Press Release: 2024-05-15

Women+ Digital Health Sandbox Challenge Awards $150,000 to Hemorai, Mae and SimpliFed


Companies pitched their solutions to tackle health challenges faced by women+, including post-partum pregnancy and access to mental health services



Media Contact(s):

Jake Stern, MassTech

C: (781) 801 8845

May 14, 2024

Source: Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI)

Photo cred: Matthew McNamara  ​

Winners of the Women+ Digital Health Sandbox Challenge. Individuals in photo listed at the bottom. Photo cred: Matthew McNamara

SOMERVILLE, Mass. – The Massachusetts eHealth Institute’s (MeHI) has selected Hemorai, Mae, and SimpliFed as the winners of their spring Digital Health Sandbox Challenge. Each company will be awarded $50,000 to develop and test their digital health solutions with key partners in the Massachusetts ecosystem. The partners will work with the companies to accelerate research and development of technologies aimed at supporting the unique health needs of women+.

The term women+ encompasses the health needs of all women, including cisgender, transgender, and nonbinary individuals. The winners of this challenge will address health inequities in this population by increasing access to care, supporting caregivers, and providing more effective remote monitoring to drive positive outcomes.

“Massachusetts recognizes the indispensable role that all women play in moving our economy forward,” said Secretary Hao, Executive Office of Economic Development. “This challenge supports the work companies are doing to solve health challenges for women+. When we support innovation in this space, we are fostering a more inclusive economy, creating jobs, strengthening our schools, and building a healthier workforce.”

“MeHI was proud to host this event and appreciated the talent, commitment, and knowledge that participants brought to the table,” said Keely Benson, director, MeHI. “We want to thank the 8 companies who threw their hat in the ring and are excited to follow the progress of Hemorai, Mae, and SimpliFed as they work with our digital health partners.” 

“Technology plays an important role in closing the gaps in healthcare access, affordability, and equity,” said Senator Cindy F. Friedman, Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. “I want to congratulate the winners and thank all the companies who participated in this challenge. Their tech solutions are addressing key areas for women+ health care, bringing new ideas and new solutions to a critical demographic.”

The winners of the competition and their projects are as follows:

  • Hemorai

    • Sandbox Partner: UMass Lowell

    • Hemorai’s innovative wearable device monitors vital physiological parameters such as blood flow and volume with exceptional accuracy to extend acute care to the patient’s home. Their current device focuses on maternal well-being during the critical postpartum period. The device offers a simple interface and connectivity features that facilitate at-risk postpartum women to be monitored in the hospital or the comfort of their home to reduce the incidence and impact of postpartum hemorrhage.

  • Mae Health

    • Sandbox Partner: MITRE

    • Mae provides a culturally competent digital health platform to address the specific clinical, social, and cultural needs of Black expectant mothers during pregnancy and postpartum. Mae works with health plan partners to provide pregnancy symptom tracking and real-time issue escalation support, culturally resonant pregnancy education and lifestyle multimedia content, and access to community-based peer support resources to increase perinatal care adherence and drive positive pregnancy outcomes.

  • SimpliFed

    • Sandbox Partner: Carelon

    • SimpliFed is a virtual breastfeeding and baby feeding support provider that works with Medicaid, commercial, Marketplace and TRICARE health plans and healthcare systems to provide patients with 24x7, ACA-mandated lactation support services. Their services include virtual appointments, classes, and connections with other parents.

The Massachusetts Digital Health Sandbox Challenge Program is funded and administered by the Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.

Pictured above, from the left:

  • Katie Green, senior program manager, MeHI

  • Alisha Lalani, head of growth, Mae Health

  • Maia Gokhale, vice president of partner success, Mae Health

  • Senator Cindy Friedman (D- 4th Middlesex)

  • Andrea Ippolito, CEO, SimpliFed

  • Hector Torres, CEO, Hemorai

  • Keely Benson, director, MeHI

About the Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) 

The mission of the Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) is to promote Health IT innovation, technology and competitiveness to improve the safety, quality and efficiency of health care across the Commonwealth. MeHI helps to spearhead The Massachusetts Digital Health Initiative, or Mass Digital Health, a comprehensive public-private partnership working to establish Massachusetts as a leading ecosystem for digital health innovation, driving economic impact and improving healthcare costs and quality. Learn more about the initiative at