Please note that the details of this Challenge are no longer open. This challenge is awarded and is no longer accepting new submissions. You can:

System for Locating People Using Electricity Dependent Medical Equipment During Public Health Emergencies

STATUS: Awarded
POSTED: Sep 20 2013
SOURCE: InnoCentive

The Seeker desires a system for monitoring the location and status of life-sustaining durable medical equipment (DME) during a prolonged power outage or disaster situation. This information would be used by a network of family and friends, formal caregivers, emergency responders and others responding to a disaster to better assist individuals who are dependent on DME.  The current Challenge focuses on obtaining information about DME; however, this is part of a larger effort to ensure that these people get the necessary help as quickly as possible.

This is an Ideation Challenge with a guaranteed award for at least one submitted solution.

Challenge ID: 9933433
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Challenge Overview

Many in-home patients require the daily use of a piece of electrically powered durable medical equipment (DME). During a disaster or other event that leads to a prolonged power outage, these patients often end up at shelters or emergency rooms looking for sources of power or alternate ways to manage their medical needs. We need a reliable system available to identify, locate, and assist these individuals in a timely fashion. Proposals should be detailed and implementable. 

This is an Ideation Challenge, which has the following unique features:

  • There is a guaranteed award.  The awards will be paid to the best submission(s) as solely determined by the Seeker. The total payout will be $10,000, with at least one award being no smaller than $5,000 and no award being smaller than $1,000
  • Additional Award: In addition to the direct monetary awards, some of the winner(s) of this Challenge may be invited (at the Seeker’s sole discretion) to a unique opportunity to present their idea to high-profile thought leaders at an upcoming event (2014 Public Health Preparedness Summit) in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on April 1-4, 2014.  This includes a $1,000 stipend to defray the cost of travel and accommodations. 
  • The Solvers are not required to transfer exclusive intellectual property rights to the Seeker.  Rather, by submitting a proposal, the Solvers grant to the Seeker a royalty-free, perpetual, and non-exclusive license to use any information included in this proposal, including for promotional purposes.


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This Challenge is being held under the America COMPETES Authority where awards may only be awarded to individuals (participating singly or in a team) who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, or private entities that are incorporated in and maintaining a primary place of business in the United States.  Only U.S. entities, citizens, and permanent residents are eligible to win a prize for this Challenge. Please do not submit if you do not meet this requirement. If you have a question about eligibility, please read the Challenge Specific Agreement Eligibility Rules section or use your Project Room to ask a question. 



After the Challenge deadline, the Seeker will complete the review process and make a decision with regards to the Winning Solution(s). Ideas will be evaluated by a panel of experts and judged by the Department of Health and Human Service’s Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. The panel of advisers reviewing submissions will include leaders in public health, industry/design, device, venture, and government sectors.All Solvers that submit a proposal will be notified about the status of their submissions; however, no detailed evaluation of individual submissions will be provided


About the Seeker: 

ASPR leads HHS in preparing the nation to respond to and recover from adverse health effects of emergencies, supporting communities’ ability to withstand adversity, strengthening health and response systems, and enhancing national health security. To learn more about ASPR and preparedness, response and recovery from the health impacts of disasters, visit the HHS public health and medical emergency website,

FEMA’s mission is to support citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, protect against, respond to, recover from, and mitigate all hazards. To learn more about FEMA, go

What is InnoCentive?

InnoCentive is the global innovation marketplace where creative minds solve some of the world's most important problems for cash awards up to $1 million. Commercial, governmental and humanitarian organizations engage with InnoCentive to solve problems that can impact humankind in areas ranging from the environment to medical advancements.

What is an InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge?

An InnoCentive Ideation™ Challenge is a broad question formulated to obtain access to new ideas, similar to a global brainstorm for producing a breakthrough idea or market survey which may include ideas for a new product line, a new commercial application for a current product, or even a viral marketing idea to recruit new customers. Ideation™ Challenge submissions are typically about two written pages, and Seekers receive a non-exclusive, perpetual license to use all submissions.

In an Ideation™ Challenge, Solvers may:

  • Submit ideas of their own
  • Submit third party information that they have the right to use and further the authority to convey that right and the right to use and develop derivative works to Seekers
  • Submit information considered in the public domain without any limitations on use

Solvers should not reveal any confidential information in their submissions. Often the Ideation™ Challenge will be followed by one or more of the other three Challenge types to further develop the ideas and gain Intellectual Property protection when the concept has been well-defined.

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InnoCentive Trust Partners