Disruptive Solutions for Home Health Pitch Competition

By Kate G. McDonald, MHA


SharkTank 2018


Through spending two years diving in the digital health innovation ecosystem within the greater Boston area, I have met incredible entrepreneurs from all backgrounds and walks of life. It wasn’t until I met Rebecca Love, RN, MSN, ANP (Director of Nursing Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Northeastern University) that I first encountered a nursing entrepreneur. Within my own career, nursing was one step ahead of everyone else –identifying issues, devising workarounds, solutions, and addressing patient needs. Nurses who use perspective, drive, and passion applied to the innovation setting are transforming care by disrupting the current system with technologies and solutions. The Nurse SharkTank event supports young nurse and healthcare entrepreneurs. The bright minds participating in this event address opportunities to optimize solutions for independent living.

Everyone can recall a loved one who has either struggled to remain independent in their home or someone they worried about living independently. Nurses are the lifeblood of a patient’s experience and enable independence for people struggling to maintain normalcy in their lifestyle by reducing acute healthcare encounters. Nurses build strong relationships with those they care for, they observe patterns and needs of their patients, and their critical thinking skill sets anticipate problems before they arise.


When applied to a digitally disruptive solution for those struggling to maintain independence at home, these skills make nurses unique entrepreneurs with powerful perspectives. The focus of the technology (wearables, sensors, voice recognition, AI, VR/AR, robotics, IoT, and more) and the entrepreneurs building solutions around that technology – nurses, were highlighted at this competition. Among winners including MyWoundDoctor, Empatica, and Wellivity (as well as other participants), their technology can transform both the daily lifestyle of the people it directly benefits as well as the family and friends who bear significant responsibility to enable independence at home for their loved ones.

Thanks to sponsors such as Medline, early stage startups making a significant impact can be supported by industry leaders through funding support and mentorship to guide them into the next phase of their businesses’ growth and strategy. To follow Nursing Innovation & Entrepreneurship and AARP innovation lab future events, connect via twitter @NurseInnovation and @AARPInnovation.

To track the continued success of our winners, follow them on twitter @empatica @MyWoundDoctor and online at www.wellivity.com.