Denver’s Digital Health Accelerator Event 10.10.10 Brings Entrepreneurial Insight to Global Health Issues

doctor with name tag working in digital health

Last month, the second annual 10.10.10 was held in Denver from June 20-30, 2016. The 10-day digital health event brought together 10 successful entrepreneurs, few of whom had healthcare experience, in order to shed light on 10 of the world’s most prominent health issues with the possibility of coming up with solutions. The 10 “wicked” problems addressed by the panel of prospective CEOs included:

  • Healthcare for the homeless
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Childhood obesity
  • Medical errors
  • Health literacy
  • Chronic pain management
  • Aging
  • Administrative costs
  • Mental health
  • Toxic stress and adverse childhood events

According to the Denver Post, Karen McNeil Miller, president and CEO of the Colorado Health Foundation and a prime sponsor of the event, said, “If there are problems that just those in healthcare could solve, we would have already solved them. We need the minds of people everywhere.”

The idea behind the event is that too often, these critical issues are left unaddressed by government agencies, nonprofits and large corporations, and could benefit from the insight of entrepreneurs, who tend to have more innovative thought processes. After being introduced to the issues, the prospective CEOs spent the next 10 days researching each topic. The ultimate goal is that the prospective CEOs will start a new venture providing a solution to one of the 10 wicked issues.

With virtual reality advancing rapidly, technology entrepreneur Eric Marcoullier decided to use this technology to address the issue of aging and the negative effects of loneliness on the health of elderly people. According to the Denver Business Journal, Marcoullier, who had no prior experience in the healthcare industry, worked with his team to design a virtual companion headset that could be worn by the elderly. The companion would pull up pictures of the user’s family and ask them about their memories. Marcoullier and his team hope to roll out a beta product by the first quarter of 2017.

On the other hand, public relations entrepreneur Cathy Caplener decided to focus her efforts on toxic stress, which can be caused by premature birth and the lack of interaction that results from newborns spending time in incubators away from their mothers. Caplener laid out a plan for an incubator that would allow babies to see their mother’s face, hear their voice and even feel their touch.

Although many of these ideas won’t be rolled out for months, or even years, the seeds planted at this event could grow into innovative solutions to wicked health care problems in the future.

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