Forty-percent of an individual’s health outcomes are attributed to social determinants, such as education and income level. However, most of the innovation in healthcare has ignored these socioeconomic aspects and focused exclusively on improving processes within the clinic, which are responsible for a scant 20% of an individual’s health prognosis. Social determinants often foretell not only whether a patient has access to a doctor, but also whether they have the ability to read their discharge instructions or access the transportation needed to pick up their medications, making them a better indicator of how a patient will progress through treatment than what actually happens in the clinic. This correlation between socioeconomic factors and health outcomes is especially true for low-income chronic disease patients. Many of these diseases are often mitigated through lifestyle change, resulting in a higher susceptibility of this demographic to advanced stages of disease relative to their wealthier counterparts. With a disproportionate amount of all healthcare spending going towards chronic diseases, coupled with reimbursement models shifting towards value-based care and health insurers trying to decrease costs, there is a critical unmet need for innovations that directly address the socioeconomic challenges of a patient’s pathway to better health.
The Village Capital Health: US 2016 program, in partnership with The Kresge Foundation, is seeking early-stage ventures with digital solutions to problems frequently affiliated with low-income patients to apply.
This 12-day program spaced over the course of 3 months will support entrepreneurs with an award-winning program curriculum, 1:1 mentorship from sector leaders, and tailored engagement with potential strategic partners and investors.
At the end of the program, the top two ventures ranked highest by their peers will receive investment from VilCap Investments.
We are particularly interested in ventures that are solving the myriad of health-related issues associated with socioeconomic status. Specific examples include, but are not limited to, ventures that are:
Removing hurdles to obtaining and/or adhering to medication;
Enabling low-income patients to have better access to primary care doctors;
Improving the comprehension of treatment and/or discharge instructions;
Enhancing access to preventative care regimens (An example of this would be comprehensive foot care for diabetes sufferers to prevent lower-extremity amputations.); or
Delivering better nutrition and nutritional information.
Furthermore, eligible enterprises must:
Have at least one full-time team member
Have a minimum viable product
Have meaningful customer or business validation (not limited to revenue, can also be successful pilot studies, number of users, and/or strategic partnerships)
Program Dates and Locations:
Workshop 1: October 12th – 15th, 2016 in Nashville, TN
Workshop 2: November 15th – 18th, 2016 in Philadelphia, PA
Workshop 3: January 17th – 20th, 2017 in San Francisco, CA
Applications close August 1st. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and those that apply earlier will have greater chances of being selected – we encourage you to apply early!