Oklahoma State University Center for Health Systems Innovation is taking a fresh approach to improving rural health care by bringing together aspiring entrepreneurs from different professions for a special event in November.
Rural Healthcare Innovation Weekend, set for Nov. 13-15 at Fly Loft in downtown Tulsa, aims to develop new products or services that will benefit rural health care.
“This event is designed to be a roll-up-your-sleeves effort to develop solutions for issues affecting health care in rural communities,” said William Paiva, Ph.D., OSU-CHSI executive director. “Rural Healthcare Innovation Weekend will be 54 hours of intense prototype and concept development among multidisciplinary groups of professionals.”
Participants will pitch rural health care issues they want to address and recruit other entrepreneurs in attendance to work as part of a team to develop novel approaches and prototypes to address those issues.
At the end of the weekend, teams will present their findings to a panel of judges. Cash prizes of $3,000 for first place, $2,000 for second and $1,000 for third place will be presented to teams with the best ideas. Winners also will have the opportunity to work with CHSI with access to the largest healthcare database in the U.S. All projects developed during the weekend is owned by the developers.
“Oklahoma has a severe shortage of primary care physicians practicing in rural Oklahoma,” Paiva said. “With approximately 40 percent of Oklahoma’s population living in a rural area, the lack of access to primary care services is putting people at a greater risk for developing chronic diseases. That is why we are focusing our efforts on rural health care delivery.”
Teams are encouraged to focus on three specific rural health issues: health care access, efficient utilization of clinical operations and management of high-risk rural populations.
“For example, one of the big challenges in rural health is logistics, getting people to show up to their actual medical appointments,” Paiva said. “So one of the projects could be an app to connect people with existing transportation networks or new ones.”
To register for Rural Healthcare Innovation Weekend, visit http://chsi.okstate.edu. Cost to attend is $50 for participants and $30 for students. Scholarships for students are available upon request.
For questions or more information, email email@example.com or call Sarah Teague at 918-561-8311.