BWH Innovation Hub hosts its first Pilot Shark Tank competition
Laughter. Upset. Suspense. These are the makings of an entertaining television show—or a lively competition that took place on April 28 in Bornstein Amphitheater. In a style similar to the TV show, BWH Innovation Hub’s first Pilot Shark Tank competition featured start-up health care companies vying for the opportunity to test, or pilot, their innovative solutions for improving the patient experience and patient engagement at BWH.
“The Brigham is a site of pioneering breakthroughs that have improved lives around the world,” said Lesley Solomon, MBA, executive director, BWH Innovation Hub. “Like many hospitals, we are constantly working to improve both patient experience and engagement. At the same time, start-ups are challenged with not having the right clinical partner or environment to test their products or services. This competition is a creative way to provide entrepreneurs with direct access to our talented clinicians to collaboratively advance health care innovation.”
Ten start-ups were each given five minutes to convince six “sharks”—a panel of BWH clinicians and leaders committed to testing solutions—why they should partner with them to test their apps, devices and other innovations.
But as the presentations rolled on, intrigue built and panel members soon found themselves competing against one another for certain companies. After shuffling interests from one start-up to another, consulting with colleagues in a packed audience, and lively conversations among themselves, three of the six sharks sealed partnerships.
Karen Conley, DNP, MS, associate chief nurse, Connors Center for Women and Newborns, scooped up MySafeCare, a mobile app that lets patients quickly report safety concerns while in the hospital. Pooja Devendran, MPH, executive director, Surgical Service Operations and Program Development, partnered with Healo, a mobile product allowing doctors to remotely monitor patient wound care.
Twine Health, a software platform for chronic-disease management, joined forces with Stuart Pollack, MD, medical director, Brigham and Women’s Advanced Primary Care Associates, to pilot its product at the Jamaica Plain practice. The practice clenched another start-up when Pollack called on colleague Katherine Rose, MD, from the audience, making her an “add-on” shark who eagerly partnered with Tenacity Health, a software platform connecting patients with peers who can motivate them to stay healthy.
The winning start-ups not only walked away with the opportunity to pilot their solution at BWH, but they will have access to BWH Innovation Hub advisors who can help further grow their innovation within the clinical space.