Parkview Health and MATTER announce finalists of the Healthy Mom & Baby Competition

On Monday, June 1, 10 semi-finalist teams for the Healthy Mom & Baby Innovation Competition gathered virtually for a full-day pitch event. Semi-finalists started the day off pitching their ventures to a panel of judges for the chance at a cash prize and the opportunity to move on to the next phase of the competition. Each team presented their unique solutions to help reduce the rate of infant mortality, support maternal health or both.

After the private pitch session, the 10 semi-finalist teams presented their solutions to the public during a live, virtual fast-pitch event. At the end of the event, the audience had the opportunity to vote for a People’s Choice winner who would move onto the next phase of the competition.

At the end of the day, the panel named five finalists — including one overall winner and one People’s Choice winner. Teams from TheraB Medical Inc., Parkview Simulation Lab and Purdue University were selected as finalists, and Fetal Life claimed the People’s Choice award. Ultimately, Candlelit Therapy, a prenatal mental health startup aimed at helping women navigate pregnancy and postpartum, was selected as the overall winner of the Innovation Competition.

“I’m thrilled to be able to partner with those closest to moms at one of the most vulnerable points in their lives. As a new mom, I struggled to find local and personalized emotional support tailored to my needs,” said Lauren Elliot, CEO of Candlelit Therapy. “I’m looking forward to working with Parkview Health and MATTER to bring critical mental healthcare intervention and access to more moms and families, so they no longer have to suffer in silence.”

All five finalist teams will receive a one-year global membership at MATTER and will move on to a three-month virtual accelerator program. As the overall winner of this pitch day, Candlelit Therapy will also receive a $10,000 cash prize.

“From the start of this competition series, our focus has remained steadily on our goal of saving Indiana babies,” said Ethel Massing, president of the Indiana Chapter of HIMSS and innovation project specialist at Parkview. “We are thrilled to move forward with the five finalist companies. They all have solutions that have the potential to not only save babies in Indiana, but to positively affect the care of mothers and babies across the world.”

“We were impressed with the diverse range of solutions presented to us, and we’re thrilled to advance these five finalists to the accelerator phase of the competition,” said Jolynn Suko, chief innovation officer at Parkview. “This next phase will allow participants the opportunity to collaborate with physicians and industry experts within Parkview to further advance their solutions, ultimately making a meaningful difference for mothers and babies in Indiana and across the US.”

What’s next?

The five finalist teams will move on to a three-month virtual accelerator program where they will further develop and advance their solutions with guidance from Parkview Health and MATTER leaders and mentors.

On September 17, finalist teams will present their final collaboration and funding proposals to a community of healthcare professionals, Parkview leaders and outside investors.

“During this phase, we will take the opportunity to validate our business models and technical solutions with the guidance and expertise of Parkview Health and MATTER,” said Riya Shah, founder of Fetal Life. “We look forward to further exploring the ways our solution could solve a critical challenge for the Parkview Health community.”

Read more about the finalists:

Advanced Medical Simulation Lab at Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation — Fort Wayne, Indiana

The medical simulation lab at Parkview Mirro Center for Research and Innovation’s Safe Sleep Program provides education around safe sleep through experiential learning such as using 3D models. These 3D models of the infant trachea and esophagus will be used to simulate vomiting in the prone and supine infant.

Candlelit Therapy, Inc. (Innovation Competition winner) — New York, New York

Candlelit Therapy is an app-based therapy clinic and digital intervention that provides new and expectant parents of color with on-demand counseling. Their free mobile app will help moms discover, book and maintain mental health counseling on a budget that works for them.

Fetal Life (People’s Choice winner)— Prospect, Kentucky

Fetal Life is a specialized technology company dedicated to addressing the challenges around pregnancy by the integration of medical expertise, artificial intelligence and technological solutions. Their solutions include a smart uterine contraction monitoring handheld device, a smart fetal heart rate monitoring device and the mobile app MyFetalLife which consists of educational materials, interactive features and care plans for pregnant mothers.

Purdue University — West Lafayette, Indiana

Purdue University Cardiovascular Imaging Research Laboratory’s solution for preterm births is the automated supine pressor test (Auto-SPT), which is a diagnostic tool and management device that determines and mitigates a woman’s risk of preeclampsia. Auto-SPT measures the patient’s blood pressure while on their back and left side to gauge risk of preeclampsia and can monitor body position during sleep, alerting the patient if she inadvertently rolls into a non-therapeutic sleeping position during the night.

TheraB Medical, Inc. — East Lansing, Michigan

TheraB Medical’s solution, SnugLit, is a wearable, portable solution to infant jaundice that promotes maternal-infant bonding and breastfeeding. SnugLit covers the infant’s whole body and is composed of a reusable light pad and disposable cotton swaddle to provide an all-in-one phototherapy treatment.