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Thrive Earlier Detection Wins the BlueCross BlueShield Data Innovation Challenge

Thrive to analyze more than Five Years of Blue Cross and Blue Shield claims to detect cancer earlier and more cost-effectively


Back in April of 2019, BCBSA and BHI invited visionary companies to enter the BlueCross BlueShield Data Innovation Challenge to develop solutions that increase access to care, enhance patient engagement and improve care delivery and outcomes. Five finalists were chosen in September and given two months to test their hypotheses using a limited HIPAA-compliant-dataset. In November, the five finalists presented their findings to the Challenge’s Selection Committee, who then selected Thrive as the winner.

In line with BCBS’s goal of improving the health of all Americans, BCBSA and BHI collaborated with HIMSS and Healthbox, a HIMSS Innovation Company, to implement the BlueCross BlueShield Data Innovation Challenge with the goal of creating meaningful solutions that don’t just break through barriers, but also increase patients’ access to care, make healthcare work more efficiently and improve health.

Application and Testing Process

More than 130 companies submitted applications by June 25, 2019. In July and August, leading BCBS executives and academics reviewed the applications and selected the most promising use cases. On September 9, 2019, BCBSA and BHI announced the five finalists who received access to a subset of BHI’s national dataset to help prove the utility and usefulness of their novel healthcare solution ideas. 

The finalists were:

  • Livongo: Uses technology to empower those with chronic conditions to live better and heathier lives. Livongo plans to leverage the dataset to identify, predict and prioritize members at risk of medication non-adherence. 
  • Pager: A digital health solution that serves as a collaboration hub between consumers and their care team. Pager plans to use BHI’s dataset in combination with their data sources to learn how care teams can enhance members’ journeys through their healthcare usage.
  • Wildflower Health: Offers responsive software solutions for families to navigate and access healthcare resources, primarily during pregnancy and through pediatrics. Wildflower Health plans to use BHI’s dataset in combination with their own data sources to improve their pregnancy platform’s existing risk-stratification model, allowing for more appropriate and timely intervention for members.
  • Workit: Provides online opioid addiction treatments that are both effective and accessible for patients. Workit Health plans to leverage the dataset to uncover more holistic and comprehensive ways to measure the success of addiction treatments to support the identification, prediction, and prioritization of members and providers for real-time interventions. 
  • Thrive Earlier Detection: A healthcare company focused on incorporating earlier cancer detection into routine medical care to extend and save lives. Thrive is developing CancerSEEK, a liquid biopsy test designed to detect many cancers at earlier stages of disease, which will serve as the core of an integrated service offering. Thrive plans to leverage the dataset to gain further insights into the health-economic impact of earlier cancer detection.

The Winner

In December 2019, BCBSA and BHI announced that Thrive Earlier Detection (Thrive) won the BlueCross BlueShield Data Innovation Challenge. The company was chosen for its proposal to find new, cost-effective ways to detect cancer at an earlier stage and identify and predict populations that will most likely benefit from this approach. 

Thrive will receive:

  • Access to a subset of BHI data for six months 
  • Data support including consulting support from BHI team
  • Access to BCBS leadership through mentorship and participation at BCBS events
  • Mentorship and advice from BCBS companies’ and leaders of the Health Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)

Have questions?
Consult the BlueCross BlueShield Data Innovation Challenge FAQ.
Or contact: Julie Campbell, Healthbox or Janet Hughes, BHI

About Blue Health Intelligence®
Leveraging the power of medical and pharmacy claims data from more than 190 million Americans, Blue Health Intelligence (BHI) delivers insights that empower healthcare organizations to improve patient care, reduce costs, and optimize performance. Our team of data analysts, clinicians, IT experts, and epidemiologists provide analytics, software-as-a-service, and in-depth consulting to healthcare stakeholders. Blue Health Intelligence is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and carries the trade name of Health Intelligence Company, LLC.

HIMSS is a global advisor and thought leader supporting the transformation of health through information and technology. As a mission driven non-profit, HIMSS offers a unique depth and breadth of expertise in health innovation, public policy, workforce development, research and analytics to advise global leaders, stakeholders and influencers on best practices in health information and technology. HIMSS encompasses more than 77,000 individual members and 630 corporate members. Healthbox, a HIMSS Innovation Company, is a healthcare advisory firm that leading organizations trust with innovation and digital strategy development and execution.

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association is an association of 35 independent, locally operated Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield companies.