BLUE KC AWARDS 2022 HEALTHCARE INNOVATION PRIZES - Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City Skip to main content

For Immediate Release: May 23, 2022

For more information contact:
Kelly Cannon
O: (816) 395-3711

KANSAS CITY, MO. (May 23, 2022)—Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City (Blue KC), in partnership with the Regnier Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and the Henry W. Bloch School of Management at the University of Missouri–Kansas City (UMKC), announced the first and second place winners of the 2022 Blue KC Healthcare Innovation Prize — Speak IT and MiDoc.

  • The first-place prize was awarded to Speak Information Technologies (Speak IT), which automates mouse clicks within the electronic health record. Currently, healthcare providers have the burden of charting patients, which could include upwards of thousands of clicks per day in computerized systems. As such, patients could suffer, as attention can be diverted during interactions with providers. Speak IT would cut down on charting workload, allow for additional provider-patient interaction and save money on insurance claims due to more accurate billing information. Speak IT was developed by Washington University students Michael Cafiero and Julian Wu. The team received a $15,000 prize.
  • The second-place prize was awarded to MiDoc – a wearable vest developed by Washington University physician Linda Wu – which includes sensors that measure a patient’s heart and lungs and delivers a medical grade EKG. Specifically developed to enhance telehealth, the MiDoc device aims to provide accurate, timely diagnosis that leads to better clinical decisions, reduced cost and less stress placed on emergency rooms. Wu was awarded a $10,000 prize.

The Blue KC Healthcare Innovation Prize first launched in 2018 in collaboration with UMKC to promote creativity and innovation in the Kansas City community and provide real-world opportunities to healthcare students. The contest seeks ventures that can improve the patient/member experience through care delivery innovation, digital health capabilities, tools/devices/apps, or other advancements that positively impact the value proposition.

Blue KC looks forward to continued collaboration with UMKC’s Bloch School of Management in awarding projects that demonstrate value proposition, market feasibility, financial feasibility and, most importantly, a positive impact to patients and consumers.

About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, the largest not-for-profit health insurer in Missouri and the only not-for-profit commercial health insurer in Kansas City, has been part of the Kansas City community since 1938. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City provides health coverage services to more than one million residents in the greater Kansas City area, including Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas and 30 counties in Northwest Missouri. Our mission: to use our role as the area’s leading health insurer to provide affordable access to health care and to improve the health of our members. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information on the company, visit its website at