MINNETONKA, Minn. and NEW YORK, April 23, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lyfebulb LLC and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) invite patient entrepreneurs to compete in “Empowering Patients: An Innovation Challenge,” for the first-ever Lyfebulb and UnitedHealth Group Innovation Award.

Established companies of all sizes founded by patients, or people supporting patients who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and who have created a product or service to address an issue encountered by IBD patients are invited to submit applications between April 16 and May 31, 2018.

“Lyfebulb’s mission is to reduce the burden of chronic disease,” said Dr. Karin Hehenberger, founder and CEO of Lyfebulb. “We believe patient entrepreneurs have unique insights into the needs of their communities and can create much-needed, patient-driven solutions for problems they face. In addition to the prize money, our events provide opportunities for exposure and collaboration among these innovative entrepreneurs and the expert jury.”

The 2018 Lyfebulb – UnitedHealth Group Innovation Challenge will recognize the top patient entrepreneurs developing innovative ideas for better management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) using healthcare information technology, medical devices, consumer products or services.  Patient entrepreneurs are individuals with a chronic disease, or who have a close relative or loved one with a chronic disease, and have founded or lead a company bringing innovative solutions to the market place. Companies based in the United States or Canada (excluding Quebec) are eligible to apply through the Lyfebulb and UnitedHealth Group Empowering Patients: An Innovation Challenge website (www.lyfebulb.com/innovation-award/ibd), where more information is available regarding eligibility and key criteria.

After a thorough sourcing and screening process, 10 finalists will be selected by a joint steering committee composed of Lyfebulb and UnitedHealth Group executives. UnitedHealth Group will host the Empowering Patients event July 24-25, 2018, at its headquarters in Minnetonka, Minn. The finalists will pitch their solutions to an esteemed panel of IBD experts from the business, medical and patient communities. This jury will award three prizes to the entrepreneurs with the most innovative and impactful solutions: $25,000 to the winning entrepreneur, and $15,000 and $10,000 to the second and third place finalists, respectively.

“At UnitedHealth Group, we continually look for new solutions that can improve the health and well-being for the people we are privileged to serve, in this case for patients living with chronic diseases, including IBD,” said Dr. Deneen Vojta, UnitedHealth Group executive vice president, Research & Development. “By leveraging patient-driven innovation, we can accelerate getting the most relevant ideas, inspired by personal experiences, into the marketplace.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, up to 1.3 million people in the United States are affected by IBD.

About Lyfebulb
Lyfebulb is a chronic disease focused, patient empowerment platform that connects patients, industry (manufacturers and payers) and investors to support user-driven innovation. Lyfebulb promotes a healthy, take-charge lifestyle for those affected by chronic disease. Grounded with its strong foundation in Diabetes, the company has expanded disease states covered into Cancer and Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

See www.lyfebulb.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Karin Hehenberger LinkedIn, and Lyfebulb LinkedIn.

About UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) is a diversified health and well-being company dedicated to helping people live healthier lives and helping make the health system work better for everyone. UnitedHealth Group offers a broad spectrum of products and services through two distinct platforms: UnitedHealthcare, which provides health care coverage and benefits services; and Optum, which provides information and technology-enabled health services. For more information, visit UnitedHealth Group at http://www.unitedhealthgroup.com/ or follow @UnitedHealthGrp on Twitter.

Contact:

Lyfebulb
Karin Hehenberger, M.D., Ph.D., CEO
917-575-0210; Karin@lyfebulb.com 

UnitedHealth Group
Tyler Mason
424-333-6122, tyler.mason@uhg.com