What are some of the biggest “pain points” in healthcare today? And how can they be solved? These are the questions behind the Triangle Health Innovation Competition (THInC), which takes place in “Research Triangle” in North Carolina.
THInC was created to use the talents and energy of students and young professionals (business people, engineers, clinicians, designers, etc.) to address some of the most pressing challenges in industry. Over the years, the result has been some truly innovative solutions. The challenge, which is organized by the Duke School of Medicine Innovation and Entrepreneurship Activity Group, and the Carolina Health Entrepreneurship Initiative, creates powerful synergy among academic, industry, pharmaceutical, startup, and student communities to find smart solutions to vexing problems.
Teams tackle a specific “pain point” in health. Over the course of two days, they collaborate on the development of technological solutions to their problem. The resulting ideas not only resolve a specific issue, they improve the way healthcare is provided and addressed in general.
Participants get great insights from industry thought leaders and mentoring from an array of experts in healthcare, business, and technology. At the end of the challenge, teams present their solutions to a panel of judges who ultimately select a grand prize winner. Judging criteria are different each year, but in general involve:
- Selection of a “pain point” in healthcare
- How well the solution addresses the selected “pain point”
- Progress made in developing a working prototype
- Feasibility and scalability of the idea
- Business plan for developing and commercializing the solution
More than 280 problem solvers have participated in THInC in the last two years. Prizes have been awarded for a wide range of solutions, including a virtual reality tool for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a wearable physical therapy activity tracker, and an algorithm for smart patient-specific appointment scheduling.
Details for the 2017 event have not been announced yet, but you’ll find them here when they are. Until then, organizers encourage you to be thinking about what’s “broken” in healthcare. They also encourage you to help plan, promote, and execute the event if you are interested in participating in that capacity.
At Skild, we have coordinated a wide variety of healthcare-related innovation competitions. We’re always eager to help, as we know that advances in healthcare, wherever they are made, make life better for all of us. We’ll be watching THInC.