- Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) and Blue Health Intelligence (BHI) have named five finalists in their claims data analytics challenge. The selected companies will use a subset of BHI's national dataset to help improve the utility of their healthcare solution ideas.

The payer announced the challenge in April 2019, with the goal of having innovative companies explore new methods that increase access to care, boost patient engagement, and improve care delivery.

BCBS noted that although many innovative solutions are entering the market, the healthcare industry has seen little improvement in reducing costs or improving patient outcomes. To overcome barriers to success, BCBS and BHI are seeking to promote solutions that increase access to data.

"By providing a leading-edge company with BHI's dataset and state-of-the-art analytic resources and technologies, they'll be in a position to develop meaningful solutions that don't just break through barriers, but also increase patients' access to care, make health care work more efficiently, and improve health," Swati Abbott, CEO of BHI said when BCBS launched the challenge.

Over 130 companies submitted applications by June 25, 2019. Over July and August, BCBS executives and academics reviewed the applications and selected the most promising use cases. These finalists include Livongo, whose solution empowers patients with chronic diseases to live healthier lives. The company plans to use BHI's dataset to identify patients at risk of medication non-adherence.

BCBS and BHI also selected Pager, a company that developed a digital health solution that serves as a collaboration hub between consumers and their care team. Pager will combine BHI's dataset with its own resources to find out how care teams can improve members' journeys through their healthcare usage.

Thrive Earlier Detection made the finalist group for developing CancerSEEK, a liquid biopsy test designed to detect cancers at earlier stages of disease. With BHI's dataset, Thrive Earlier Detection will gain further insights into the health-economic impact of earlier cancer detection.

Wildflower Health's responsive software solutions earned the company a finalist spot. The company will use BHI's dataset with its own data sources to enhance its pregnancy platform's risk stratification model, enabling more timely and appropriate interventions for members.

BCBS and BHI also chose Workit, a platform providing online opioid addiction treatments that are affordable and accessible. Workit Health will leverage the dataset to discover more holistic ways to measure the success of addiction treatments and support the prioritization of members for real-time interventions.

Over the next two months, finalists will test their proposed use cases using a subset of BHI data. After completing their projects, the companies will present a brief pitch to BCBS and BHI to demonstrate the effectiveness of their solutions.

The final winner will receive access to a subset of BHI data for six months, data support from BHI, access to BCBS leadership through mentorship and participation at BCBS events, and mentorship and advice from leaders of HIMSS.

BCBS and BHI expect that each of the finalists will contribute to accelerating innovation in healthcare, leading to more data-driven care delivery.

"Our goal for the BlueCross BlueShield Data Innovation Challenge was to bring forward cutting-edge companies that support our mission to improve the health of America with meaningful and creative solutions - and we were not disappointed, having received over 130 applications," Bob Kolodgy, BCBSA's Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and BHI board member, said in a statement.

"The five finalists were selected based on their unique proposals, with each planning to use BHI data to provide patients with better preventative care and improved outcomes."

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