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How to Reach Millions: The Crowds Care Challenge Case Study

Here at MedStartr we have learned many things and love to share them as part of our MedStartr School with our clients and innovators everywhere.  One of the greatest techniques we have developed is our Activation | Awareness | Engagement methodology that we coach all our Startups and Corporate clients in.  Once you engage with the crowd of patients, providers, partners, and institutions that care deeply about a problem in healthcare, whether it is searching for a cure or just keeping patients better informed of their care options, great things can happen.

In May we were hired to help run a challenge for the National Cancer Institute and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (NCI/ONC) in conjunction with Health 2 Challenge.  We were honored to be asked and glad to utilize our new crowd-based challenge platform that we had developed for open innovation programs.

We also brought in partners Steve Greene of Sperlin<g>reene PR and Gregg Masters of Xanate Media, creating an Activation | Awareness | Engagement strategy that was designed to reach a large portion of the 14 million cancer survivors in America.

Activation: The first step of our strategy was to select a panel of judges that would not only be fantastic experts in the contest area, but also would help us engage the crowds that they serve. We selected leaders from Livestrong, Cancer101, Stupid Cancer, Happtique/mHealthzone, the American Cancer Society, and two prominent oncologists on Twitter in addition to some of the best designers in the world (it was a design contest after all.)

Awareness: It is hard to create a rallying call without a great name, so we created the “Crowds Care 4 Cancer” brand.  Gregg Masters of Xanate Media went ahead and registered the #CC4C13 hashtag with Symplur to enable easy metrics because what you can not measure, you can not know. PR pro Steve Greene got on the phoen and reached out to the right media channels and got the awareness campaign going full swing.

Engagement: It is never enough though to just set things up, you need to be part of the conversation to get truly into the crowd.  With a few dozen judges, team members, and interested parties, we needed an easy way for everyone to be part of the conversation.  To this end we created a “Promotional Pack”, designed to make spreading the word very easy for all our team members and the Health 2.0 community at large.  It worked quite well and combined with tweetchats and dozens of online conversations, the word got out over 4.5 million times via twitter alone.

Here are a few highlights of our results:

  1. Over 30 applicants, most of which were brand new companies or products.  This was 3 times more than expected for such a focused challenge

  2. Over 4.5 million impressions on twitter (see analytics below from Symplur)

  3. Finalist videos were watched over 17,000 times for more than three minutes each totaling more than a week of actual viewer minutes

  4. Our press release, written by Steven Greene, was picked up by more than 23 news outlets and led to a great article in the Washington Post too.

  5. Livestrong blogged and tweeted about the projects twice to their 17 million readers

  6. Two Radioshow appearances on mHealthzone and the Stupid Cancer show

  7. Grand Prize winner Showcased at the Rock Health Digital Health Summit

  8. The finalists raised $16,000 from the crowd, more than doubling the the initial finalist prize

Symplur Analytics for #cc4C13

At the end of the day, what matters most in a challenge like this isn’t how much exposure that is driven, but the quality of the resulting innovation.  In this case three great companies raised enough to go to a whole new level with their solutions that help patients and physicians care for cancer survivors better.  That is what we are most proud of.

Read more about the Crowds Care 4 Cancer Challenge finalists on their showcase page on MedStartr and if you were one of the hundreds of folks that helped get the word out, Thank you for being a member of the Crowd that Cares.

If you are looking for solutions around a a particular problem or would like to enhance your partner portfolio for your company, please read more about our Innovation Services options, check out our Crowds Cure Challenge Platform demo, or just call us anytime.

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