Announcing the 2017 Aging in Place $50K Challenge Winner: DispatchHealth

Earlier this fall, Rock Health joined forces with AARP Foundation and launched the 2017 Aging in Place $50K Challenge. We are thrilled to announce the winner of the $50,000 cash prize and chance to work with AARP Foundation is DispatchHealth!

As investors, we want to solve big problems in healthcare—and we can’t do that alone. AARP Foundation not only shares our values, but also delivers tremendously on them through initiatives spanning from food security to affordable housing for low-income, older adults in America. Working together on this was a no-brainer for us.

The challenge aimed to identify startups with solutions helping to provide low-income, older adults to access affordable, livable, and healthy housing as they age—while simultaneously reducing unnecessary healthcare services, costs, and hospital readmission rates. In its second year, the challenge brought in submissions from over 85 startups, and after careful consideration, the competition was narrowed down to three finalists.

  • DispatchHealth, an on-demand urgent care service, offering convenience for patients and alleviating the burden on primary care providers, urgent care facilities, and emergency rooms
  • FRND Health, which reduces bottlenecks and administration costs by connecting stakeholders to an on-demand network of mobile practitioners to make housecalls
  • RoundTrip, a company on a mission to make transportation an afterthought for all patients and their caregivers by helping care coordinators order any type of patient care. The finalists were selected for their innovative approaches relating to the transportation needs older Americans face while aging at home

On the evening of December 11, 2017, the finalists had the opportunity to pitch to a room full of attendees involved in digital health and aging initiatives, as well as to a panel of judges with a wide range of expertise in healthcare. The judges included Lisa Marsh Ryerson, President of AARP Foundation; Liz Rockett, Director at Kaiser Permanente Ventures; Chris Young, VP of Innovation at Ascension Health; and June Fisher, MD, “Chief Elder Officer” at Aging 2.0. Each finalist also faced a slew of questions from the judges to further assess the company’s business model and alignment with AARP Foundation’s goals.

“When people can stay in their homes as they age, they stay involved in their communities, which benefits us all,” said Ms. Ryerson. “All three finalists demonstrated great ingenuity along with a passion for innovation that can make a positive difference in the lives of vulnerable older adults and society as a whole.”

Congratulations, DispatchHealth! We look forward to following the progress of this year’s winner and finalists.

Have a solution that reduces unnecessary healthcare services and costs for older Americans? Learn more about AARP Foundation’s efforts and give us a shout—submit your business plan here.

Photos by Kara Brodgesell for Rock Health