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Readout of the MassChallenge 2022 Verticals Application Launch Event

On Thursday, September 9, 2021 Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel L. Levine, M.D., and National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Micky Tripathi helped kick off the PandemicX Accelerator Program during the virtual MassChallenge 2022 Verticals Application Launch event.

PandemicX is a startup accelerator sponsored by HHS and run by MassChallenge HealthTech (MCHT). PandemicX combines entrepreneurs and digital tools with the infrastructure and data of HHS to better understand and eliminate disparities in access and quality of care exacerbated by COVID-19.

"The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health is making sure that health equity is a cornerstone of our COVID-19 response—from our COVID-19 health equity task force—to the work of our InnovationX team," said Dr. Levine in pre-taped remarks. "We are accelerating scientific breakthroughs and innovation with cross-cutting collaboration and partnerships. The more critical stakeholders involved in trying to solve the toughest health challenges, the better."

MassChallenge is running a PandemicX track as part of its MCHT program to address challenges with the current pandemic and create equitable solutions for future health threats. MCHT’s goal is to source and vet 10-15 startups in PandemicX challenge areas. If accepted, startups will receive access to curriculum, mentorship, resources, and partnerships to scale their business and create challenge-focused solutions to eliminate disparities and inequalities.

The challenge statements include the following key areas that will help address health inequity issues from a holistic perspective.

  • Health Equity by Design
  • National Public Health Solutions
  • Behavioral, Mental, Violence Prevention
  • Socioeconomic Outcome Indicators
  • Community Resilience

Siobhan Dulleah, CEO MassChallenge, opened the event by sharing that health and wealth are two issues that are inextricably related. “The world needs technological and business innovation to increase equitable assets to these essential needs in order to create a resilient society. We know HealthTech and FinTech startups are a force of good to help make wellness and to make health and wealth an accessible right not a privilege. You cannot have health without resilience without inclusion.”

The event also featured alumni of the program who shared their experiences, along with the benefits of the startup/partner relationship and challenges that helped them learn and grow.

Later in the event, Micky Tripathi, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, shared that COVID-19 has “revealed several gaps in our collective ability to get the right data, for the right place, at the right time both in the areas of public health as well as in garden variety point of care in health care delivery.” PandemicX holds an opportunity to bring back a much-needed political and organizational focus and resources to this issue with collaboration between multiple federal and private sector stakeholders.

To watch the full recording of the MassChallenge 2022 Verticals Application Launch Event, please use the following link:

HealthTech startups interested in applying should visit MassChallenge’s website and fill out the application form by October 7.

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Content created by Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH)
Content last reviewed