Catalyze Innovation that Advances Health

Congestive Heart Failure



2014-2015 Health for America Fellowship

Health for America heart fellows


Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) occurs when the heart does not pump blood effectively to the body, either because the heart is too stiff or too weak to fill and pump efficiently. It affects about 5 million people in the United States, primarily in adults over the age of 65.


The Health for America fellows developed Meerkat Health, a thin scale that fits seamlessly under a bathmat at home, intended to help people with heart failure better detect and manage fluid buildup.

Fellowship Highlights

  • Attending mHealth Summit, Heart Failure Society of America, South by Southwest (SXSW), Mobile World Congress, HxRefactored, and Connected Health Symposium conferences
  • Partaking in an IDEO Design Workshop, Lean Startup Weekend, and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s Innovation Workshop
  • Shadowing clinicians, interviewing patients and hospital administrators, and speaking with healthcare entrepreneurs and policy makers
  • Prototyping, user testing, and iterating on the Meerkat solution to improve CHF outcomes


2014-2015 HFA fellows: Nick Azpiroz, Megan Caldwell, Sandra Hwang and Ellen Kourakos

Key Deliverables

Final Portfolio

Clinical Partner

Prior to the integration of Health for America into the MedStar Institute for Innovation, the 2014-15 HFA fellows worked with Christiana Care Health System to address challenges related to congestive heart failure.

Christiana Care Health System