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The Journey 

Innovation begins with the spirit of exploration and a desire to chart new heights. We liken this to embarking on an expedition—it is a staged journey best accomplished with help from those who have gone before.



What you need to begin

• Each team must have at least three members.

• Each team must have at least one member who is affiliated with Partners HealthCare or a Partners-affiliated institution.

See our guidelines below for more information.



“We did not know how much we did not know, and the thoughtful process that [the Connected Health Innovation team] brought worked really well to help us understand the what, why and how to improve the design of our program to maximize patient engagement and minimize attrition.”

— Louisa G. Sylvia, PhD, Director of Psychology, Massachusetts General Hospital Bipolar Clinic and Research Program


Trek In



Connected Health Innovation will review your applications based on its relevance to Partners' mission, originality of the idea, and clarity of concept. Following this review, four 'CHIC Trek' teams will be selected to continue on the expedition.



During the acclimatization stage, CHIC Trek teams will be paired with Innovation Sherpas (user-centered design, software development, clinical research and Data Science & Analytics)  who will introduce them to new skills required for the journey ahead.

Each team will participate in a fast-paced, two-day workshop, learning to apply the principles and practices of Design Thinking to their idea and create a business pitch.

Pause & Assess


CHIC Trek teams will pitch their ideas to the panel of judges who will evaluate each idea based on the following criteria:

Viability: Is the idea sustainable? What is its significant impact on healthcare?

Feasibility: Have technical, workflow, and usability issues been evaluated and accounted for?

Future Plan: What next steps have been considered to take this idea further?

One team will then be selected to continue onward to develop their idea with the support of the UCD Innovation team.


Base Camp


The winning CHIC Trek team is awarded time, mentorship and additional resources to continue their journey and further build their concept. The grand prize includes:

• 200 hours of user-centered design and 100 hours of software development services to develop your concept into an early stage prototype.

• A comprehensive report of your overall journey through the CHIC trek and basecamp.

• A showcase for your work at the 2017 PCHA Connected Health conference (October 25th - 27th).


"Nothing in medical training prepares you for something like this. [User-centered design] is very different than anything I have done before, so having people who know the process, the hurdles and the pitfalls really helps you makes good decisions up front and puts you on solid ground to launch the product." 

— Rebecca Scully, MD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 2016 CHIC participant



Have an idea to change healthcare? We want to hear from you!

Join our mailing list to stay informed with updates, including news of when the challenge begins to accept applications for 2017.