Penn Medicine Center for Health Care Innovation

Innovation Grant

The Penn Medicine Innovation Grant program was designed to advance promising ideas and promote exploration in the areas of connected health and employee health. We accept applications for grants in the range of $5k to $75k twice each year. The current application period ends March 14th for grants that will be awarded in May 2014.


Who Should Apply for an Innovation Grant?
We encourage applications from members of the Penn Medicine or University of Pennsylvania community who have identified opportunities or have ideas in the areas of connected health*, employee health**, and who are seeking funding and support to turn their idea into measurable outcomes. In addition to the funds allocated through the Innovation Grant, the Innovation Center can advise on methods to accelerate projects, help remove obstacles, and provide support from both our own staff and by making connections with other relevant subject matter experts.

*Connected Health refers to the use of remote sensing and monitoring, enabling early detection, diagnosis and intervention between traditional, episodic provider interactions. The goal is better patient outcomes in a manner that increases the value of health services delivered by the University of Pennsylvania Health System. This topic covers a broad range of critical areas in need of new insights, such as:

  • Methods for early detection and diagnosis, from continuous sensing to data analytics
  • Approaches that create new touch points between standard, episodic care
  • Ways to drive enhanced patient engagement and behavior, from patient reported outcomes to improved 2-way communication
  • Techniques to leverage EHR data and extend our view of patients with new sources of data

**We also seek opportunities and ideas related to employee health that aim to improve the overall health and health care of Penn Medicine’s employees and their families, and control the cost of the care that employees and their families receive—aiming to reduce waste and the use of over-utilized, low-value services, while increasing the use of under-utilized, high-value services.

*** While we place priority on the two topics listed above, we will consider any proposal with the potential to dramatically change the trajectory of health outcomes, health care cost, patient experience, research impact, or education quality. What ideas are not appropriate for an Innovation Grant? Ideas that look like research projects suitable for sponsorship through internal pilot programs or external grant making authorities are less likely to be suitable for this initiative.



How to apply




Evaluation Process
Key criteria considered in allocating funds include:

  1. Alignment with the stated objectives regarding connected health or employee health.
  2. Willingness to rapidly explore multiple opportunities aimed to achieve stated outcomes.
  3. Potential impact if proven effective and deployed across Penn Medicine patient populations/clinical settings.
  4. Existence of a passionate driver with the capacity to push the project forward during the summer months of 2014.




Outcomes for Winning Applications
Teams with approved submissions will receive the following:

  1. Funding in the range of $5k to $75k. Note that the maximum funding amount will only be allocated once approved projects have shown initial evidence of success.
  2. Training (if desired) on rapid validation techniques designed to convert new ideas into outcomes quickly at low cost
  3. Consulting, design and project management support, as staff from the Innovation Center offer time on these funded projects while also identifying appropriate mentors and advisors who can meaningfully contribute.We're looking for projects that come with a passionate driver, as noted above, but will help as needed to ensure ideas can be evaluated for further investment within a defined period of time. We'll also help remove obstacles and enable access to key stakeholders to facilitate progress.
  4. Recognition. Project leaders will receive the designation of an Innovation Fellow and their work will be covered on the Center's web site.