Together, Lyfebulb and CVS Kidney Care encourage entrepreneurs to bring forward strategic, creative, and scalable concepts to make care more understandable, accessible, and equitable to serve kidney patient and care partner needs. Proposals may range from early to mature product development and include initiatives designed to:
- Encourage better kidney health
- Improve early evaluation for chronic kidney disease (CKD
- Educate health care providers and patients around kidney function
- Increase cultural empathy among health care workers
- Remove social barriers that affect kidney health outcomes
- Increase the diversity of nephrologists
Communities of color bear a disproportionate share of kidney disease’s burden, with individuals frequently underdiagnosed and struggling to obtain equitable care. Applicants from historically underrepresented communities and those personally affected by CKD or end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are particularly encouraged to submit their ideas.
“Treating kidney disease is not enough. We must empower kidney health,” said Dr. Jesse Roach, Senior Medical Director, Health Equity, CVS Kidney Care. “Patient entrepreneurs are an important resource to identify innovative ways to break down barriers facing kidney disease patients in underserved communities across the country.”
Selected applicants will receive an invitation to pitch their business ventures to an expert panel of judges composed of health care industry, medical, and patient leaders over the course of a two-day in-person summit in the Boston, MA area, on March 2-3, 2022. One winner will be awarded a $25,000 monetary award to further the development of their solution. CVS Kidney Care may consider competing finalists for possible partnerships or investment opportunities beyond the challenge.
The judging panel will include:
- Richard Knight, President, American Association of Kidney Patients
- Glenda Roberts, Director, External Relations and Patient Engagement at UW Kidney Research Institute/Center for Dialysis Innovation; Chief Strategy and Operations Officer – Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Center
- Michael Pimental, Vice President, Strategic Partnership and Growth Acceleration, CVS Health®; Co-Founder & Partner, CVS Health Ventures
- Adele Gulfo, Chief Business and Commercial Development Officer, Sumitovant Biopharma
- Keisha L. Gibson, MD, MPH, FASN, UNC School of Medicine
- Kyu Rhee M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Aetna
“Patients and their loved ones possess incredible insights and are uniquely positioned via lived experience to identify new business solutions to combat this disease and improve health equity among all,” said Dr. Karin Hehenberger, CEO and Founder of Lyfebulb. “Through this call-to-action, we will surface solutions that are tackling the challenge in partnership with the very community we seek to serve.”
The competition is free to enter. Official eligibility criteria, and terms and conditions can be found on the official website. Applying companies must be registered in the United States.
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