#MedMo17: the conference, winning startups, Bayer, blockchain, and more

click to enlargeMedStartr Momentum‘s conference last week was extremely well attended, with 260 registrations over the two days at PricewaterhouseCooper’s NYC HQ. It jumped! (Disclaimers: your Editor is one of the hosts and co-organizers; TTA is a media partner) #MedMo17 had about 50-60 total speakers, presenters, and panelists in fast-moving sessions, most 10-15 minutes, with panels clocking under one hour.

What’s always unusual about MedStartr conferences is the mix of topics and people, and not just from NY. There were startups just getting going, successful startups sharing their stories, patient advocates, providers, and investors sharing what they want to see (and not see) before they fund. There was Deborah Estrin from Cornell Tech describing how they nurture graduate student tech entrepreneurs and Maria Gotsch from the Partnership Fund for NYC discussing how they accelerate, partner, pilot, and fund companies coming to market. One sponsor was nearby Newark NJIT’s NJ Innovation Institute–and one of the presenting companies was Uniphy Health (formerly PracticeUnite) that they’ve worked with and helped make successful over five years. Who would have expected a wild discussion about blockchain? Well, here, hosted by media personality/entrepreneur Ben Chodor (HealthTechTalk Live) with panelists ranging from a digital asset hedge fund founder to a patient advocate. For two panels, questions came from ‘the field’ via a Reddit ‘Ask Me Anything’.

Notably, Bayer G4A Generator, coordinated in the US by Aline Noizet, came on board as a sponsor. They came to the right place as they are seeking early-stage companies for Bayer Grants4Apps. In the US, they are seeking new companies developing self-care products: nutritionals/wellness, therapeutics (pain management, seasonal health), personal care (skin, sun, footcare), and self-care in general. Bayer also runs similar programs in Berlin (Accelerator and Dealmaker), Barcelona, Tokyo, Moscow, Singapore, Shanghai, and Italy.

Of the 18 Grand Challenge finalists competing for financing and guidance, the winners were: Population Health–Valisure (online pharmacy pre-screening meds); Wearables/Medical Devices–Alertgy (non-intrusive continuous blood glucose monitoring); Clinical Innovations–eCaring (at-home senior care monitoring), and in Killer Apps, a product that actually kills bad bacteria on the skin–Xycrobe (good recombinant bacteria for dermatological use). Special awards were given to Check with Ellie (breastfeeding questions answered, Momentum Award for growth) and MedAux (patient ed and HIPAA compliant messaging–Crowd Choice Award).

The full conference (Thursday and Friday) is up on video at Medstartr.tv. And in 2018, it will be 29-30 November, so put it in your calendar. Kudos to the MedStartr team, especially Alex Fair. Hat tip also to the NOLA (New Orleans) Health Innovation Challenge 

Pilot Health Tech NYC winners announced (US)

Last Thursday, the 11 winners of the second annual Pilot Health Tech NYC program were announced at Alexandria Center, NYC. A joint initiative of the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Health 2.0, it provides early-stage health tech companies based in NYC a ‘test bed’ in partnership with many of the most prestigious metro area healthcare organizations, and another platform to keep health tech growing in the city. Each project represents a distinct need in the spectrum and a common theme is integration of care into workflow. Some needs are obvious: senior care, pediatrics, rehabilitation, cardiac disease and diabetes management. Others are less so: vision, medication adherence, data analytics, blood donation and social support.

The winners are supported by $1 million in funding to operate and report results from the individual pilots which will take place starting in late summer through end of year. An interesting fact from the announcement release is that the Pilot Health Tech inaugural class companies [TTA 1 July 2013] have raised over $150 million in private investment since their win: AdhereTech, eCaring, Rip Road, Vital Care Services, BioDigital, Flatiron Health, Sense Health, Bio-Signal Group, Opticology and StarlingHealth (acquired by Hill-Rom).

The winners (some of which we’ve been following like GeriJoy, NonnaTech and eCaring) and their partners are:

  • Smart Vision Labs / SUNY College of Optometry
  • GeriJoy / Pace University
  • QoL Devices, Inc. / Montefiore Medical Center
  • Urgent Software, LLC / Mount Sinai Health System
  • Nonnatech / ElderServe
  • Fit4D/ HealthFirst
  • AllazoHealth / Accountable Care Coalition of Greater New York
  • Canopy Apps / Visiting Nurse Service of New York (VNSNY)
  • Healthify / VillageCare
  • Tactonic Technologies / NYU Langone, Rusk Rehab Center
  • Hindsait, Inc. / NY Blood Center

More information in their release. Many thanks to NYCEDC and Eric Vieira of ELabNYC (another NYCEDC initiative) and CUNY.

Related reading: ELabNYC Pitch Day in March

eCaring gains Series A financing (US)

click to enlargeHome care management/monitoring system eCaring (New York) this week secured $3.5 million in Series A funding, led by Ascent Biomedical Ventures. Private investor Stephen Jackson will be joining the eCaring board, as well as being on the board of client MJHS. Funding will go to product development, sales and marketing targeted to managed care plans, home health agencies, payers, hospitals and related entities. The CareTracker program is unique in that caregivers/aides with relatively low English language or computer literacy can, through icons, easily input both clinical and behavioral information on a home care patient which summarizes by patient and aggregates at the care manager level. There is also a CarePortrait feature that determines baseline norms for behavior such as activity and sleep. eCaring, with Pace University, was also one of 2013’s PILOT Health Tech NY/NYEDC/Health 2.0 winners for a project with the Henry Street Settlement. A big cheer for CEO/founder Robert Herzog who has been championing this aging services/aging in place technology for several years while QS apps and fitness trackers stole all the buzz at the cocktail parties and accelerators. Release, MedCityNews (photo)

mHealth Summit 2013: Sunday Venture+ Forum

Lois Drapin, Founder & CEO of The Drapin Group, provides a recap of the Venture+ Forum held the day before the official start of the mHealth Summit 2013. This is the first of her dispatches, courtesy of HIT Consultant.

click to enlargeYes, it’s true. Sunday’s Venture+ Forum, one of the day-long events that takes place before the official start of the mHealth Summit 2013, was a lot like living Gartner’s Hype Cycle in one day. Before I tell you why, let me first offer my sincere apologies to Gartner Inc. (I’ll reference the Gartner methodology in underlined italics). Absolutely no offense is meant, but this borrowed framework could be the assist I need at 1 a.m. to offer up my POV.

Keynote Speaker: Jack Young, Director of Qualcomm Ventures

The day began with Jack Young, Director of Qualcomm Ventures and head of the Qualcomm Life Fund. He talked about trends that we should all know by now— the rising costs of healthcare (at $8K per human per capita, health is the most expensive subscription in our home); the aging population (a company in Japan reported that it had sold more adult diapers than baby diapers this past year). Qualcomm sees the Technology Trigger in the emergence of wearables or “mini working computers” and with big data in health such as claims data, EMR data, genomic data, consumer and social data. The wearables industry is emerging, having come into our lives connected to our smartphones. In this way, if you will, our social-ness is changing too. When you wear a wearable (watch, glasses, shoe, shirt, pin—whatever item(s) we choose), we are more likely to accept that “I’m on the journey” to health, wellness and well-being. We’re involving our friends, families and co-workers. The data that is, or will be coming from our use of wearables and other sources, will give us meaningful insights that can change behavior and health outcomes. It sounds a bit like ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’, yet who doesn’t love an investor with ‘California Dreamin’’ on his mind. I know I do.

But I already could feel the climb toward the Peak of Inflated Expectations. It really didn’t seem too far away or too high up. (more…)

NYeC Digital Health Conference 2013: the trends

Updated 21 November

The third annual New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) Digital Health Conference in New York City attracted several hundred people from the worlds of hospitals, public health, academia, policy makers and health insurers–and the myriad related products and services which will enable these entities to improve their health IT, organization and engage patients in their own health. If there were three buzzword phrases setting the tone, they were interoperability, patient portals and technological innovation. All relate to data–data transfer of patient records between providers to be available regionally (RHIOs) and throughout the state via the SHIN-NY health information exchange (HIE); using data to help people visualize and improve their health;  putting data into ‘whole person’ context for providers, integrating it into workflows and to save lives; using data to serve process improvement and tougher standards. And finally there is that old devil cost: reducing the cost of care, reducing expensive readmissions plus co-morbidities and making those tools to do this job more affordable for providers and patients.

NYeC has developed considerably since its early days seven years ago (more…)