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Esther Dyson Launches Population Health Challenge

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, April 15, 2014

In other words, it's a lot of the things that HealthLeaders readers are currently embarking on both individually and collectively. And if the prestige of being selected for the first-of-its-kind national competition of sorts doesn't intrigue you, there are a couple of other things to consider.

First is the cash prize at the end of the five years. HICCup itself won't be rewarding such a prize, but hopes to raise $5 million for it. "Honestly, contestants are going to have to spend $15 to $50 million as a community to do this, so you're not doing this for the prize, though of course it matters to some extent," Dyson says.

Second, and more importantly, Way to Wellville contestants will become part of a larger community amongst the five competing communities. They will meet face-to-face in September at an annual conference, Next Step to Wellville, about a month after the five competing communities are selected.

The actual judging of who wins in 2019 has yet to be decided, but it will be a third party for legal and fiduciary reasons. Dyson emphasizes that the organization doesn't have all the answers yet.

Metrics Matter
If you believe, like I do, that healthcare is closer than ever to some tectonic shakeups courtesy of technology, then Way to Wellville is likely to be a great observation post. Innovative medical hardware and software companies are already flocking to a variety of competitions such as this. Way to Wellville is just taking a bigger view of what kind of population health solutions will ultimately be necessary.

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