It’s an ongoing conundrum: How do we make good investments in technology that will improve the health and lives of Louisianans? Part of the answer has become our partnership with the New Orleans Business Alliance and Ochsner Health System to sponsor the New Orleans Health Innovators (NOLAHI) Challenge.
In this event, we give health and bio tech companies from around the country – and, this year, even internationally! – an opportunity to pitch actionable ideas for solving a very specific healthcare problem.
Last year, Blue Cross and Ochsner issued a Diabetes Care Challenge, and a company called Alertgy won with their pitch for technology that can give continuous blood sugar readings WITHOUT sticking needles into the skin! At this year’s NOLAHI Challenge, we were glad to see Alertgy back to show us a working prototype, part of the progress they’ve made with the support and resources in New Orleans over the past year.
This year, we joined Ochsner to issue a Social Determinants of Health Challenge. We wanted companies to pitch us digital solutions for gathering data effectively to track the social elements that prevent people from receiving the care and services they need to achieve long-term health. That includes things like food supply, air quality, transportation and safety.
The winner was MedAux, a California startup that demonstrated a text message solution for getting information from patients to refer them to services in the area and share that information with their doctor outside of scheduled appointments. Ongoing check-ins with the patients to gather this data will make it more actionable and help both payers and providers (like us and Ochsner!) intervene to help them sooner.
Enjoy the video highlights of our leadership as they discuss how critical understanding social determinants of health and investing in innovative solutions, like the NOLAHI Challenge, are to improve the health and lives of our state residents.