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HeroX launches crowdsourcing competition 

The challenge seeks to develop more portable, easy-to-use options for outpatients on supplemental oxygen

HeroX, the social network for innovation and the world’s leading platform for crowdsourced solutions, has launched the crowdsourcing competition the “Air You Wear Challenge” on behalf of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The challenge seeks to develop more portable, easy-to-use options for outpatients on supplemental oxygen. 


“The demographic of those needing supplemental oxygen is much broader than many people may think,” said Josh Fessel, Program Director, NHLBI. “People using home oxygen can be any age. They might need long-term supplemental oxygen because they’re living with chronic lung disease, a heart condition, or sleep-related breathing issues. Or, they might only need it temporarily because they’re recovering from an acute illness, a blood clot in the lung. We want to help these 1.5 million Americans live their best life.”

At a time in history when breathing has never been more in focus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, NHLBI and HeroX hope innovators will feel motivated to team up to make a big difference in people’s lives. 

“This is the perfect opportunity to tap the global network to solve a problem that affects so many people,” said Christian Cotichini, CEO, HeroX. 

The two-phase challenge will award a total prize purse of $500,000. 

In Phase 1, up to eight teams proposing the most compelling and impactful solutions will each receive up to $50,000 to help develop a working prototype and/or demonstration of the proposed approach during the Phase 2 development period. 

At the end of Phase 2, up to three teams will be awarded first, second and third prizes of $60,000, $30,000 and $10,000 respectively for the best prototypes/demonstrations.

The challenge is open to anyone aged 18 or older. Individual participants must be US citizens or permanent residents. International applicants can participate on a team with a US team lead. Some restrictions apply. 

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