Humana And Announce Winners Of The “Humana Health by Design Challenge”

LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM), one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health and supplemental benefits companies, and – an online project-sharing community – have announced the winners of the “Humana Health by Design Challenge.” Humana challenged people to share their solutions to improve health, and document them in step-by-step format on

“Humana is thrilled with the responses of so many individuals who offered well-being innovations on”

Winners showed how to design an inexpensive obstacle-avoidance system for the blind, create a brain-controlled wheelchair, build a one-legged therapy stool for autistic children, start a farmers’ market, and exercise for strength and fitness despite physical disability.

“Humana is thrilled with the responses of so many individuals who offered well-being innovations on,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief innovation and marketing officer for Humana. “The many entries we received were excellent examples of how individual ingenuity can enhance health and well-being for people facing challenges.”

Humana’s expert judging panel selected a Grand Prize winner ($5,000 prize package), and three First Prize winners ($500 prize package), from each of three categories:

  • Active (maintaining physical fitness/emotional well-being)
  • Assistive Tech (high-tech/gadget-based approaches to helping ill/elderly/disabled)
  • Adaptive Tools (low-tech/reuse ideas for helping ill/elderly/disabled)

The Grand Prize for Assistive Technology went to Steve Struebing from Annandale, Va., for his Haptic Assisted Locating of Obstacles, or Project HALO. Struebing used simple sensors and vibrating motors to help people with reduced vision identify and avoid obstacles, and navigate the world more safely.

“I was inspired by a television special on echo location,” Struebing said. “With a few inexpensive components, I’ve created a device to help give visually impaired people the freedom to move without the use of a cane or a Seeing Eye dog.”

Grand Prizes also went to Sean Mackin of Chino Hills, Calif. for his One Leg Therapy Stool for Autism in the Adaptive Tools category; and to Pauric O’Callaghan of Stow, Mass. for his Strength & Fitness instructable in the Active category about exercises for people with disabilities.

Entries in the “Humana Health by Design Challenge” were judged by eight judges from across the health, medical, technology and innovation communities, including:

  • Saul Griffith, PhD – 2007 MacArthur Award recipient, winner of multiple inventor awards
  • Matt Herper – senior editor at Forbes magazine, covering medicine and science
  • Joan Kellydirector of well-being and innovation, Humana
  • Quinn Norton – freelance journalist covering science, technology and medicine
  • Aaron Rulseh, MD – editor at
  • Kelly Traver, MD – founder, Healthiest You; author; former medical director, Google
  • Tyghe Trimble – online editor, Popular Mechanics
  • Eric Wilhelm, PhD – winner of multiple inventor awards, founder/CEO of Instructables

“Great ideas come from real people solving problems for their friends and family,” said judge Saul Griffith, MacArthur Award-winning inventor. “I was impressed by the quality and variety of the entries, and am pleased that the Humana Health by Design Challenge helped encourage people to share their ideas and innovations with the world.” is a web-based project-sharing community where passionate people share their detailed how-to projects, and learn from and collaborate with others.

“This contest produced a remarkable combination of high-tech concepts and practical low-tech solutions for maintaining health and wellness,” said Eric J. Wilhelm, founder and chief executive officer of “I’m always amazed by the creativity, enthusiasm, and desire to help others I see in the community!”

For a list of all the winners and runners-up, go to

About Humana

Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health and supplemental benefits companies, with approximately 10.2 million medical members, 7.1 million specialty members, and operates more than 300 medical centers and 240 worksite medical facilities. Humana is a full-service benefits and well-being solutions company, offering a wide array of health, pharmacy and supplemental benefit plans for employer groups, government programs and individuals, as well as primary and workplace care through its medical centers and worksite medical facilities.

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