Ford Motor, Henry Ford Health Partner to Offer Wearable Technology Design Challenge to Employees


Employees of Dearborn-based Ford Motor Co. and Detroit-based Henry Ford Health System are encouraged to develop apps and wearable devices that extend health care to the vehicle under a new challenge beginning next month.

“We’re looking for ways to use technology to do things as simple as increasing convenience for the health consumer and improving the driver experience, to as significant as saving lives,” says Ward Detwiler, associate director of Henry Ford Health System Innovations. “There is a clear need to extend patient (care) beyond the doctor’s office or hospital visit, both to improve patient wellness and lower overall healthcare costs.”

Detwiler says the ideas for the Connected Health App Challenge can include offerings such as in-vehicle health monitoring and warnings; medical test ordering and records access from the road; appointment check-ins; and prescription pick-ups that can be transmitted to a doctor’s office or hospital. 

He says the ideal designs will increase touch points between patients and care providers while expanding the boundaries of patient monitoring. Detwiler says the challenge is designed to serve an increasing number of people living with chronic conditions who spend more and more time behind the wheel.

Detwiler says the challenge begins Jan. 20, with the first phase of submissions (concept mock-ups) due in February. Ten finalists will be chosen in March, with the selection of three winners occurring in May or June. The winning design will receive $5,000.