Despite the growing digital health market, relatively few products are designed to meet the unique needs of low-income, high-need, high-cost individuals. To address this gap, the Center for Health Care Strategies (CHCS), with support from Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit, held the first of three national Super-Utilizer Health Innovation Challenges in 2015 to explore the viability of developing digital health products for this population.

This brief examines submissions from the first challenge, including:

  • Specific issues the products address;
  • Target audiences for the tools;
  • Types of technologies employed; and
  • Functionality used to drive improved outcomes.

Results from the challenge reveal insights that may help guide the development of digital tools for people with complex needs — such as addressing the social determinants of health and broadening the range of technologies used. Upcoming piloting opportunities will help foster partnerships between health systems and developers to further the evidence base for these tools.

The Digital Health Initiative is part of CHCS’ Innovations in Complex Care Program, which seeks to develop and test new strategies to improve health care quality and control spending for Medicaid’s highest-need, highest-cost populations.