Fireside Chat kicks off competition that rewards digital technology solutions to healthcare inequities

May 17, 2021

DETROIT - The Big Conversations Digital Inclusion Challenge kicks off with virtual "Fireside Chat" from 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. May 19.

The competition seeks ideas that tackle the connection between digital exclusion and inequities in healthcare. Challenge organizers invite entrepreneurs, clinicians, engineers, designers and other innovators to propose their top ideas for reducing health inequities through the use of digital technology.

The top submitter will receive $75,000 in cash and in-kind support.

The fireside chat - more info on joining and competing here - is intended to generate submissions and provide insight into digital advancements in healthcare that can close the gap on health inequities and also provide an understanding of what types of submissions will be considered. The challenge is a partnership Henry Ford Innovations with sponsorship from Google Cloud and Miracle Software Systems. Henry Ford Innovations is the innovations arm of Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System.

Entries are due by June 24, 2021 and can be submitted here. All entrants are eligible to participate in free educational workshops and programs conducted by Google Cloud and Miracle Software Systems throughout the summer of 2021.

All entries that address the topic of digital inclusion will be considered. However, we offer the following specific questions based on pain points in existing healthcare delivery systems. Applicants are encouraged to use this as a guide and narrow their solution to address a single topic. Topics are not limited to, but might address needs such as: Affordability & Accessibility, Care Delivery & Experience, Patient and Patient Supporters’ Education, Health Literacy & Wellness. More on these topics and the competition here and a video on the challenge here.

Carladenise Edwards, PhD, Henry Ford Health System Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer, will host the fireside chat and along with panelists provide insight into purpose of the international challenge and the need for culturally sensitive and unbiased patient-centric solutions to bridge the gap between healthcare and technology.

Panelists include:

· Martina T. Caldwell, MD, MS - Medical Director of Diversity & Inclusion, Henry Ford Medical Group

· Aaron Wootton – Vice President of Analytics, Henry Ford Health System

· Esteban Lopez, MD, MBA – Market Lead - Healthcare and Life Sciences, Google Cloud

“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.”

NOTE TO MEDIA: Interviews are available prior to or after the event. Media Registration Link.

Media Contact: Barb Holland, [email protected]


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 Henry Ford Innovations at HenryFord.com/Innovations.

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 www.MiracleSoft.com.