Newsroom | News Releases

  • Share to Linked in
  • Share to Facebook

MATTER, Anthem, Inc., and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois Launch Innovation Challenge Seeking Pandemic Response Solutions

CHICAGO – MATTER, Anthem, Inc., and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) today launched the Pandemic Response Innovation Challenge. The challenge is a global call to innovators to develop creative solutions aimed at supporting the health care needs of those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The challenge is part of Anthem and BCBSIL’s broader efforts to help reduce the strain on our healthcare system today, while preparing consumers and healthcare providers for a stronger post-COVID-19 world.

Innovators can submit their solutions to either of two tracks. The first track is seeking solutions that empower people to address their behavioral health needs, such as depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, which can be exacerbated in times of uncertainty. The second track focuses on leveraging data from Anthem’s Digital Data Sandbox, one of the largest certified de-identified health data sets in the U.S., to improve patient care and outcomes during COVID-19 and in the future.

“The disruption caused by COVID-19 has created a unique opportunity within the healthcare industry. We’re looking to engage with out-of-the box thinkers that can drive solutions for the challenges of today – and the challenges of tomorrow,” said Steve Hamman, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. “And with approximately 40 percent of Americans reporting symptoms of anxiety or depression, we believe solutions aimed at behavioral health needs are just as critical as those for physical health.”

“This pandemic has shown that it will require a community of partners to drive the meaningful innovation that’s needed to lift up the U.S. health system,” said Plamen Petrov, Vice President of Exponential Technologies at Anthem, Inc. “We are excited Anthem, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, and MATTER are coming together to leverage data to rapidly discover unique solutions that will help improve the lives of individuals and the health of our communities in the face of COVID-19.”

The challenge will culminate in a virtual final pitch day the week of October 26, 2020 with executives from BCBSIL and Anthem, Inc. The top solutions in each track may have the opportunity to pilot at Anthem (Data Solutions track) or BCBSIL (Behavioral Health track). The top teams will also each receive one-year memberships at MATTER.

“The need for healthcare innovation couldn’t be more apparent,” said Steven Collens, CEO of MATTER. “The best innovations are going to be developed by amazing entrepreneurs working together with industry leaders such as Anthem and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois. We look forward to identifying and supporting great entrepreneurs who will help improve our collective future.”

Innovators with solutions that have a proven track record are encouraged to apply. Interested companies can learn more about the challenge focus and criteria by visiting the challenge website. Applications are due by 11:59pm CST on Sunday, September 27.


At MATTER, we believe collaboration is the best way to improve healthcare. The MATTER collaborative includes more than 200 cutting-edge startups from around the world, working together with dozens of hospitals and health systems, universities and industry-leading companies to build the future of healthcare. Together we are accelerating innovation, advancing care and improving lives. For more information, visit and follow @MATTERhealth.

About Anthem, Inc.
Anthem is a leading health benefits company dedicated to improving lives and communities, and making healthcare simpler. Through its affiliated companies, Anthem serves more than 106 million people, including more than 42 million within its family of health plans. We aim to be the most innovative, valuable and inclusive partner. For more information, please visit or follow @AnthemInc on Twitter.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois (BCBSIL) is committed to expanding access to quality, cost-effective health to as many people as possible in Illinois. BCBSIL is dedicated to innovation and exploring, nurturing and activating future possibilities to make the health care system work better for our members and our communities. BCBSIL is a division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company and an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.

Media Contact

Colleen Miller
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois 

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, a Division of Health Care Service Corporation, a Mutual Legal Reserve Company, an Independent Licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association