Make way for VidVelocity, ENGAGE, and ReferMe!

SSA, Chapin Hall, Chicago Medicine, NORC at the University of Chicago, and Graham School are headed to the final round of the UChicago App Challenge

In Phase 2, 20 semifinalists worked diligently to define their ideas. Now in Phase 3, the ReferMe, ENGAGE, and VidVelocity app ideas will be built out through the UChicago App Challenge Internship program.  Finally, at the New Venture Challenge on June 2, one of these apps will win $10,000!  


ReferMe - Nucha Isarowong, SSA and Mike Stiehl, Chapin Hall

ReferMe seeks to establish a widely available social service and resource directory that is accessible in the field and can be maintained and updated utilizing the collective efforts of those who use and benefit from it the most, the human services professionals and social service organizations. Isarowong_Portrait_thumb.jpg MStiehl_headshot_thumb.jpg

Nucha Isarowong: As a veteran social worker with 13 years of practice experience, I have first-hand knowledge of the issues that ReferMe is designed to address--outdated and inaccessible social service and resource directories that contribute to the inordinate amount of time spent on the referral process.

Mike Stiehl from Chapin Hall has experience and connections that provided access to the Statewide Provider Database (SPD) from IL Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to populate the ReferMe directory in phase 3.

Together, the ReferMe team has the subject-matter expertise, access to the knowledge and experience that established the existing SPD, and the leverage to carry the SPD through this innovation, as well the potential to take this model to other states across the country. As stated on the video: "The need is real. The solution is long overdue. The opportunity is clear and present."


VidVelocity - Brian Ritz and Patrick Kelly, Graham School Master of Science in Analytics

This app will open up a new level of baseball analysis that is demanded by pitchers but is currently out of reach for the masses. profile_thumb.jpeg pk_profile_thumb.png

Brian Ritz is a former college baseball player with many coaching contacts who in turn coach thousands of baseball players across the country who would use this app. The most motivating thing to us is that the app is truly valuable to its customers--this app will open up a new level of baseball analysis that is demanded by pitchers but is currently out of reach for the masses.


ENGAGEMegan Huisingh-Scheetz, MD, Chicago Medicine; Louise Hawkley, NORC; Roscoe Nicholson, Mather LifeWays Institute on Aging; Pete Wendel, Founder, The Difference Collaborative 

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Maintaining a structured therapy program long-term is a mainstay of treatment for older adults to prolonging their healthy lifespan. It is also one of the most difficult to implement but possible with the proper guidance and prompting.  “Now that therapy is over, how can we keep my mom exercising?” ENGAGE is a product concept that emerged from real life issues faced by older patients, their families, and their physicians every day. 

Megan Huisingh-Scheetz: As a geriatrician and the Co-Director of the Successful Aging and Frailty Evaluation clinic at the University of Chicago, I struggle daily to care for pre-frail and frail older adults. It is my career mission and the foundation of my profession to maintain the independence and autonomy of our frail seniors for as long as possible through supportive care. Rehabilitation plays a major role in the recovery and maintenance of physical and mental functioning among older adults, including following a fall, an illness, a hospitalization, and in musculoskeletal disease, dementia, and pain syndromes. Together with my team of experts in aging research and aging technology and our patient, therapy, and clinical consultants, I am motivated and prepared to continue developing this product because it will help me, my colleagues, and most importantly, my patients and their caregivers.