Now Viewing: Disruptive innovations

Introducing the Pitch Day Finalists: Medical Innovation By the People and For the People

Oct 14, 2013, 9:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Alex Fair, co-founder and chief crowdologist of MedStartr, Inc. Alex Fair, co-founder and chief crowdologist of MedStartr, Inc.

Entrepreneur Alex Fair has a vision for letting citizens decide which health care innovations the government should fund. He was one of eight finalists invited to pitch their ideas live and in person at the first-ever Pioneer Pitch Day. Read Fair's 1,000-character proposal below, and join the discussion on Twitter at #pioneerpitch.

Alex Fair is the co-founder and chief crowdologist of MedStartr, Inc. and an organizer of Health 2.0 NYC. You can follow him on Twitter at @alexbfair. Alex will co-present with Jeff Borenstein of MedStartr, Inc.

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Shutdown

Oct 9, 2013, 12:05 PM, Posted by Mike Painter

Mike Painter

There are still places left where the prehistoric wisdom of our planet stands sentinel. I just returned from such a spot, a high elevation Sierra Nevada fortress of wildness and ancient Earth. Ironically, our own federal government has designated the region a wilderness. It's almost comical to me that right as we hiked into this area, bickering, partisan factions back east shut down the very government that presumes to preside here. In fact, until those folks sort out their problems, you can visit these wilderness areas without a federal permit. Heads up, however, if something happens to you during your permit-less visit; you are on your own. I like the sound of that, actually.

These places are vast and impervious to current events. Trust me; they do not care about human welfare, cultures, health, poverty, wealth, communities, cities, or governments. They just silently stand testament throughout the millennia to the true nature of our home.

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Meet the Pitch Day Judges

Oct 9, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Pitch Day Social Image

With the first-ever Pioneer Pitch Day (#pioneerpitch) around the corner, we wanted to take a minute to put the spotlight on our incredible line-up of guest judges, who will be joining RWJF staff to evaluate finalists’ presentations. We asked them to tell us why they decided to participate in Pitch Day – and we asked them to keep their answers to approximately the length of a tweet (140 characters). Here are some of their responses:

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Pitch Us: The First-Ever Pioneer Pitch Day

Aug 13, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Brian C. Quinn

Brian Quinn Brian Quinn, assistant vice president, Research and Evaluation

We’re always willing to hear your ideas for how to innovate health and health care—and to change the world in the process. We accept brief proposals through our website 365 days a year. And we read them, every single one, looking for the big idea that has not yet been considered or the seed of an exploration that could lead to that big idea.

On October 16, we’re going to try a little experiment—a new way for you to share your ideas with us: We’ll be hosting our first-ever Pioneer Pitch Day in New York City. Over the course of two hours, eight teams will tell us their vision for how they want to change the world of health and health care—and how they plan to go about doing so. They’ll be peppered with questions from me, my colleagues on the Pioneer team, our grantees and from a few of our friends, including Esther Dyson. Thomas Goetz, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s entrepreneur-in-residence, will be our emcee. (Update: We are excited to announce that Fast Company staff writer Ben Schiller, NPR science correspondent Shankar Vedantam, Games for Health co-founder Ben Sawyer, PatientsLikeMe co-founder and president Ben Heywood, Rhode Island School of Design President John Maeda, and IDEO Life Sciences Chief Strategist Rodrigo Martinez will be joining us as judges. Stay tuned for additional updates.)

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User-Centric Innovation

Jul 10, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Christine Nieves

Christine Nieves / RWJF Program Associate Christine Nieves

Determined to increase my productivity and keep my desk free from clutter, I recently read an excellent book that several friends recommended to me called Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen. We at Pioneer talk quite a bit about what it takes to change behavior – what kinds of innovations can we support that will help more people embrace healthy habits? Implementing this book’s recommendations reminded me just how stressful change can be – even change that’s designed to reduce stress! And it got me thinking about how important it is to base any innovation on a real understanding of the people it effects.

I recently spent the day at the MedStar Institute for Innovation -– at Pioneer, we’re always interested in learning more about other units within large organizations that are focused on innovation (and we love to play host, too). Anyway, the folks at MedStar spoke quite a bit about human factors engineering. If you aren’t familiar (I wasn’t), human factors engineering is about accepting the fact that humans will inevitably make mistakes, and designing environments and tools that take that inevitability into account, so that the impact of mistakes is significantly decreased. Human factors engineering often goes hand-in-hand with extensive usability testing.

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