INDIANAPOLIS - Indianapolis-based Eli Lilly and Co. (NYSE: LLY) has announced the winner of its first digital health open innovation challenge. The nationwide competition sought to find digital health solutions aimed at transforming care for Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

HealthVoyager, an app created by Boston Children's Hospital and Toronto-based Klick Health, received the top prize. Lilly says the app uses a customizable software platform to create a personalized and immersive educational experience for IBD patients.

The pharmaceutical company says HealthVoyager will have the opportunity to potentially co-develop its solution with Lilly and secure $50,000 in funding to further develop the idea.

"We are proud to be named the inaugural recipient of Lilly's innovation challenge and that HealthVoyager resonated with the judges," Yan Fossat, principal investigator, Klick Labs at Klick Health, said in a news release. "In developing our personalized virtual reality platform with Boston Children's Hospital, we began with a real clinical problem to solve. We didn't start with a business plan or a technology, just a problem for patients and clinicians. As we finalize clinical validation of our solution, we can move to the business phase."

HealthVoyager was one of five finalists that presented their ideas to a panel of judges at Lilly's Indianapolis headquarters. The panel evaluated each idea's impact, novelty, technical feasibility and ability to address the long-term needs of people with IBD. 

"The submissions we received for this innovation challenge were outstanding. We were impressed by the many bold and innovative ideas leveraging digital technologies aimed at helping people better manage this difficult chronic illness," said Divakar Ramakrishnan, chief digital officer at Lilly. "We selected HealthVoyager as our winner because the solution spoke to our mission of making lives better for people around the world. Taking a patient-centric approach, the platform focuses on educating and informing the patient in a truly individualized and creative way."

Lilly says it plans to conduct future innovation challenges in other therapeutic areas next year.