Detroit Health System Partners with Tech Companies to Tackle Digital Exclusion and Disparities in Healthcare

April 27, 2021

DETROIT (April 27, 2021) – Henry Ford Innovations, in partnership with Google Cloud and Miracle Software Systems, will launch an international competition hosted in Detroit, inviting entrepreneurs to propose their top ideas for reducing health inequities through the use of digital technology. Henry Ford Innovations is the innovations arm of Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System.

“Through cross-industry partnerships, our ability to adopt technologies designed to end the disparities in health outcomes due to race, ethnicity, or gender increases exponentially,” said Carladenise Edwards, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of Henry Ford Health System. “We have achieved amazing advances in digital enablement in healthcare, especially over the last year, as the COVID-19 pandemic challenged us to think and act differently on behalf of our communities. But – if the populations experiencing the worse health outcomes aren’t benefiting from those achievements, then our journey is far from over.”

The Digital Inclusion Challenge, which runs through the summer, will kick off May 19, 2021 with a virtual conversation moderated by Dr. Edwards about the need for culturally sensitive and unbiased patient-centric solutions to be developed that bridge the gap between healthcare and technology.

The winner will receive $75,000 in cash and in-kind support toward developing their digital solution at Henry Ford Health System.

“That’s one of the most rewarding aspects of this challenge,” said Martina Caldwell, M.D., Medical Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Henry Ford Medical Group. “Not only will diverse thinkers and innovators who are truly committed to our shared health equity mission benefit from this challenge, our patients and the communities we serve will see a tangible benefit from the winning idea.”

All entries that address digital inclusion will be considered, with the focus on identifying those concepts that address the biggest pain points for digitally excluded patients. Among them:

  • How to make healthcare more affordable and accessible for digitally excluded patients
  • How to make it easier for these patients to learn about their health and healthcare services
  • How to empower care teams to deliver better services to these patients

“Technology can be a powerful driver for improving access and equity in health,” said Esteban López, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Google Cloud. “It’s important for us all to come together to empower innovation and shape the future of health.”

Entries are due by June 24, 2021. Entrepreneurs, clinicians, engineers, designers, and other innovators are invited to participate. The challenge team also plans to partner with international and Detroit-based organizations to actively recruit women and minority applicants. Twenty finalists will be announced in July 2021. That list will be narrowed in late summer to five, who will then participate in a live pitch competition.

“Providing pathways for innovative entrepreneurs, engineers, designers or others to present their original ideas is critical to ensuring healthcare models keep pace with changing patient and health industry needs,” said Prasad Lokam, CEO of Miracle Software Systems. “Being a tech savvy company, we encourage the pioneering spirit of those who have a desire to make healthcare more equitable.”

Those interested in participating in the innovation challenge are invited to attend a one-hour, virtual fireside chat on May 19, 2021. This event will feature a number of speakers including:

  • Dr. Martina Caldwell, Medical Director of Diversity and Inclusion, Henry Ford Medical Group
  • Aaron Wootton, Vice President of Analytics, Henry Ford Health System
  • Dr. Esteban López, Market Lead of Healthcare and Life Sciences at Google Cloud
  • Top of Form
  • Bottom of Form

Click here to learn more about the challenge and register for the kickoff event.

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Media Contacts: Barb Holland, [email protected]Siva Kusampudi, [email protected].

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About Henry Ford Health System 

Founded in 1915 by Henry Ford himself, Henry Ford Health System is a non-profit, integrated health system committed to improving people’s lives through excellence in the science and art of healthcare and healing. Henry Ford Health System includes Henry Ford Medical Group, with more than 1,900 physicians and researchers practicing in more than 50 specialties at locations throughout Southeast and Central Michigan.

The largest of Henry Ford’s five acute care hospitals is Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, a quaternary care research and teaching hospital, Level 1 Trauma Center, and Magnet® hospital – recognized for clinical excellence in cardiology, cardiovascular surgery, neurology, neurosurgery, and multi-organ transplants. The health system also provides comprehensive, best-in-class care for cancer at the Brigitte Harris Cancer Pavilion, and orthopedics and sports medicine at the William Clay Ford Center for Athletic Medicine – both in Detroit.

As one of the nation’s leading academic medical centers, Henry Ford Health System annually trains more than 3,000 medical students, residents, and fellows in more than 50 accredited programs. The health system’s dedication to education and research is supported by nearly $100 million in annual grants from the National Institutes of Health and other public and private foundations.

Henry Ford’s not-for-profit health plan, Health Alliance Plan (HAP), provides health coverage for more than 540,000 people. Henry Ford Health System employs more than 33,000 people, including more than 1,600 physicians, more than 6,600 nurses and 5,000 allied health professionals. Additional information about Henry Ford Health System can be found at HenryFord.com, or visit the Henry Ford Innovation Institute at HenryFordInnovations.com.

About Miracle Software Systems, Inc.
Miracle Software Systems is a Global Systems Integrator and Minority Certified firm with over 27 years of expertise in delivering cutting edge business solutions driven by technologies such as Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, Analytics, Automation, and Integration. With over 2,500 employees across the globe, Miracle strives to use the latest innovations and technologies to drive forward the digital journeys of their customers. Headquartered in Novi, Michigan USA, Miracle has multiple offices around the world. Additional information about Miracle Software Systems, Inc. can be found online at
MiracleSoft.com.