PF Innovation Challenge Aims to Reward New Ways of Helping Patients

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by David Melamed, PhD |

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The nonprofit Three Lakes Foundation has teamed with Matter, a healthcare incubator, to launch the PF Innovation Challenge, an effort to promote better ways of diagnosing pulmonary fibrosis (PF) and caring for patients.

Together, these Chicago-based groups set a total of $100,000 aside for the winning approaches.

“Over the last six months, respiratory health has moved to the front and center of conversations across the globe,” Dana Ball, executive director of Three Lakes Foundation, said in a press release. “COVID-19 has increased the immense challenges impacting the PF community — and it’s more important than ever to advance new solutions for PF.”

The Innovative Challenge begins today with a virtual information session (at 9 a.m. CT) to discuss the opportunities for improving diagnosis and care in PF.

This session will include presentations on patient and caregiver experiences, as well as a moderated panel discussion about the challenges facing the PF and the respiratory health communities from the perspectives of a patient, healthcare provider, and an innovator.

Entrepreneurs and others interested can register for this information session, which is free to attend, via this website.

Challenge participants are encouraged to focus on three main areas in which PF care could be improved: awareness, time to diagnosis, and care.

For awareness, solutions may include tools and technologies that improve engagement among patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers, and those that allow patients to better understand their disease.

For time to diagnosis, the challenge encourages participants to focus on tools that can improve screening, detection, and accuracy of PF diagnosis, as well as data analysis tools that may help with diagnosis. Confirming the disease can often be difficult, as symptoms may mimic other conditions.

In terms of care, tools that enable a better quality of life and allow greater coordination among insurance, healthcare providers and caregivers, as well as new techniques to improve oxygen therapy, are potential solutions for this challenge.

Both organizers are actively involved in healthcare and PF care. The Three Lakes Foundation is a nonprofit with the goal of unifying researchers, industries, and PF nonprofit organizations to improve disease diagnosis and treatment.

Matter is an incubator that has assisted over 200 healthcare start-ups worldwide, actively collaborating with hospitals, healthcare systems, universities, and industry leaders.

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