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NOLAHI Pitch Contest Addresses Critical New Orleans Healthcare Needs

nolahi challengeImagine New Orleans with a healthier patient population and an increase in business activity through a spark in innovation.

The NOLA Health Innovators Challenge (NOLAHI) aims to achieve these goals by selecting the most innovative solutions to three of the city’s most critical health challenges and then providing funding and support to launch pilot programs in New Orleans. NOLAHI is a signature initiative of NOLABA brought to you by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Ochsner Health System. 

NOLAHI brings together four top healthcare leaders in the New Orleans area to increase business attraction and improve health outcomes for patients. The three critical healthcare needs for which we are seeking innovative digital health solutions are diabetes care management, patient navigation and data interoperability.

The Diabetes Care Challenge

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana and Ochsner Health System pose the Diabetes Care Challenge, asking health tech entrepreneurs to create a digital tool that supports diabetic health maintenance. Louisiana has the 5th-highest rate of diabetes in the nation, and the prevalence of adults with diabetes has steadily risen over time to 1 in 8. In particular, submitted solutions should facilitate convenient access to routine diabetes health maintenance activities, specifically eye exams and foot exams, and be able to transmit the data from these screenings to physicians, clinical staff, family caregivers and insurer care coordination teams.

Click here to read the full challenge statement.

nolahi challenge
Aimee Quirk, CEO of innovationOchsner (right), discusses the NOLAHI Challenge.

“The downstream effects of diabetes as an important chronic disease in the state, the morbidity around vision and the morbidity around renal function just put us in the situation where diabetes is a large and unique problem for us,” said Dr. Vindell Washington, Chief Medical Officer at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana. “So as we look at the issues and how to match issues and problems to solutions, to us (diabetes) was an obvious place to look.”



The Navigator Challenge

Tulane Health System poses the Navigator Challenge, looking for digital solutions to reduce the cost of hospital navigation when it comes to helping patients make the best decisions for their care.

“Our challenge is to use technology to replicate the function of a navigator to enhance patient-centered care, without adding full-time employees (which are better used at the patient bedside),” said Nick Adams, Associate Vice President of Marketing and Public Relations for Tulane Health System and HCA MidAmerica’s Delta division. “This technology may enhance existing navigation services in complex service lines and/or serve as the primary navigation resource for less-complex service lines.”

Click here to read the full challenge statement.

The Interoperability Challenge

Lafayette General Foundation is the next healthcare leader to pose a challenge for entrepreneurs, which focuses on data interoperability. Lafayette General points out that timely access to healthcare data is a point of consternation when patients and clinicians don’t have the ability to readily retrieve essential information, so it seeks a digital solution to reduce errors.

“Given the issues with healthcare system interoperability, most specifically sharing, storing, consuming and security of data, please explore a distributed, permissioned and secured solution that reduces fraud and misinterpretation and increases interoperability via the implementation of technologies such as block-chain and others,” the challenge statement reads.

For more information, visit www.nolahi.org, and spread the word to entrepreneurs and high-growth startups who might have new ideas in these fields. Applications are open until Jan. 15, 2018, and finalists will pitch for a chance to win cash and in-kind prizes at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week in March. If you’re passionate about healthcare innovation in New Orleans, you can also vote for your favorite startups from January through February by joining the NOLAHI community.

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