This program focuses on companies and entrepreneurs tackling public health and human services challenges where technology interventions intersect, and can directly impact,

City or County government services and goals.


Major Urban Health Challenge Areas

Emergency Health Care System

Health, Food and Exercise

Chronic Disease Prevention & Care

Health & Transportation

Health & Housing

Mental Health


(more details below)


Focus areas, not exhaustive.

These focus areas have been identified by consulting a MCIC Survey of participating governments and other sources such as, Healthy People 2020 Topics, City and County Healthcare initiatives (e.g. Austin / Travis County Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), Aetna Foundation Healthier World Innovation Challenge, the Big City Health Coalition (a program of the National Association of County Health Officials), and health innovation experts including:

  • Rebecca Coelius, MD, Health Lead at Code for America and
  • Adam K. Wong, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC)
  • Maya Uppaluru U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Science and Innovation

However, if your product or technology-enhanced initiative falls outside of these categories, we would still like to hear from you! Please submit your ideas!

Suggest a Health Tech Challenge?

Are you a health subject matter expert working collaboratively with local hospitals, local social service agencies, and/or non-profits on a health tech project?


What problem do you want entrepreneurs to help you solve through technology?


Tell us!

Urban Health Focus Areas

And suggested challenge ideas...

  1. Emergency Health Care System: reducing unnecessary costs and improving response times
    1. Identifying, supporting and preventing high frequency “super-users” of Emergency Care services ( Example from Camden, NJ)
    2. Improving response times with improved indoor cellular location solutions, or leveraging the crowd or open data
    3. Decreasing usage of emergency room for non acute problems, such as encouraging patients to use urgent care clinics or their primary care office.
  2. Health, Food and Exercise: Improving access and incentives to healthy eating and community facilities
    1. Access/info on healthy food options deserts
    2. Improving Food Program Services like SNAP - (e.g. CfA's EBT Pre-screening app)
    3. Apps targeting minority populations to coordinate & gamify neighborhood / community / employee walking programs
    4. Better awareness and encouragement to use Parks / Trails (e.g. Explorer apps or Bluetooth enabled signage in high traffic areas noting walking distance to popular destination points)
    5. Using restaurant inspection, USDA, Yelp feedback, or other data to predict highest risk places for foodborne illness outbreaks.
  3. Chronic Disease Prevention & Care (Diabetes, Heart Disease, Asthma, HIV/Aids)
    1. Middleware to facilitate coordinated care between EMR systems used by clinics and primary care facilities
    2. At-home monitoring and connected care solutions
    3. Air Quality: Monitoring pollution in urban areas to combat asthma
    4. Reducing Tobacco use amongst teens
  4. Health & Transportation: Encouraging active lifestyles and alternative transport
    1. Tools to improve Multi-modal wayfinding (e,g, Waze for bikers, supporting bike to bus to bike paths)
    2. Preventing bike and pedestrian accidents/fatalities
    3. Better technology to lower cost to track bike and pedestrian counts
  5. Health & Housing: Ensuring healthy living standards for vulnerable populations (read more)
    1. Keeping most vulnerable healthy by supporting social workers to keep chronic and temporary homeless in permanent housing (HUD, Social Services)
    2. Improving tools and methods for reporting and housing code inspections to ensure affordable housing is safe
    3. Improving home-hospital-home health care & monitoring loop in assisted living facilities for eldercare (also relevant to topic #3)
  6. Mental Health
    1. Better methods and tools for enrolling the prison population in mental health care
    2. Improving access to mental health services and well-being of teens
    3. Ensuring all children that enter school are cognitively, physically, socially and emotionally ready
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