August 2015 | In the News

In April 2015, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), through support from Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, launched the Super-Utilizer Health Innovation Challenge, calling on digital entrepreneurs and developers to design health technology specifically to improve care and outcomes for high-need, high-cost, low-income populations. In response, 29 developers submitted innovative working software applications that address one or more of the issues faced by super-utilizers. The entries ranged from wearable technology to patient-facing mobile apps and provider-oriented web-based solutions.

The winners of the Super-Utilizer Health Innovation Challenge are:

adheretech_pill_bottleFirst Place ($25,000): Smart Pill Bottles by Adhere Tech

  • AdhereTech’s smart pill bottles use wireless sensor technology to guide improved medication adherence. The simple pill bottle design reminds an individual when to take their medications, contacts the patient via text message or phone call if dosages are missed, and shares real-time medication usage data with clinicians. The bottles function like standard pill bottles, including a child-proof cap. The bottles connect to the AdhereTech servers via cell phone technology with no set-up for patients. All data are passively collected and analyzed, and the system only intervenes when necessary.

As first-place winner, AdhereTech will have the opportunity to meet with Kaiser Permanente, the Association of Community Affiliated Plans, and the Alliance of Community Health Plans to discuss potential piloting opportunities.

Second Place ($15,000): A-CHESS, a relapse prevention app by Chess Mobile Health

  • A-CHESS mobile application, based on the self-determination theory, is designed to provide ongoing support and relapse prevention to people recovering from substance use disorders after they leave treatment. A-CHESS provides a web-based clinician dashboard that anticipates relapse using predictive analytics.

Third Place ($10,000): Wellth, a behavior change incentive app

  • The Wellth mobile application can be used by payers to uncover cost-savings by developing customized, evidence-based behavior change plans for patients. The app provides targeted financial incentives to patients, and delivers reminders and information that help build healthy habits and foster better disease management.

Learn about other submissions:

  • Addicaid – Addiction recovery tool that links patients to nearby meetings and community support.
  • Admetsys – Tool that provides remote glucose monitoring for people with diabetes.
  • BridgIT – Care management tool focused on reducing emergency room visits and inpatient admissions due to congestive heart failure.
  • Care at Hand – Care management tool designed to be used by health coaches and home care workers to help prevent readmissions.
  • Care++ – Care coordination tool that connects patients to providers, social services, and others via a social network for support and advice.
  • EatHappy – Meal guide and nutrition education app that recommends healthy, low-cost meals.
  • eCaring – Care management tool used by care team members and patients to track conditions, communicate with each other, and record data.
  • EQUIP Predictive Model – Predictive modeling tool that predicts behavioral health measures such as likelihood, frequency, and dates of inpatient admissions, and recommends interventions to reduce these risks.
  • Health Recovery Solutions – Real-time patient monitoring tool that focuses on reducing post-discharge readmissions.
  • Honey – Chronic disease management tool that connects to sensor-enabled smart devices (e.g., weight scale, blood pressure monitor, and activity tracker).
  • LIGHTHOUSE – Diabetes management tool that interfaces with electronic medical records, tracks information from glucose monitoring tools, provides patients with education, and includes a built-in medical record.
  • Mandala VR – Tool that allows clinicians to virtually administer Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing therapy to patients through smart phones and a provider-facing platform.
  • MariCare – Tool that can store health information from fitness trackers and link patients to information such as provider directory, health and wellness resources, and medication information.
  • Nutrify – Diet planning and education tool tailored to individualized budget constraints and health conditions.
  • Personal Medicine Plus – Diabetes and hypertension prevention app that educates patients on how to adopt healthier behaviors and lifestyles.
  • Pivotal Living – Wearable, low-cost activity tracker with dashboard to track analytics.
  • RX – Insight – Medication management tool that uses camera phone to scan QR (quick response) codes for information on topics such as side effects and proper dosage.
  • StarFish Health – Personalized health management tool that allows patients to capture and store information such as provider instructions, insurance information, health goals, etc.
  • The BALLAST – Screening and decision support tools that help assess and recommend evidence-based treatment plans for super-utilizers.
  • Twine Health – Collaborative care platform that links patients and care team members; creates and tracks care plans.
  • VMDOC – Care management platform that lets patients make and track appointments and access records via cloud-based medical record system; facilitates patient/provider communications.
  • WatchRx – Wearable watch that provides medication reminders to individuals through audio and visual reminders, a built-in phone that allows providers to call patients if medications are missed, and GPS tracking that facilitates home visits.
  • Yosi – Mobile app that allows patients to create a digital profile that can be used to electronically complete practice registration forms.


The Super-Utilizer Health Innovation Challenge is part of the Center for Health Care Strategies’ Digital Health Initiative, supported by Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, through which CHCS is seeking to bring the potential benefits of digital health tools to low-income populations with complex needs.10