Blueprint Health graduates the Winter 2016 class

Tomorrow afternoon (April 27) is Graduation Day–Demo Day–for ten startup companies which address problems across the healthcare spectrum. They are:

● Blue Mesa Health – Helps employers reduce health costs through a digital diabetes prevention program
● HealthKick – Provides employers with curated perks for branded health and wellness services
● NexHealth – Provides a mobile-first appointment booking and reminder platform for doctor’s offices
● PatientPrep – Increases physician productivity and patient satisfaction by collecting data prior to a visit
● Rappora – Streamlines the coordination, management and time tracking of home care employees (more…)

Pilot Health Tech: call for applicants 18 December (NYC)

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in partnership with Health 2.0 and now Blueprint Health, are calling for joint applicants for the third annual Pilot Health Tech NYC. The program invites innovative healthcare companies and “host” partners (mainly providers) to jointly apply by 18 December for $1 million in competitive commercialization awards. If chosen, these will pilot together to validate a technology solution for commercial use or investment.There are 10 awards across three categories: complex systems, scalable solutions and turnkey projects. Application is here; they also have a Q&A Webinar at noon on 1 Dec to ask questions about the funding program and details about the application process. Prior program winners include GeriJoy, QoL, Nonnatech, Flatiron Health, eCaring and Canopy Apps.

Blueprint Health’s 8th Demo Day: 8 new companies show their stuff

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”150″ /]Last Friday, in the middle of a NYC nor’easter, Blueprint Health had its eighth Demo Day, where startup companies in this accelerator’s latest three-month Summer class, having worked on their innovations and developed a business plan, ‘graduate’ and ‘pitch’ their audience. There’s been a shift over the past few classes to B2B-oriented digital health, from reducing readmissions through geolocation (Position Health)  to HIPAA compliance (HIPAAfix) to streamlined billing for chronic care management (Oculus Health), but half are more consumer-oriented companies, providing more accessible genetic testing (Bind Health), workplace stress reduction (Psocratic) and point of service lending to patients with high-deductible health plans (Crediyo). The other two companies are MedPilot (simplifying patient billing and debt through electronic billing) and DocDelta (streamlining provider talent search). Annually, Blueprint Health’s invites in about 20 digital health companies with an investment of about $20,000 each, has graduated 68 companies and hosts in their space over 24 digital health companies. Release. Company profiles.

Blueprint Health’s 8 for Class 8

Blueprint Health announced its Summer 2015 class of 8 on Thursday. The NYC-based accelerator, since its early startup days in 2011, now focuses on companies further along in the development continuum. Telehealth companies would find Oculus Health most interesting as Medicare chronic care management and telehealth reimbursement present opportunities for remote patient monitoring expansion.

Bind ( Helps prospective parents to make informed decisions about genomic testing and provides genetic counseling services
Crediyo ( Decreases patient payment write-offs and improves cash flow for medical practices with turn-key patient lending products
Ekovia ( Helps hospital hire top talent with the most robust database healthcare professionals and algorithms to predict who is open to new job opportunities
GetCompliant ( Provides a full service platform for HIPAA compliance for physician practices (more…)

AdhereTech’s smart pill bottle gets a new retro design

[grow_thumb image=”” thumb_width=”120″ /] My visit to CEWEEK in NY at the end of June was, in contrast to the 2014 edition, light on compelling health tech. One that stood out, for all the modesty of their display, was NYC-based AdhereTech. It’s a med reminder system pushed to the max: a pill bottle that dispenses normally, but collects and sends adherence data in real-time, with a system that analyzes and records the data. If a dose is missed, they send out customizable alerts and interventions to patients, using automated phone calls, text messages and other reminders. It also uniquely measures the level in the bottleso it can automatically notify the patient, provider and pharmacy about a refill.

When last we saw them, they had just won a spot in the inaugural (2013) Pilot Health Tech NYC program. They have redesigned the bottle to have a more compact, retro med bottle-like shape along with a brighter light and chime. (more…)

Blueprint Health’s latest class tackles nosocomial infections, transitional care

The New York-based Blueprint Health accelerator announced this week its Winter 2015 class of seven: GlucoIQ, GroupHub, HealthyBytes, Limestone Labs, Moving Analytics, Signifikance and TapGenes. Most have a genetic analytics or payer emphasis. Of special interest to our readers are:

  • The home-based cardiac rehabilitation system of Moving Analytics, which uses a smartphone app, Movn, to guide patients through their care plan, joined with active patient management engaging them with nurses who call weekly to review progress.
  • Toronto-based Limestone Labs UV-C sanitization system for portable devices (the ubiquitous tablets and smartphones) which aren’t being cleaned effectively with wipes, and are becoming a new vector for hospital-based infections. They claim 99.99 percent kill rates with treatment of only 30 seconds. It started piloting last month in healthcare settings.
  • Healthy Bytes’ food management app, engaging patients with dieticians to monitor food intake with photos, time and other comments plus coaching.

The public demo day for this class will be 24 April. Blueprint Health is now taking applications for their summer class to be launched on 13 July. MedCityNews

News highlights for Friday

AnthemHealth didn’t encrypt, Blueprint Health collects, HealthSpot funds again, Sense4Baby goes to Europe, Apple Health pilots in hospitals and buddi gets bigger still.

Another hack attack claimed major US health insurer AnthemHealth, the former WellPoint. It’s estimated that 80 million of its customers, former customers and employees had data breached: names, addresses, dates of birth, emails, employment information, income, medical IDs and SSIs. The Wall Street Journal reports that Anthem didn’t encrypt data for analytics reasons. It’s unconfirmed where the hackers originated but Bloomberg’s latest report tags the usual Chinese state-sponsored suspects. Unusually, it was reported within days of discovery; Anthem has called in Mandiant (FireEye) to beef up its cybersecurity. Other reports: WSJ, Modern Healthcare….The Blueprint Health accelerator has a new initiative, the Collective. It is designed to pair up major healthcare providers and payers with startups and early stage companies. So far signed up are Aetna, AstraZeneca, HP, Montefiore, North Shore LIJ, New York-Presbyterian, Samsung, EmblemHealth, Philips and Razorfish Healthware. More information here….The HealthSpot Station telehealth/telemedicine kiosk is readying a $11.6 million funding round from four investors soon, based on (more…)

Digital health accelerators, anatomized (US)

A phenomenon in both the US and the UK is the digital health accelerator that ‘enrolls’ promising startups and nurtures their entrepreneurial founders with business coaching and limited funding. In the UK, accelerators cluster around universities such as Sheffield, Edinburgh, Ulster, Bristol and Bath. In the US, startup accelerators clustered bicoastally–Boston/New York-Silicon Valley/San Diego–and were dominated by Blueprint Health, StartUp Health and later Rock Health. In the past three years, they have dispersed to places like Minneapolis, Dallas, Phoenix and Philadelphia. Lisa Suennen, no stranger to the scene as a managing partner of advisory service Venture Valkyrie, has written ‘Survival of the Fittest: Health Care Accelerators Evolve Toward Specialization’, published by the California Health Care Foundation. She notes that accelerators, once meant for entrepreneurs/developers to help them bridge the gap from the kitchen table (more…)

Accelerator (at last) for older adult supportive tech

Supportive technologies for older adults is perhaps the least buzzy area of health tech. The Aging 2.0 GENerator accelerator is bucking that conventional wisdom. Its initial class of 11 early-stage companies span telecare (Lively, TTA 27 Sep), cognitive assistance (BrainAid), transportation (LiftAid) and product design (Sabi). It also connects companies to an impressive list of 75 mentors including LeadingAge/CAST, Mary Furlong Associates, the OnLok PACE community and Pfizer. Founder Katy Pike of Aging 2.0 has embedded it into San Francisco’s Institute of the Aging, which houses independent living facilities, adult day centers, and a geriatric clinic–ideal places for these startups to field test their approaches directly with their potentially 40 million 65+ market. For this the GENerator takes a not-more-than 2 percent equity stake in these companies; unlike the larger StartUp Health and Blueprint Health, it is right now too small to offer seed capital. MedCityNews

For NY health techies–here’s an accelerator roundup

A sure sign that Silicon Alley in NYC is actually moving beyond the focus on shopping/retail and gaming to support early-stage companies in health tech is in this AlleyWatch guide to 14 accelerators, some of which are exclusively focused on health tech companies but others which may accept the right idea. It should be noted that both Blueprint Health and StartUp Health (with GE Ventures) have moved beyond the angel-funded to more ‘mature’ companies [TTA 15 July]. NY Digital Health Accelerator is a joint initiative of New York eHealth Collaborative and Partnership Fund for New York City [TTA 23 May]. But those without an exclusive focus on financial services or education (for instance), such as NYC SeedStart, Women Innovate Mobile and Founder Institute, may be viable alternatives to the Blueprint-StartUp-NYDHA nexus. It also balances out the fact that NYC is an expensive place to be a startup–only a little less so than SF. Hint, hint UK, European, Israeli and Latin American entrepreneurs–set up shop in NY, and the Coke and a slice (pizza, that is) is on Editor Donna! 14 New York-Based Accelerators to Help You Launch Your Company

Funding: the concentration continues

The funding concentration trend apparent in RockHealth’s latest survey [TTA 9 July] is not contradicted by latest bits of news:

  • PracticeFusion, a free physician, web-based and ad supported EMR, is rumored to be raising $60 million from what Venture Beat last week termed “a New York-based investment firm, not one of the usual (local) Silicon Valley suspects.” Now we can suppose that sources would be silent unless the deal was signed, sealed and delivered. The leaks can also be strategic ones. (PracticeFusion has also introduced PatientFusion, a PHR with added functions of booking appointments and leaving doctor feedback–which puts it squarely in ZocDoc’s increasingly challenged, but extremely well-funded territory. (We advise them to put aside a few dollars for the inevitable MMRGlobal challenge as well.) Having raised $34 million less than one year ago, the funding is clearly going to updating ‘Meaningful Use’ requirements, the patient portal and to be determined growth.
  • Chicago-based Caremerge just raised $2.1 million for its mobile apps for coordination of long term care (LTC) between providers, doctors and families. (MedCityNews)  It claims to be the first-ever integrated mobile and web solutions provider for this market. It does answer a crying, not-terribly-glamourous need in senior care, and it’s also interesting that two of the key investors are from Poland and Switzerland. But Caremerge has deep roots in GE-land: one of its founders came from GE Healthcare IT Solutions and it’s currently part of the StartUp Health/GE Healthymagination program–which accepts only companies further along in their development for their $250 million fund, and takes a generous slice of equity for advisory services rendered. [TTA 10 Jan7 March, 4 April]
  • Health tech accelerator Blueprint Health announced its latest class–and they are increasingly not in the earlier pattern of true startups in need of guidance to appeal to angels and VCs. Five of the ten companies already have customers, versus two in the previous class. Is this mission creep? According to an article in Gigaom, their co-founder has said that they are not deliberately looking for more ‘mature’ companies, but are nonetheless accepting them. Of course, early stage companies that have already gotten into the market have a greater chance of success and look better on the record of any accelerator program. Another trend is B2B rules. Only one of the picks is consumer focused (health coaching) and another is engaged in employee wellness rewards adopted by companies.

Are these pointers to the future, at least in the US?

  1. Nascent maturity and realism in business plans–the horizon narrowing
  2. The continued collapse of practice EHRs into a few trusted providers [Doctor backlash brewing, TTA 22 Feb]
  3. With less funding to go around, and with few companies moving from A to B to C rounds, will future investment and development go to those who have already gained traction in customers and previous investment–and somehow got to that stage with the help of angels and crowdfunding?
  4. Is it the end of the Quantified Self consumer device buzz? These investments, and the past quarter’s, are largely in the surer, more VC-acceptable water of B2B tech.