addition to displaying dozens of products and services at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, UnitedHealth Group, Inc., is using the 2013 event as an opportunity to launch a crowdsourcing contest through which it’s offering a $60,000 prize.
Minnetonka-based UnitedHealth’s “Breakthrough Health Challenge” seeks ideas about how common consumer technologies or devices, including video game systems and mobile phones, can be used in new ways to help people address chronic conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
The company said that the challenge aims to tap the creativity of innovators both within and outside of the health care industry in order to bring forth concepts and solutions that help address some of the health care system’s greatest obstacles.
Specifically, UnitedHealth is seeking prototypes of novel combinations or modifications of existing, off-the-shelf consumer technology—including computer software and smartphone applications—that could be used to improve people’s health and quality of life.
Submissions will be accepted online through April 8. Participants must submit a written proposal, along with experimental proof-of-concept data and/or an actual prototype. Purely theoretical contributions that don’t demonstrate a proven solution will be considered, but the maximum award for such entries is $20,000.
UnitedHealth Group said the contest is the latest in a series of open innovation challenges that it has launched since mid-2012.
“Innovative ideas can come from anywhere, including from people outside the health system,” Gail Boudreaux, CEO of UnitedHealth Group’s UnitedHealthcare subsidiary, said in a prepared statement. “The world’s largest consumer technology trade show is an ideal venue to launch this unique opportunity for people worldwide to think creatively and help drive health care innovation.”
UnitedHealth Group is Minnesota’s largest public company based on revenue, which totaled $101.9 billion in 2011. The company will release its fourth-quarter and full-year 2012 financial results on January 17.
To read about other Minnesota companies showcasing products and services at the Consumer Electronics Show, which wraps up Friday, click here.