Ochsner, BCBS of Louisiana launch 2020 health innovation challenge

New Orleans-based Ochsner Health System and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana unveiled Nov. 21 the third annual New Orleans Health Innovators Challenges, issuing a call for startups to develop solutions for several of healthcare's biggest challenges.

The main challenge, sponsored by the two organizations, calls for targeted interventions to address social isolation in the aging population.

"Ochsner Health System and innovationOchsner are passionate about using innovation to build a healthier, stronger community," Aimee Quirk, CEO of innovationOchsner, said in the announcement. "We have identified social isolation as an important factor that affects not only quality of life but also health and health outcomes. As a result, we are challenging innovators to come forward with creative ideas to solve this issue and help us develop new interventions to save and change more lives and improve individual and population health."

Applications are due by Jan. 15, 2020, with finalists chosen in February and invited to pitch their solutions at New Orleans Entrepreneur Week in March. The winner of the challenge will be awarded up to $36,000, in addition to the possibility of free coworking space, entry into an accelerator program and a pilot program or other business relationship with the challenge's sponsors.

The 2020 New Orleans Health Innovators Challenges also includes several other competition programs from local healthcare organizations, including Tulane Health System and LCMC Health, both in New Orleans, and Lafayette (La.) General Health. View the full challenge briefs here.

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