GuideWell Mutual Holding Corporation (GuideWell), the parent to a family of forward-thinking companies focused on transforming health care, announced its COVID-19 Health Innovation Collaborative, an initiative that seeks to connect diverse innovative health-technology companies across the U.S. to bring forth solutions that address gaps in response to global health pandemics.
“At GuideWell, we believe it takes a village to support people and communities to achieve better health,” said Ana Gupte, GuideWell chief strategy and innovation officer.
“We are launching this initiative as a call for solution-driven thought leaders to join a collaborative and innovative task force to aid our nation through this global health crisis and to better prepare us for future health pandemics.”
The rapid escalation of the COVID-19 pandemic has sparked alarm worldwide. Its global impact has resulted in shortages in supplies and equipment as well as staff and laboratory testing capabilities. In addition, COVID-19 is creating health concerns related to social isolation and mental health.
As a health solutions company, GuideWell is committing $125,000 to source innovative technology solutions that demonstrate potential to alleviate some of the health care challenges people face during public health emergencies.
The collaborative is specifically focused on addressing critical risk areas facing health care professionals and staff, homebound COVID-19 patients and families, and other social issues arising from social distancing.
Applicants will be evaluated on their ability to fast-track innovative solutions aimed at reducing some of the most complex stress factors COVID-19 is bringing to bear on the U.S. health system. Specifically, GuideWell is seeking innovative approaches in the following categories:
- Virtual, in-home care solutions for at-risk populations that have limited access to health care services
- Solutions that reduce risk for health care providers in clinical settings, including approaches for increasing protection of clinical staff
- Solutions focused on reducing social isolation due to COVID-19 diagnosis or social distancing
- Solutions for delivering food and urgently needed supplies to at-risk populations and households with COVID-19 exposure or symptoms
For each category, a cohort of 3-5 companies will be selected, and asked to work together to create a connected, high-impact approach.
“COVID-19 has quickly highlighted critical gaps in the nation’s health care crisis-management infrastructure,” said Kirstie McCool executive director of GuideWell Innovation. “It is in unprecedented times like these where rapid innovation plays a pivotal role in our fight to overcome global pandemics and prepare and manage future health emergencies.”
Applicants chosen to participate in the collaborative will be eligible for a portion of the $125,000 non-dilutive award funding that GuideWell is providing to support the collaborative. In addition, chosen applicants may receive an opportunity to pilot their solution in collaboration with GuideWell and its clinical partners.
To make the most impact during this extremely time sensitive period, applications must be submitted by May 8, 2020. To learn more, visit: https://guidewellinnovation.com/covid-19-collaborative/