Background and Theme


Currently, more than half of Americans (and more than 90% of our senior citizens) are living with one or more chronic conditions, driving 84% of US healthcare costs.  Aside from contributing to death and disability of patients, conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis impart collateral costs that are borne by patients’ families, caregivers, and society as a whole; healthcare spending currently represents 17% of U.S. GDP.  With healthcare providers under increasing regulatory and financial pressures to improve outcomes while lowering costs, the rising prevalence of chronic diseases is forcing providers to find new ways to effectively manage patients across the entire continuum of care. However, with just a few patient touch points per year, how can providers help monitor and improve patients’ health outside of the doctor’s office? One of the most promising new technologies to address these issues is the solution set commonly called “connected health”. In order to create such solutions that will allow providers to better manage their patients both in and out of the hospital, product manufacturers and healthcare practitioners must find ways to both, (1) integrate data collection technologies with products of which patients already interact with on a daily basis, and (2) provide access to collected data in ways that are clinically meaningful.


The Theme: Connected (Car + Health) = Healthcare on Wheels

As projected by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the amount of time we spend behind the wheel is significantly on the rise. As a result, vehicles are becoming a logical, private and convenient place from which to manage our health while in motion. On the other hand, the rising prevalence of chronic diseases is forcing healthcare providers to find new ways to effectively manage patients across the entire continuum of care. Connected health solutions are gaining rapid adoption among providers to help monitor and improve patients’ health outside of the doctor’s office, thus surpassing the limitation posed by the few physical patient touch points per year.

In an effort to expand the boundaries of patient monitoring, Ford Motor Company and Henry Ford Health System are challenging the employees of both companies to find effective solutions using the automobile to facilitate connective health monitoring. The purpose of this challenge is to invite Ford Motor Company and HFHS employees to submit concepts that utilize the automobile, smartphones and wearable devices as effective components of caring for our aging and chronic disease populations. The concepts should make use of emerging wearable, mobile and web technologies, and envision new in-vehicle use-cases of the data recorded by these technologies through mobile apps, websites or other types of user interfaces.


Topics of interest: 

Included, but not limited to:

Personal healthcare

  • Seamless and safe extensions of home health user experience in the car, which includes in-vehicle health monitoring, alerts, notification and actuations for preventative measurements in a safe and convenient way
  • Instrumenting user interaction with personal health monitoring devices for safe and convenient in-vehicle usage
  • Adjust vehicle active safety system triggers based on certain medical condition

Managing healthcare

  • Managing and scheduling clinical appointments while driving, ETA-based alerts and rescheduling assistance
  • Achieving compliance with health and prescription regimens while driving, in-vehicle alerts for prescription renewal, assistance with sending refill request to your pharmacy, schedule pick-up and get navigation directions
  • Providing pre check-in assistance while driving into a connected healthcare facility

Healthcare delivery

  • Delivering personalized, interactive, clinician-directed surveys to drivers for addressing non-emergency health concerns and minimizing hospital admissions/readmissions
  • Access to personal electronic health record (EHR) and vital stats of drivers for improving ER preparedness at healthcare facilities and targeting medical claim costs
  • Cloud-based monitoring and tracking the migration of diseases by travelers for clinical research