Seeker Spotlight: Whole You™ Challenges

Posted by Sean Carmichael on Jan 27, 2015 3:34:14 PM

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Whole You™, a healthcare innovation company specializing in sensory and physical mobility limitations, has launched two Challenges in partnership with InnoCentive. The Challenges align with the Whole You™ Living Lab, which is dedicated to finding cutting edge solutions to healthcare issues. There are two Ideation Challenges, each offering a guaranteed $15,000 prize fund for the best solution to a specific issue. Solvers have until February 14th to submit (more information can be found at the Whole You™ Pavilion).

We recently spoke about these Challenges with Hiromi Inagaki, Chief Innovation Officer at Whole You™.


Hello Hiromi and thank you for joining us for this blog post. Could you start by telling us more about Whole You and what the company stands for?

Thank you for giving us this opportunity to introduce Whole You and our innovation effort! Whole You is focused on helping people experience life more fully by offering innovative solutions for those with sensory and physical mobility challenges, allowing them to see better, taste better, hear more and move more freely.


How do these Challenges align with company objectives?

We have identified two sensory and physical mobility challenges that individuals face. We believe that through an open innovation approach we can deliver truly ground-breaking products that we know the market needs. We believe that together we can improve the health of the world, through one innovation at a time. Crowdsourcing, collaboration and open innovation are entwined within the fabric of Whole You and will be a part of who we are throughout the life of the company.


What was your motivation for crowdsourcing these Challenges instead of using more traditional R&D methods?

The reason for crowdsourcing the Challenges is to invite the broadest possible community of innovators to demonstrate their insights and ingenuity: the solutions presented are not bound by disciplines or geographies. Especially with non-technical Challenges such as these, we wish to obtain novel ideas for additional services or incentivizes that can be offered to consumers. This wider broadcasting allows for the translation of solutions from many different subject areas that otherwise may not have been achieved. While of course there is a place for internal R&D, we feel these Challenges are perfectly positioned to exploit the benefits crowdsourcing offers.


What are the key attributes that you’d like to see (or not see) in a winning solution?

For the Eye and Vision Care Services Challenge, we are looking for ways that eye care professionals can better serve patient health. For example:

  • How can we revolutionize the way we treat our eyes and vision?
  • What newservices can be provided by eye care professionals?

The goal is to provide more opportunities for eye care professionals to provide patient benefit and allow patients to enjoy better vision, eye health, and life.

For the Oral Appliance for Sleep Apnea Challenge, we are looking for new ways to encourage sleep apnea patients to have even greater compliance for the use of their oral devices, such as:

  • Can using an oral appliance be fun?
  • Can online communities or gamification make use more rewarding?

The goal is to help a patient more fully commit to the treatment, allowing them to enjoy a good night’s sleep. We believe this will improve every aspect of life and allow people to perform at their very best.

We are looking for innovative ways that these end goals can be achieved: solvers may have first-hand experience of the difficulties others face. Solutions can come from anywhere and we hope to see out-of-box ideas that will allow those with vision or sleep challenges to experience their life more fully.


Thanks for your time Hiromi – do you have any final guidance or advice for our Solvers as they tackle these Challenges?

We are leveraging collaboration and innovation to define the future and greatly improve the lives for those with sensory and physical mobility challenges. Solutions can come from anywhere – really think out of the box instead of limiting yourself to proposals that closely align with currently available services/incentivizing methods. Providing evidence or reasoning as to why your proposed method would greatly benefit patients is also necessary for allowing us to fully understand it’s potential. Finally and most importantly, solutions that align with the Whole You mission or even push it to the next level will be of particular interest.

Topics: Challenges, Seekers

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