MedStar Health and 1776 Announce Startup Challenge Winners | MedStar Health

MedStar Health and 1776 Announce Startup Challenge Winners

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Washington, D.C., (July 19, 2017)—MedStar Health and 1776 are officially announcing the five winners and one startup designated for “honorable innovation”  identified during the #Patient2Consumer startup challenge event on July 13, 2017, at 1776’s DC campus.

Eleven challenge finalists from across the country pitched their ideas for inventing the future of convenient, consumer-friendly health care in front of more than 200 attendees. The five startups awarded the opportunity to join the three-month MedStar Innovation Lab cohort this fall, among other prizes, include:

  • Care+Wear, developing functional and fashionable products for patients, such as Chest Access Shirts to improve their healing experiences.
  • Level Therapy, providing treatment tools and video access to licensed psychotherapists through a mobile platform.
  • Pacify Health, connecting new parents to a national network of lactation consultants, pediatric nurses and nutritionists almost instantly via video visit, 24/7.
  • Ride RoundTrip Inc., offering on-demand trip scheduling and monitoring software for non-emergency medical transportation.
  • VEDA Data Solutions, solving some of the most challenging problems facing health insurers with dashboard-free artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies.

Patientory, a healthcare cybersecurity company using blockchain technology to securely allow patients to store and manage their health information, received the honorable innovation designation, which gives the startup the opportunity to propose a future pilot to MedStar in collaboration with other strategic partners.

“Our challenge winners are bringing health care up to the same level of convenience, access and service as other consumer-friendly industries,” said Mark Smith, M.D., chief innovation officer of MedStar Health and director of the MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2). “We welcome these startups into our inaugural MedStar Innovation Lab cohort in partnership with 1776. MedStar looks forward to providing a real-life, clinical test environment with content experts, patients and systems already in place that will help them validate and scale their innovations.”

A diverse panel of judges with investor, health industry and startup backgrounds selected the #Patient2Consumer challenge winners:

  • Donna Harris, Cofounder, 1776
  • Brian Kalis, Managing Director, Accenture Digital Health
  • Penny Lee, Chief Strategy Officer, 1776
  • John Lock, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, MI2
  • David Song, M.D., Region Chief, MedStar Plastic Surgery, MedStar Health
  • Katharine Weymouth, Former CEO & Publisher, Washington Post

“It was genuinely tough for the judges to limit our selections to five winners, which is an example of the innovative startups and activity happening in the regulated health industry,” said Penny Lee, Chief Strategy Officer at 1776. “As a long-time partner of MedStar, we admire the system’s desire to build their innovation strategy through a dedicated internal team and working with startups through programs like the MedStar Innovation Lab Cohort. 1776 looks forward to helping realize the possibilities of successful collaborations between entrepreneurs and large organizations like MedStar.”

BlumioKinometrixLitespriteSmartBridge Health, and Wellpepper, Inc., were among the other #Patient2Consumer finalists that pitched, selected from a competitive nationwide application process that spanned May through June 2017.

This incubator program will be run on 1776’s global innovation network, UNION, and hosted at 1776’s Crystal City campus from late October 2017-January 2018. MedStar will provide access to the system’s resources, mentors and clinicians. Cohort participants will also be able to test their products in real time with MedStar stakeholders. The goal is to develop successful pilot projects that invite future work. The program will culminate in a demonstration day for investors and MedStar stakeholders looking to invest in startups and launch pilot projects. 

Visit for more information and future updates about the MedStar Innovation Lab Cohort and the upcoming Demo Day.

About 1776
1776 is a public benefit corporation that empowers startup ecosystems around the world to solve complex challenges. To accomplish this, we leverage our digital startup network, UNION; physical campuses in Washington, D.C., New York City, San Francisco and Dubai; a global startup pitch competition, Challenge Cup; and deep staff expertise in regulatory issues. We accelerate connections and outcomes among startups, corporations and public institutions. For more information, please visit and follow @1776 on Twitter and @1776vc on Instagram.

About MedStar Institute for Innovation (MI2)
The MedStar Institute for Innovation is unique among innovation centers that are embedded in health systems. MI2’s approach is to create an innovation ecosystem across MedStar Health that fosters the vast creative talent and energy of its 31,000 associates and 6,000 physicians. MI2 itself has developed deep technical expertise in human factors engineering, health influence and engagement, innovative learning and simulation, and digital health and data science. MI2, chartered in 2008, also serves as the portal for engaging outside startups and entrepreneurial collaborators to apply new ideas and innovative approaches to care for people and advance health. For more information, see