Students Win Big During the 2020 Florida Blue Health Innovation Challenge

Tampa, FL -- Today, more than ever, health care quality is on an international and national spotlight. Hospital readmissions are becoming a prominent issue surrounding health care quality in the United States. Around $25 billion are spent on preventable hospital readmissions. This year, ten teams were selected from five universities across Florida to address innovative ways to reduce hospital readmissions.

The Florida Blue Health Innovation Challenge, a partnership between Florida Blue and the University of South Florida’s Center for Entrepreneurship, hosted its 8th competition on Sept. 16, via Zoom, where the teams presented their innovations in front of an esteemed panel of expert judges.

Cory Feldman from Florida Atlantic University and James Wallace from the University of South Florida won first place, taking home $15,000 for their innovation, Once. The innovation is a readmission reduction program that assembles 21 elements from patients' electronic health records to determine the risk of readmission and intervention steps. Through a survey tool, Once also measures patients' locus of control and recommends actions for engagement in the course of care.

The second place went to Kayla Wilson from the University of South Florida's College of Public Health. Her innovation, Connecting Care, brings social workers and community resources to best aid patients in their post-discharge recovery through a mobile app that allows patients to view their social worker’s contact information, their medical information, including instructions for their treatment, and websites to organizations that offer assistance to community members. Connecting Care won $8,500!

As a third-place winner, Srikrishna Srinivasan from the University of South Florida won $5,000 with his innovation, DoctorGenie Healthcare Analytics. The innovation aims to reduce hospital readmissions by using a chatbot to engage patients in their treatments and discharge procedures. The solution addresses the case management automation using artificial intelligence integrated with a chatbot.

Oyindamola Teniola from the University of South Florida College of Engineering and Rebecca Oyetoro from the University of Florida were awarded $1,000 for the Judge’s Choice Award. Their innovation, LiveEDU, is a data-driven, gamification learning technique designed to enhance care delivery, and aid patients and their families in hospital discharge training and exit programs.

The second group to win $1,000 with the Judge’s Choice Award was a trio of Florida Atlantic University students. Vivek Sreejithkumar, Mariam Rizvi, and Isabella Grande pitched PEACE: Protecting the Elderly with AI for Clinical Emergencies. Their innovation utilizes artificial intelligence and layers python code, machine learning, and pose-tracking technology to detect atypical body movements. With video surveillance, the group aims to speed up the reaction time of alerting caretakers and healthcare professionals to prevent falling over episodes in senior citizens.

All ten teams spent over two months being mentored by professionals from GuideWell, Florida Blue and USF’s Center for Entrepreneurship’s network. They pitched their innovation for the last time on Sept. 16., with five teams getting a check for finding an innovative solution to address the national, billion-dollar issue of hospital readmissions.