Partners Connected Health Names a Team from McLean Hospital Winner of the 2017 Connected Health Innovation Challenge (CHIC)

Integrated Group Therapy (IGT) app to benefit individuals with both mood and substance use disorders.

Partners Connected Health today announced that a team from McLean Hospital was named the winner of the 2017 Partners Connected Health Innovation Challenge (CHIC). The Challenge was created to accelerate the development of disruptive, patient-centric and connected health solutions, from Partners HealthCare employees and clinical faculty, to radically improve the lives of patients.

To bridge the gap in access to group therapy treatment for individuals with both mood and substance use disorders, a team of physicians and non-clinical staff from McLean Hospital envisioned a secure mobile app which incorporates key elements of integrated group therapy (IGT) treatment, including mood monitoring and check-ins, as well as videos and other educational content. It aims to enhance clinicians’ ability to utilize integrated group therapy with patients and improve outcomes by fostering adherence to treatment. Founded in 1811, McLean is a leader in psychiatric care, research and education, and is the largest psychiatric teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School.

As the CHIC winner, the McLean Hospital team will receive 200 hours of service from the Partners Connected Health Innovation team focusing on user-centered design, software development, research and data science, as well as 100 hours of service from ObjectFrontier Software, the software development sponsor for CHIC 2017, to develop their idea from concept to reality.

“The Connected Health Innovation Challenge aims to bring the brightest ideas from the greatest minds across Partners HealthCare to life,” said Kamal Jethwani, MD, Senior Director, Partners Connected Health Innovation. “With the opioid crisis looming, and more and more patients diagnosed with mood disorders, this idea can extend care and improve the quality of life for patients exponentially. I’m excited our team is working to bring this idea to life.”

This winning innovation will be presented today as part of a panel session at the 2017 Connected Health Conference in Boston, addressing the challenges and opportunities of running an innovation program, Creating an Innovation Ecosystem to Disrupt Healthcare from Within, along with Boston’s Digital Health Accelerator, Pulse@MassChallenge.

“Coming into the process we had so many different ideas – you kind of want to save the world,” said Rocco Ianucci, MD, Director, Fernside Recovery Program, McLean Hospital. “The [CHIC] coaches were terrific in helping us distill that into something that would be less overwhelming to develop and more practical for people to use.”  

The McLean Hospital team is comprised of Hilary Connery, MD, PhD; Cheryl Cronin, MBA, MA; Kenneth Gilman; Rocco Iannucci, MD; Monika Kolodziej, PhD; Anna Munro, LICSW, MSW; Dawn Sugarman, PhD; and Roger Weiss, MD.

Fifty-three teams from across the Partners HealthCare network submitted ideas, and four semi-finalists pitched their concepts to a panel of judges: Gregg Meyer, MD, Chief Clinical Officer, Partners HealthCare; Sreekanth Chaguturu, MD, Vice President, Population Health Management; Partners HealthCare; Trung Do, Executive Director, Business Development, Partners HealthCare; and Robin Glasco, Chief Innovation Officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

There are 3.3 million adults in the U.S. with co-occurring depressive and substance use disorders, including alcoholism and opioid use. More than 44,000 Americans die by suicide each year, and there were more than 54,000 lethal drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2015.

The Partners Connected Health Innovation team includes user-centered design experts, software developers, clinical researchers and data analysts who work to deliver breakthrough research and patient-centric innovation to companies, organizations and healthcare providers focused on helping people live healthier lives.

The Partners Connected Health Innovation Challenge accelerates the development of disruptive, patient-centric connected health solutions that radically improve the lives of patients. Support this year was provided by Teva Pharmaceuticals, ObjectFrontier Software, Pulse@MassChallenge, MedTech Boston and General Assembly.

Partners Connected Health

Partners Connected Health, at Partners HealthCare, is leveraging information technology – mobile phones, tablets, wearables, sensors and remote health monitoring tools – to deliver quality patient care outside of traditional medical settings. Partners Connected Health programs are also helping providers and patients better manage chronic conditions, maintain health and wellness and improve adherence, engagement and clinical outcomes. The Connected Health team creates and deploys mobile technologies in a number of patient populations and care settings, and is conducting innovative research studies to test the effectiveness of mobile health technologies in various clinical applications, including medication adherence, care coordination, chronic disease management, prevention and wellness.

Partners HealthCare

Partners HealthCare, an integrated health system founded by Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, includes two academic medical centers, community and specialty hospitals, a managed care organization, community health centers, a physician network, home health and long-term care services, and other health care entities. Partners HealthCare is committed to patient care, research, teaching, and service to the community. Partners is one of the nation’s leading biomedical research organizations and a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.


Gina Cella
Cella Communications