Digital Health Idea Competition

Developing innovative concepts together with patients

The winners have been awarded

At the Final Event and Award Ceremony held online on 5 Jun 2023 we have awarded the winning teams based on the jury voting:

  1. InterACT
    Team members: Ana Coiciu, Anna Dopona, Ian McNaughton
  2. Heart2Heart
    Team members: Hannah McGowan, Maureen McGowan, Jessica Nieder, Pavithren VS Pakianathan, Rachel Gerrard
  3. Heartwise
    Team members: Johannes Handlechner, Denis Stjepanovic, Hannah Rampitsch, Amol Bathnagar

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to the competition and congratulate the winning teams!

Call for ideas and concepts

  • Develop innovative concepts for digital health in young researcher teams
  • Work together with experts by experience (patients)
  • Win some prize money

We are inviting teams of young researchers to develop and submit their ideas on digital health tools with focus on heart-healthy behavior change (see topics in detail below). A core requirement of the ideation process is the involvement of people with cardiovascular conditions (“patients”). This shall ensure that the ideas are needs-driven and initiated and brought forward in a co-creation approach. Winners will be determined by an independent jury. The jury vote will incorporate consideration of how patients have been involved and their contributions to the outcome.

If you want to take part in the idea competition a registration is necessary. You do not have to be part of a team already; there will be opportunities to get in touch with others and team up.
If you want to register click here

The main motivation is to raise awareness of the potential of patients’ involvement in young researchers regarding idea generation and concept development and to stimulate related learning effects and insights.

The whole idea competition including first follow-up activities for the three winning teams will be run entirely online (Zoom and optional additional communication and collaboration tools and platforms preferred and used by teams internally).


  • 20 Jan 2023: Kickoff event (Zoom, 13:00 – 14:30 CET)
  • 2 Feb 2023: Optional check-in meeting with mentors (Zoom, 16:00 – 18:00 CET)
  • 27 Feb 2023: Optional check-in meeting with mentors (Zoom, 16:00 – 18:00 CET)
  • 3 Mar 2023: Registration closing (12:00 CET)
  • 5 Mar 2023: Submission deadline (23:59 CET)
  • Mar/Apr 2023: Jury voting 
  • 5 Jun 2023: Final event and award ceremony (Zoom, 16:00 – 17:30 CET)
    Please register here 
  • Jun – Oct 2023: Optional follow-up for winner teams

The check-in meetings with mentors are optional for all teams and shall provide a forum for questions and to discuss first ideas/concepts and gather feedback from mentors. Mentors take on a coaching role and it can be assumed that they are not part of one of the teams in the competition.

Which topics are set

The two specific and one more open key challenges in digital health (with some focus on heart-healthy behavior change) where ideas are looked for are:

  • Topic 1: How to create engaged and engaging heart-healthy communities with the help of smart digital tools?
    Fostering sustainable heart-healthy behavior is not only the mission of the LBI-DHP, it is also a key measure towards achieving more high quality of life years on an individual level and to reduce healthcare system burden on a societal level. However, engaging wide audiences and keeping them engaged with digital interventions for heart-healthiness and/or physical activity is a difficult challenge. Humans are social animals and “social factors” can be employed as a key mechanism for fostering engagement. We therefore invite creative concepts for utilizing this potential in the context of the aim of fostering heart-healthy behavior change.
  • Topic 2: How can digital tools support approaches to overcoming the prevention paradox within the cardiovascular domain?
    We refer to the colloquial use of the term ‘prevention paradox’ as it has been employed in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic: the possible success of preventative measures is difficult to perceive on an individual level. In other words: taking steps to prevent e.g. an illness may be perceived as burdensome given the disease does not occur, even though it may have occurred in the absence of preventative measures. Arguably, this prevention paradox (or more formally correct ‘preparedness paradox’) is a key challenge to successful behavior change and applies both on an individual and on a societal level, be it in the context of climate change or disease prevention – e.g., prevention of cardiovascular conditions. We therefore invite creative concepts for addressing, overcoming, or inviting reflection on this paradox as a possible design element for behavior change interventions for fostering sustainable heart-healthy physical activity and other preventative measures.
  • Open Call: How can challenges in the cardiovascular domain be augmented by digital solutions?
    The LBI-DHP firmly builds on open innovation in science with stakeholder engagement and contributions as a key element of critical value to developing and deploying digital health interventions that “actually work for people” and in the complex contexts of healthcare systems. An important element of this stance is the realization that critically relevant innovation often occurs not in the minds of researchers or developers for specific application areas, but in the minds – and out of the lived realities – of the involved stakeholders, or even the wider public. We therefore also invite open topic contributions towards the designated purpose of addressing challenges in the CVD domain, so long as the concepts are open to further development using OIS/stakeholder-engagement strategies.

Who can take part

The idea competition is targeting (preferably interdisciplinary) teams of young researchers (bachelor and master students, pre-doctoral level or within 5 years of PhD) who should elaborate ideas for specific challenges (see above) in their teams. The team size should be from 3 to 8 people, including at least one person with a cardiovascular condition (“patient”) who should be involved in the ideation process. The organizer is working with a group of patients who have agreed to join the competition.

Teams composed of LBI-DHP (organizer of the competition) affiliated persons only are excluded from participation. But LBI-DHP affiliated persons can be part of teams (with non-LBI-DHP people) if they remain a minority (less than 50%).

Who are the patients

An important element of this ideas competition is that teams include people with cardiovascular conditions (“patients”) in their ideation process. Patients should be viewed as experts on the topic, because they are living with a medical condition and are dealing with the consequences of the condition during their daily lives. This personal experience makes patients “experts by experience”. 

For this ideas competition, it will be important to demonstrate that this patient-held expertise has been incorporated during the ideation process. It will also be important to demonstrate how the involvement of patient experts was conducted. The team should plan their interaction with patient experts in a way that allows for a meaningful exchange, creating a mutually respectful atmosphere and allowing sufficient time for patients to ask questions and to articulate their comments and suggestions.         

Patients will be matched with individual teams (from kickoff event on 20 Jan 2023 on) and will provide their expert input for the duration of the competition from the Kickoff on. In addition, teams are welcome to include additional people with cardiovascular conditions as experts by experience, for example from their personal and professional networks. 

If  a team wants to be connected to a patient expert one registered team member (e.g., the leader) shall send an email to – then we will connect you!

What are the expected deliverables to be handed in

The ideas/concepts to be handed in shall consist of (please indicate the topic or open call addressed in your submission):

  • A short presentation (slides or document) of the idea/concept plus optional mock-up(s) and/or video(s) and/or first prototype(s), etc. addressing innovation, relevance, and feasibility


  • Slides or a document about how patient involvement was conducted – demonstrating which aspects of the idea/concept were influenced by the patient expert(s)

How to get prepared

In preparation, the following lectures and sessions of our symposium “Salzburg Digital Health and Prevention Days 2022” are especially recommended to the participants:

  • Mon (28 Nov 2022): Open Innovation in Science: Role and Value in the Health Sciences (OIS Talk) from Marion Poetz
  • Tue (29 Nov 2022): Co-Producing Research with Patient Partners from Rona Smith
  • Tue (29 Nov 2022): Patient Involvement at the LBI-DHP from Isabel Höppchen and Veronika Leitner
  • Fri (2 Dec 2022): Patient Involvement in a Nutshell from Mathieu Mahve-Beydokhti
  • Fri (2 Dec 2022): Digital Health Intervention Prototyping from Daniela Wurhofer
  • Fri (2 Dec 2022): Digital Health Idea Competition KickOff from Andreas Stainer-Hochgatterer and Mathieu Mahve-Beydokhti

Recordings of these talks can be found here

The slides of the most relevant presentations can be downloaded as PDF (see box at the right hand side).

In addition, we have linked an extensive Patient and Public Involvement and Engagement Guide for Researchers If you want to focus while reading, then we recommend the following chapters:

  • 1.1. Characteristics of PPIE (pp. 4-6 – pages refer to the English version 3)
  • 1.2. Organizational framework to facilitate PPIE (pp. 7-8)
  • 2.1. Interaction with patients and the public in research (pp. 13-16)
  • 4.2. Assessment of PPIE Activities; only the sub-chapter “Assessment of Quality” (p. 31)
  • 5.1. Literature (includes an easily understandable abstract for every reference) (pp. 33-35)

Jury and voting

An independent jury with technical, medical, and Open Innovation in Science (OIS) background and including at least one expert by experience will select the best 3 ideas by applying the following criteria:

  • Innovation: How new, innovative, and original is the idea?
  • Relevance: How relevant is it for the target group(s) and are there (significant) benefits associated with it?
  • Feasibility: Can it be implemented within a reasonable time frame and with reasonable resources?


  • Patient Involvement: How did the team conduct  their interaction with the patient expert(s)? What were the patient experts’ contributions to the ideation process? Which aspects of the idea/concept were influenced by the patient expert(s) and why?

The jury will consist of:

  • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Siegfried Meryn
    CEO | Future Health Lab, AT
  • Victoria Hamer
    Honorary Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) Fellow, Centre for Applied Health and Social Care Research, Kingston University, UK
  • Prof. Dr. Rik Crutzen
    Professor of Behaviour Change & Technology, Department of Health Promotion | Maastricht University, NL
  • Mag. Dr. Veronika Hornung-Prähauser, MAS
    Group Leader Innovation & Value Creation | Salzburg Research, AT
  • FH-Prof. Dr. Hilmar Linder
    Head of Department Creative Technologies, Head of Degree Programmes Human-Computer Interaction & MultiMediaTechnology | Fachhochschule Salzburg, AT
  • Mathieu Mahve-Beydokhti, BSc MA
    Program Manager Impact | LBG Open Innovation in Science Center, AT
  • Prim. Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. Josef Niebauer, MBA
    Scientific Director | Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Digital Health and Prevention, AT

All jury members will vote on all categories and the last category will be evaluated based on the slides or document about how patient involvement was performed. Innovation, relevance, and feasibility are weighted 50% together; patient involvement is weighted 50%.


Independent from topics the overall three best ideas will be awarded in a final event with prize money (transferred to a European bank account) or Amazon vouchers:

  • First: EUR 1.000,-
  • Second: EUR 650,-
  • Third: EUR 350,-

How to register for the Digital Health Idea Competition

If you want to take part in the idea competition please register here

You do not have to be part of a team already; there will be opportunities to get in touch with others and team up.

All participants are invited to join the Signal Messenger Group set up for the competition. This will help to find more team members and to communicate and exchange with other participants. Some of the mentors and patients will also be represented in this group.

Registration will stay open until 3 March 2023 (12:00 CET).


For further questions please contact 


The Digital Health Idea Competition is financially supported by the OIS Enrichment Fund of the OIS Center of the Ludwig Boltzmann Society.