BCBSIL and MATTER launched a challenge to find solutions for health equity

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, together with MATTER, is issuing a nationwide Health Equity Innovation Challenge – seeking creative prize winning solutions to influence social determinants of health, helping  BCBSIL members overcome social, cultural and/or economical barriers to accessing healthcare.

Quality healthcare has also been a common theme of recent Illinois healthcare news as other Illinois players are making efforts to provide better care for all patients. If digital transformation is a must for the healthcare system, human creativity and input are at least equally needed.

Social, cultural, educational and economical conditions have a direct influence on an individual’s health and access to healthcare. The rich live longer, as numbers for Chicago’s Loop, and West Garfield Park show: in the first, the average life expectancy is 85 years, while inhabitants of the latter only live to be 69. Type 2 diabetes is 50 percent more likely to occur in people who experience food insecurity; the overall death rate and infant mortality rate are almost twice as high in people with lower education than in those with at least one year of college. Children who live in neighborhoods with poor housing, unsafe surroundings and limited access to parks and sidewalks or recreation centers are between 20 and 60 percent more likely to become obese or overweight.

$30,000 will be awarded – split amongst the top three submissions; the winner would also be able to work closely with the insurer to develop their concept. The three winning teams will each receive a cash prize and a six-month membership at MATTER.

Contestants are expected to submit their solutions in a 3-minute video pitch, by November 12, 2018, at 11:59 p.m. CST.  Finalists will participate in a live pitch event at MATTER in Chicago, on December 3, when the winners will be announced.

University researchers, students, entrepreneurs and existing startups with creative ideas and solutions are welcome to apply.

Learn about the latest technologies being used by the best healthcare startups.

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