Challenge FAQs

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What do you mean by "demonstrated value" and "more broadly disseminated"?

We want to see credible evidence from existing sites, pilots or customers that your innovation works. The more evidence you can provide, the stronger your application. Your innovation does not have to be in final form for commercialization, but you do need to provide a solid dissemination plan for how you will overcome barriers to widespread adoption across organizations.

What is the Health Acceleration Challenge?

The Challenge aims to identify and promote innovations that have credible, demonstrated evidence to generate significant value for the U.S. health care delivery system. In particular, we are looking for proven ideas that, if more broadly disseminated, could move the needle on cost, quality or access.

What is the Forum on Health Care Innovation?

The Forum on Health Care Innovation is a collaboration between Harvard Business School (HBS) and Harvard Medical School (HMS). Its purpose is to unite leading executives, policymakers, and academics in a cross-disciplinary exploration of innovative actions to improve quality, reduce costs, and, ultimately, increase value in the health care industry.

See also: About the Forum

How is this different from other Challenges?

We believe innovations need to spread faster. We are focused on speeding up the adoption of innovations that have already demonstrated value on a small scale and could benefit from wider dissemination through the powerful combination of the participants in the Forum on Health Care Innovation and the Harvard faculty and alumni network. This is not a business plan competition, nor an ideation contest.

How far along does my innovation have to be?

The application is open to any organization or solution ranging from nearly developed to fully developed to the early stages of deployment. However, you need credible demonstrated evidence that your solution can significantly impact the U.S. health care delivery system. This means your solution needs to be implemented in at least one setting.

What are the benefits of participating?

If you are a finalist, you will have a case study written about your submission. Finalists also will benefit from feedback from our community of health care leaders and entrepreneurs, announcements to HBS and HMS alumni, and will split the $150,000 Cox Prize

What are you not looking for?

Pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, and diagnostic technologies may not be the best fit for this Challenge, unless they have a demonstrated impact on improving care-delivery processes beyond typical product interventions.

Is there a specific problem that participants are supposed to solve?

No. Innovation and value creation for health care delivery can come in many shapes and sizes, from process improvement and new business models to software or hardware innovations. As a result, we want you to choose the innovation, tell us how it has created value, and why your idea will be able to transform U.S. health care delivery.

Do I have to be based in the United States or Boston?

No. You can be based anywhere in the world, however your solution needs to be applicable to the U.S. health care delivery system, and you need to have a credible plan on how to deliver your solution in the U.S. market.

What are examples of "credible evidence"?

You determine what your best evidence is. It could be quantitative data from existing pilots showing improved patient outcomes, customer satisfaction data, cost-savings documentation, or anything else that demonstrates success. You do not need to have run a randomized trial, but you need evidence that your idea increases value.

Who should apply to the Health Acceleration Challenge?

We welcome applications from all types of people—individuals and teams, clinicians and administrators, technologists and scientists, and those inside or outside the health care industry—anyone with a proven health care innovation. All types of organizations are invited to apply as well—established or early stage, for profit or non-profit, from within the United States or outside.