Healthworx Delivering Programs to Help Startups

healthworxhubIf you’ve ever worked at a startup, or been a founder yourself, you know it can be a long, lonely and risky road. This is doubly true for healthcare innovators, who are designing for two stakeholders with vastly different needs:

  • 1. Health Users: Following traditional design principles, healthcare entrepreneurs build products or services that delight healthcare consumers while solving their problems.  
  • 2. Health Systems: Simultaneously, health startups need to build business models, clinical validations and compliant technology stacks for the complex and highly-regulated healthcare industry.

This dual-design need is a difficult and often impossible tightrope for entrepreneurs to walk. That’s why Healthworx works with startups to simplify healthcare innovation.

This year, Healthworx is adding the Healthworx Hub to the suite of solutions and programs designed to connect the dots between healthcare experts and nascent innovators. The Hub will offer programming to help early-stage startups design for both health consumers and health systems. Once it is safe to return to an in-person workspace, Hub programs will be offered from a physical space in Canton.

While Healthworx programs are operating virtually during COVID-19, there is no shortage of opportunity to provide valuable support and expertise to innovators who are making lasting changes in healthcare.

1501 Health: Payer/Provider Partnership Supporting Early-Stage Companies

Healthworx, in partnership with LifeBridge Health, launched 1501 Health, an incubation and investment program that will provide up to $100,000 and mentorship to early-stage healthcare companies. Through the program, Healthworx will work with startups to understand their unique needs as they design for both health consumers and systems. Based on their goals, the program delivers one-of-a-kind mentorship from healthcare experts to help these innovators integrate and scale their solutions into the larger healthcare system.

“Through 1501 Health, we’re looking to find and engage startups developing cutting-edge technologies and solutions that have the potential to significantly impact the healthcare ecosystem, whether that’s healthcare consumers, payers, providers or other stakeholders,” said Healthworx Senior Vice President Ricardo Johnson.

Maryland Business Innovation Challenge: Community and Health Engagement

Healthworx will participate in the inaugural Maryland Business Innovation Challenge hosted by the Maryland Business Innovation Association and the Maryland Department of Commerce. The challenge serves as a platform that connects Maryland’s innovation and corporate communities to solve real-time business challenges.

Through this challenge, Healthworx is looking for the local innovation community to bring forward new ideas about how to improve health equity through family, neighborhood and community engagement.

"The Maryland Business Innovation Challenge builds two different types of bridges. First, it will surface creative ideas that bring healthcare consumers and their communities closer to established healthcare systems and delivery, ultimately improving health equity,” said Healthworx Hub lead Emily Durfee. “And second, it helps Healthworx to connect with early-stage companies and ideators, and to mentor them as they look to develop and scale their solutions."

Halcyon Partnership: Providing Mentorship to Healthworx Fellow

For the third time, Healthworx will provide mentorship to a healthcare company participating in the D.C.-based incubator at Halcyon.

HealthOpX, the current Healthworx fellow in the cohort, is a social determinants of health software startup that helps limited English proficiency patients navigate the healthcare system. The HealthOpX team is accomplishing their mission by partnering with ethnic and community organizations to deliver a sustainable system of patient-centric care.

"I really appreciate the HealthOpX’s team interest in recruiting community providers to assist people with navigating our often-intimidating healthcare system," said Tim Cox, CareFirst’s Director of Innovation and Strategy, Payment Transformation. "I’m looking forward to engaging the team in this great work."

During their time at Halcyon, the HealthOpX team will work with Cox and other CareFirst experts to design their model to integrate healthcare opportunities like value-based care and Medicare and Medicaid solutions.

About Healthworx

Healthworx operates at the intersection of healthcare and innovation by creating, co-creating and investing in companies that are improving healthcare quality, accessibility and affordability. As the innovation and investment arm of CareFirst, Healthworx envisions a healthier future for all people by changing the way health works. To connect with Healthworx about partnering, media interviews or speaking opportunities, please email

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