SAN FRANCISCO — Ten of the most innovative startups in digital health demonstrated their products live on stage at VentureBeat’s HealthBeat conference yesterday.
Grilling the startups after their demos were venture capitalists Casper de Clercq (NVP), Michael Yang (Comcast Ventures), and Julie Wheelan (Edison Nation Medical).
The products presented were impressive. “I’m really glad we weren’t asked to pick a winner this year because there were so many great companies here,” said Edison National Medical’s Julie Wheelan after the presentations.
“There’s not going to be one answer to fixing health care, and there’s going to be plenty of opportunity for lots of different kinds of players,” Wheelan said.
Here are some highlights from the showcase:
Big Health‘s Peter Hames demonstrated his company’s Sleep.io app, which is meant to improve a user’s sleep via a cognitive therapy approach. That is, the app will ask the user questions about sleep patterns and then provide information on how to improve. It’s the same kind of dialogue you would have with a sleep therapist, but without the therapist, Hames explained. The app is led by a charming cartoon character who provides education as well as personalized guidance, such as a daily schedule, to help you manage your sleep.
Bright.md wants to cut time and increase efficiency by enabling patients to reach their health care providers online. Through Bright.md’s portal, patients can input information about their symptoms, pharmacies, insurance, and so on, and quickly receive treatment prescriptions and counseling from their physicians. “We’ve taken what used to be 20 minutes of provider time and turned it into 90 seconds,” cofounder Dr. Ray Constantini said at HealthBeat. Bright.md’s model sees the same power in digital technology as video chat services such as Doctor On Demand, Ringadoc, and others.
Doctor on Demand is a video telemedicine company that offers people on-demand and scheduled video visits with U.S. licensed providers. On stage at HealthBeat, Doctor on Demand initiated a live telemedicine call to a real doctor. The demo presenter had a rash she got while camping. Before seeing the doctor, she entered a few symptoms into the system. Then the doctor came on screen for the exam. Through the Doctor on Demand app, the doctor can also call in prescriptions. Doctor on Demand said it resolves about 95 percent of cases, meaning that patients who call in don’t need to then receive office or emergency room care.
Hygeia Health demonstrated a kiosk that it sells to medical offices that allows clinicians to comprehensively capture a patient’s vital signs before the patient visits the doctor. Patients sit down at the machine and rest their arm on a shelf where the vitals are taken. Hygeia said it’s been in conversation with electronic health records (EHR) vendors to have the kiosk integrated with the patient record.
Infermedica demonstrated its clinical decision-support software, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help physicians make good clinical decisions. The patient enters his or her complaint information into the software on a laptop or tablet, then the doctor uses a similar interface to input the objective assessment and treatment plan. In the background, the software processes the data and suggests likely diagnoses to the doctor.
Omicia demonstrated its system for analyzing human genome sequences. The technology platform helps health providers manage genetic testing, analyze the results, and store the data. The company also sells a platform that manages genetic testing and results for hospital laboratories. The company demonstrated its SaaS platform, which it said geneticists love because it organizes genetic results better than the Microsoft Excel spreadsheets they’re used to.
QPID Health demonstrated its optimization platform for EHR systems. The software can pull clinical data from EHR databases and extract clinical insights on the efficacy of specific therapies. The platform’s interface provides a dashboard for each specialty. A user might run a query on oncology patient records, for example. The objective is to search both structured and non-structured data contained in the EHR.
RxMatch is a web- and mobile-based platform that replaces the take-home instructions that doctors and other caregivers give patients after an office visit. It allows doctors to codify a structured set of followup instructions, said the company’s CEO Kian Raiszadeh. The platform allows patients to create an online profile into which the caregiver can post after-care instructions. The platform’s interface can be branded by the health provider using it so that it fosters the direct relationship between patient and provider.
Syapse‘s Jonathan Hirsch demonstrated the company’s Precision Medicine Data platform, which taps into the electronic patient record and tracks treatments and outcomes for specific patients. The idea is to integrate complex genomic and clinical data to arm physicians with decision-support information at the point of care, Hirsch said. Some of the data is presented on a timeline showing what medications the patients was taking during specific periods, with the health outcomes of those therapies displayed above them. The system can also pull in medical images to illustrate outcomes.
Zephyr Health showed off its cloud-based analytics platform, which is designed to pull seemingly unrelated data sets together to find new insights for health organizations. The company said it transforms the data via research, integration, modeling, analytics, and visualization to arrive at insights that can help health providers interact with payers in new ways, or market their services differently.
VentureBeat chose these 10 companies for their technology platforms and their ability to create change in the health care delivery system. We will continue to follow these companies as they grow and get tested under real market conditions.