MATTER Top 10: Our favorite stories of 2020

2020 called on the healthcare community to take on unprecedented challenges and push the boundaries of innovation. This year, the MATTER community pivoted and retooled their solutions to combat COVID-19, secured funding and partnerships in the midst of an economic crisis, and explored new ways to improve health for all.

We’re grateful for your continued support throughout the year and look forward to building on this journey in 2021. As we close out the year, we’re taking a look back at some of our favorite stories from the MATTER community in 2020. We’ll be sharing each of the stories listed below across social media — one per day to lead us into the new year. Join us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram to follow along with us, or read them all at once here.

10. Headspace’s Dr. Megan Jones Bell talks science and social responsibility in digital mental health

Headspace Chief Science Officer Dr. Megan Jones Bell joined us for a virtual conversation to discuss the surge in mental health needs since the onset of the pandemic. Dr. Bell discussed the importance of mindfulness, the additional steps Headspace has taken to serve communities in need during COVID-19, and how evidence-based care and a social responsibility to help others remain pillars of the Headspace community.

9. How BayCare and Clearstep launched a COVID-19 screener in 9 days

Less than two weeks after the World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, MATTER startup member Clearstep and MATTER partner BayCare launched an online COVID-19 symptom screener. In May, we sat down with both companies to learn more about their partnership and how they were able to deliver one of the first digital health solutions for COVID-19.

8. The hospital of the future: Sheba Medical Center shares innovation focus during COVID-19

MATTER partner Sheba Medical Center is the largest hospital in Israel and has been named one of the top 10 hospitals in the world. Earlier this year, Eyal Zimilchman, deputy director, chief medical officer and chief innovation officer joined us to share how Sheba helps hospital staff to build their own solutions within the hospital, and also gives outside startups the opportunity to work alongside Sheba’s clinicians. Read about Sheba’s four key focus areas of innovation during COVID-19.

7. Five ingredients for a culture of innovation

Over the last several years, MATTER has worked closely with dozens of hospitals and health systems. The majority of these health system leaders want to be innovative, but very few feel confident in building the kinds of systems and culture that an organization needs to continuously transform new ideas into solutions. MATTER CEO Steven Collens shared the five essential ingredients that every health system must have to effectively build innovation into their organizations.

6. Returning to the workplace safely: Lessons from cross-industry leaders

Work environments vary widely — both internally and externally in terms of what is in a leader’s control — and have different expectations on timing of when the majority of employees will return to the office due to the pandemic. In this collaboration with 1871 and mHUB, experts across all industries weighed in on the challenges and solutions they’ve come up with to keep their employees safe.

5. Four ways life sciences companies are adapting to a COVID-19 world

In May, MATTER hosted a virtual roundtable with innovation leaders from eight leading pharmaceutical and medical device companies from across the world to compare notes about what they’re focused on during COVID-19 — and how they think the pandemic will affect the policies and norms that shape their business imperatives. We outlined the four key focus areas that came out of that discussion.

4. Think like a CFO: Four cash management strategies for startups during a crisis

In March, we launched a MATTER member exclusive workshop series to help MATTER startups navigate the changing innovation landscape as a result of COVID-19. At one of the first workshops, Lee Shapiro, managing partner at 7Wire Ventures and CFO of Livongo, encouraged entrepreneurs to ask themselves four questions when managing cash during a crisis.

3. #MATTERturns5: Five years in, MATTER is a global innovation hub

In February, we celebrated MATTER’s fifth birthday. CEO Steven Collens took us down memory lane, celebrating what we’ve accomplished as a startup ourselves and sharing his hopes for the future of MATTER.

2. Innovation challenges for pulmonary fibrosis, maternal and infant health and pandemic response

MATTER launched three healthcare innovation challenges across multiple sectors this year. With Three Lakes Foundation and the Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, we launched the Pulmonary Fibrosis (PF) Innovation Challenge seeking solutions that improve disease awareness, time to diagnosis or care to benefit people living with PF, their caregivers and healthcare providers. Alongside Parkview Health, we sourced solutions for maternal health and infant mortality with the Healthy Mom and Baby Competition. To close out the year, we teamed up with Anthem, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois for the Pandemic Response Innovation Challenge to address behavioral health needs exacerbated by the pandemic and leverage data to improve patient care during COVID-19 and beyond.

1. Three focus areas for health system innovation leaders in the face of COVID-19

Throughout the first several months of the pandemic, MATTER has hosted virtual roundtables with innovation leaders from health systems so they could share what they are learning and doing to help their communities address the pandemic. Based on those conversations, we narrowed down the three key areas leaders are focusing on during the pandemic.

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