Digital Health

Empowering Nurse-Led Innovation: NursePitch™ Driving Healthcare Transformation


Nurse-led innovation is revolutionizing the future of healthcare, and key organizations such as HIMSS, the American Nurses Association Enterprise (ANA Enterprise) and Becton Dickinson (BD) are actively supporting and promoting these innovative initiatives. One such initiative making waves is NursePitch™, an annual innovation competition aimed at amplifying the voice, opportunities and visibility of nursing professionals within the digital health ecosystem.

NursePitch™ brings together nurses from around the world, providing them with a platform to pitch their products and ideas. The competition allows these nurses to compete for the chance to showcase their innovations to a distinguished panel of judges comprising experts from health innovation, business, provider, and venture capital sectors.

The most recent NursePitch™ event took place on June 27, 2023, with seven finalists presenting their groundbreaking solutions virtually. The finalists included Linda Rowan with Impact Wearables, Lecresha Sewell DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, SANE with Melanated Healthcare, Ahmed Almanfi BSN, RN with Ahmed AI chat, Tanya Desjardins, RN, BScN, OCN, VA-BC, and Juliana Hatch, RN, BScN, CON(C) with Chemo Extravasations, Bryanna Marshall MN, RN with Thanks Rose, Frances Akbubuilio, DNP, RN with matchHHa, and Natasha Latta BSN, RN with MedEd Games.

HIMSS is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 NursePitch™ event. Securing the first-place position and an $8,500 scholarship is matchHHa Services Inc., a home health mobile and web app. This innovative platform addresses the challenges faced by home health agencies struggling with recruiting and retaining healthcare workers. By offering a convenient and cost-effective recruiting system, matchHHa directly connects workers with their patients. Frances Akubuilo, DNP, RN, the founder and CEO of matchHHa, is a driving force behind this success. When asked about nursing innovation, she shared her belief that it involves finding creative solutions to the constant challenges faced by patients and healthcare professionals. Utilizing technology and new ideas, nursing innovation aims to enhance access to quality care, improve efficiency, and ultimately make a positive impact on people's lives.

Frances A

Melanated Healthcare, Inc., founded by Lecresha Sewell, DNP, APRN, WHNP-BC, SANE, secured the second-place position and a $2,500 scholarship. Melanated Healthcare is a digital health platform that connects Black and people of color (POC) with health professionals who share their racial or cultural background. By offering a diverse directory of multi-disciplinary health professionals accessible on all platforms, Melanated Healthcare provides an avenue for patients to find appropriate care. While currently limited to telehealth services on their website, the company aims to expand its offerings. Lecresha Sewell expressed her gratitude for being part of the NursePitch competition and the recognition it brings to her business. Aligning with the mission of a global organization such as HIMSS is a fulfilling experience for her. The connections and resources gained through this competition will contribute to the success and growth of her business.

Lecresha Sewell

In the third-place position, Impact Wearables, founded by Linda Rowan RN, BSN, was awarded a $1,500 scholarship. Impact Wearables has developed an innovative earbud device capable of monitoring a 2-lead EEG and variable heart rate. The data collected through this device aids in treating attention deficit disorder. By monitoring brain waves and heart rate, Impact Wearables provides a sound protocol back to the patient. The inclusion of binaural beats helps align the patient's brain waves, resulting in improved focus, impulse control, and regulation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. Linda Rowan expressed her sense of validation through participating in NursePitch and her determination to bring about positive changes in the current healthcare culture.

Linda Rowan

Overall, these NursePitch winners represent inspiring examples of nursing innovation, addressing crucial challenges in the healthcare industry and striving to make a lasting impact on patient care and well-being.

"Innovation in nursing is vital to the advancement of patient care and nursing practice. By embracing innovation, nurses are creating a future where care is continually advancing, and lives are transformed," stated Taylor Diani, Director, Clinical Care, Medical Affairs, BD, a global medical technology company. "The nurses that presented their innovative ideas and products are paving the way for an evolving healthcare experience. I am inspired by their courage to explore pressing healthcare challenges and their ability to harness technology to improve those challenges," added Taylor. Both HIMSS and ANA recognize and emphasize the significance of nurse-led innovation. HIMSS has established an engaged Nursing Informatics Community and developed the HIMSS Future of Nursing Strategy and action plan to support the National Academy of Medicine's Future of Nursing 2020-2030 report. HIMSS believes that nursing innovation is a critical component in advancing patient-centered care, improving health outcomes, and maximizing the potential of the nursing profession. ANA has formed an Innovation team to connect nurses with educational and aspirational content and events, providing opportunities to learn from and engage with the nursing community. The ANA Innovation team curates resources and funding opportunities to support the innovative work of nurses. HIMSS and ANA have a long-standing history of supporting nurses as innovators, collaborating with key partners such as the Alliance for Nursing Informatics, and contributing thought leadership on digital health to the nursing profession.

The esteemed professionals who served as judges for the 2023 NursePitch™ event were Oriana Beaudet, DNP RN PHN, Vice President of Innovation at ANA Enterprise; Nelita Iuppa, DNP, MS, RN-BC, NEA-BC, FHIMSS, Associate Chief Nursing Officer at Cleveland Clinic; and Becky Fox, MSN, RN-BC, Chief Clinical Information Officer at Intermountain Health.

Additionally, the event benefited from the guidance of experienced mentors, including Bianca L. Gonzalez, CEO of AMPAworks and a previous NursePitch™ winner; Anthony Scarpone-Lambert, BSN, RN, Co-Founder & CEO at Adni, and Taylor Diani, MBA, MSN, RN, Director of Clinical Care, Medical Affairs at BD.

Recognizing and supporting nurse-led innovation is paramount to driving advancements in healthcare. Empowering nurses to take the lead in developing innovative solutions allows the industry to benefit from their unique perspectives, expertise, and insights. Collaborative efforts like NursePitch™, facilitated by HIMSS and ANA, are shaping the future of healthcare by fostering a culture of innovation and providing opportunities for nurses to contribute their ideas and expertise to transform patient care.