Three Lakes Foundation and MATTER relaunch innovation challenge guided by insight from patients, caregivers and providers

Chicago, IL — On July 14, Three Lakes Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the diagnosis, care and treatment of people suffering from pulmonary fibrosis (PF), and MATTER, the premier healthcare incubator and innovation hub, announced the relaunch of the Pulmonary Fibrosis Innovation Challenge. The challenge dedicates more than $100,000 toward accelerating solutions for PF, a family of related lung diseases that causes progressive scarring of lung tissue and affects more than three million people around the world. The program kicked off in early 2020 but paused in mid-February as COVID-19 took center stage.

During the first phase of the program relaunch, Three Lakes Foundation, Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation and MATTER issued a global call to the PF community — patients, caregivers and healthcare providers — to share their perspectives on the most pressing challenges facing PF and respiratory health during this pandemic time and beyond.

“Over the last six months, respiratory health has moved to the front and center of conversations across the globe,” said Dana Ball, executive director of Three Lakes Foundation. “COVID-19 has increased the immense challenges impacting the PF community — and it’s more important than ever to advance new solutions that will improve the experience of living with or caring for someone affected by PF.”

Challenge focus

Using the insights gained from the PF Perspectives Project, the challenge asks innovators: How can we improve disease awareness, time to diagnosis or care to benefit people living with PF, their caregivers and healthcare providers? Applicants are encouraged to submit solutions that address one or all of the following focus areas:


  • Solutions, engagement tools and technologies that help patients, caregivers and providers better understand and engage with their disease; improved inter-disciplinary communications

Time to Diagnosis:

  • Data-enabled digital, medical or imaging tools that improve screening, detection and the accuracy of PF diagnosis; data analysis tools


  • Novel interventions and tools that enable both patients and caregivers to preserve patient health, well being and quality of life Care coordination solutions between insurance, various providers, and caregivers
  • New tools, technologies and solutions that will improve upon oxygen therapy that many people living with PF rely on today (Examples include product and canister innovation and improvements in battery life)

Opportunities to collaborate

Throughout the challenge period, participants will have the opportunity to hear a variety of perspectives on PF, from the challenge information session on August 18 (more details to follow) to the culminating PF Innovation Forum event in November. Eight to twelve finalists will also participate in a virtual incubation period from September 24 to November 13. During this phase, participants will validate and pressure test their solutions through interactive workshops and mentoring from subject matter experts at industry-leading organizations like Cigna and The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation. They’ll also receive real-time feedback from the PF community — from clinical thought leaders to patients and caregivers.

“The opportunity to incorporate the PF community into this challenge is incredibly meaningful and highlights a core element of building innovative solutions,” said Arun Bhatia, senior program director at MATTER. “Guided by patient and caregiver voices, innovators can ensure that they are taking the right first step by developing solutions around the right problems. We will then pull these perspectives into the incubation phase of this challenge where innovators, patients, caregivers and providers will be able to engage with each other and further refine these new patient-centric solutions aimed at improving awareness, diagnosis and care options for PF.”

The challenge will culminate in a final pitch day the week of November 16, 2020. The top solution will receive $50,000 and a one-year membership at MATTER.

Innovators with solutions of all stages, from early stage ideas and university-based concepts to marketed solutions, are encouraged to apply. Interested companies can learn more by visiting the challenge website and by attending the virtual information session on August 18. Applications are due by 11:59pm CST on Friday, September 11.

About PF

Pulmonary fibrosis (PF) is a family of related lung diseases that are characterized by scarring in lung tissue. Over time, the scarring can make it difficult for oxygen to get into the blood. More than 200,000 Americans are living with PF — many of whom depend on therapeutic, supplemental oxygen around the clock. PF symptoms often mimic other, more common diseases, making it very difficult to diagnose.

About Three Lakes Foundation

Three Lakes Foundation (TLF) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing awareness of Pulmonary Fibrosis, improving care for affected individuals and accelerating the development of promising new technologies and treatments. Through strategic partnerships and impact funding, TLF aims to improve time to diagnosis and ensure every patient has access to treatments that preserve health and quality of life until a cure can be realized. For more information, please visit


At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 200 cutting-edge startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together we are accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit and follow @MATTERhealth.

About Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation

The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation mobilizes people and resources to provide access to high quality care and leads research for a cure so people with pulmonary fibrosis will live longer, healthier lives. The PFF collaborates with physicians, organizations, patients and caregivers worldwide. The Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation has a three-star rating from Charity Navigator and is a Better Business Bureau accredited charity. For more information, visit or call 844.TalkPFF (844.825.5733) or 312.587.9272 from outside of the U.S.

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