Community invited to submit health innovation ideas for chance to win $10,000 in idea support

Have you ever experienced frustration with healthcare-related issues and thought there must be a better way?

Illinois residents are invited to submit their idea for improving human health to the third annual Health Make-a-Thon competition. The 10 best ideas each will be supported with $10,000 in resources, materials, and mentorship. This includes access to the Health Maker Lab network of design and making facilities at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the community to design, fabricate, and prototype their idea.

Carle Illinois College of Medicine created the competition with the goal of democratizing health innovation. Dr. Marty Burke, associate dean of research, said the people with the best ideas are often not trained scientists, but citizens who live with health issues day after day.

“We’re empowering people to get involved in the quality of their own care by saying we believe that everyone has good ideas and we want to hear them,” said Professor Burke, who refers to such people as ‘citizen scientists.’ “Literally anyone with an idea for improving human health has a chance to access our maker lab resources where our experts will guide them through conception, designing, making, failing, and trying again.”

Past Health Make-a-Thon participants include community members, students, healthcare practitioners and other professionals.

The deadline for submissions is Jan. 31. Twenty finalists will be notified by the week of March 8, 2021. Ten winners will be chosen at the virtual Health Make-a-Thon competition on April 17, 2021.

For more information or to submit an idea, click here.