12 Nov 2014

Health Acceleration Challenge Contestants Aim to Improve U.S. Health Care

Harvard Business School and Harvard Medical School collaboration draws applicants from around the world

BOSTON—The challenge was to describe a proven innovation that would enhance health care value in the U.S. if broadly disseminated. Nearly 500 applicants from around the world answered the call.

Organized by the Forum on Health Care Innovation, a collaboration between Harvard Business School and Harvard Medical School, the Health Acceleration Challenge focuses on taking compelling, already-implemented health care solutions and helping them to grow and increase their impact through powerful networking and funding opportunities.

The Challenge, which received 478 applications from 29 countries, recently narrowed the pool to 18 semifinalists, each vying for part of a $150,000 prize to be split among the finalists, including a $50,000 prize to the winner. Finalists will present their ideas at an invitation-only conference of senior health care leaders in Boston in April. The winning innovation will also become the subject of an HBS case study.

Applicants were initially given five guiding directives: improve quality of care, lower care delivery costs, expand access to care, have demonstrated real value, and have the ability to scale to create broader impact. Some of the 18 semifinalist entries come from larger existing providers such as the Mayo Clinic and Kaiser Permanente and focus on standardized care and protocol models that would increase efficiency and patient care outcomes across large facilities. Others are more entrepreneurial in scope and origin, from minimizing dangerous drug interactions to reducing stroke treatment times to effective bundling of prenatal care.

The Challenge’s website has received more than 20,000 visitors since its August launch, including 2,500 comments and 3,750 “likes” from non-applicants, and will be open for additional comments and questions through the finalist announcement date on Nov. 20.


Christian Camerota

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.