Blueprint Health Graduates First Class at Demo Day
A new NYC incubator, Blueprint Health, started up in January with a goal of fostering entrepreneurship in an often-overlooked corner of the booming technology sector: health IT. Today the incubator, part of the TechStars network, held its first demo day, which attracted an standing-room-only audience of 500 venture capitalists and health IT professionals.
Blueprint Health founding partner Matthew Farkash began the day by telling the audience that the nine presenting companies were selected from an applicant pool of 300. During the three-month program, they all made significant progress, he said. “All nine of the companies have a client or partnership that will allow them to immediately scale their operations,” Farkash said.
Here’s a look at the startups, and some of the interesting tidbits they passed along about their companies at Blueprint’s inaugural demo day:
5 O’Clock Records
This site streamlines the process of requesting medical records from physician offices. Doctors can net an extra $500 to $1,000 a month by directing requesters to the site, its founders say. “It puts money in doctors’ pockets for something they already do,” says founder Matthew Cottrell.
Caregivers and patients can use AidIn to select post-acute care for patients who are leaving the hospital and in need of rehabilitation, home care, or other follow-up services. AidIn’s Web application is powered by quality-of-care data meant to help users match patients with the care they need in three clicks. AidIn is doing two pilot tests with hospitals. The company is raising $600,000, of which $250,000 is committed. “Hospitals save money in the form of reduced re-admissions,” says co-founder Russ Graney.
This New York-based company provides instant online access to mental-health therapists, who conduct their sessions via chat or video. Co-founders Brian Dear and Jessica Rios came up with the idea for the company when they were working in Shanghai and trying to help a friend who was having trouble finding a Spanish-speaking psychologist. The company has signed up 80 therapists and 45 clients in the month since it launched. Clients pay an average of $85 per session, $15 of which goes to iCouch. The company is raising $350,000, and discussing partnerships with health plans and hospitals. “We make therapy easy for everyone,” says Dear.
InquisitHealth is site that facilitates phone conversations between patients who have similar medical conditions and includes access to offline resources related to those illnesses. The company is selling its platform to hospitals and other institutions that are interested in facilitating patient interactions. It recently signed on New York Presbyterian hospital as a client. “We are going to where patients already are and are providing them with a lot of value,” says co-founder Ashwin Patel.
University of Pennsylvania students Ben Shyong and Tim Soo created this social-media site, which is designed to match users with the most relevant content, products, and services for their health needs. The company is partnering with existing health sites to drive traffic and plans to make money through sponsored content. The company is raising a $750,000 seed round, $400,000 of which has closed. “What normally takes multiple searches and quite a bit of time surfaces with a single click,” says Soo.
Minneapolis-based Needl connects health care providers with drug companies via apps used by doctors. The technology enables interactions through question-and-answer sessions between doctors and pharmaceutical representatives. The company is planning to raise $450,000. “We’re building a Q&A layer across healthcare sites,” says co-founder Rashaun Sourles.
This online messaging platform allows doctors to answer their patient’s non-urgent questions. Patients pay a monthly fee to use the service, which can generate up to $10,00 per year in extra revenue for a doctor, the company says. Patient Communicator hopes to raise $350,000, and has already received commitments for $100,000. “Let’s put down our phones and connect with our doctors in the way we want to connect—online and right now,” says co-founder Jeff Novich.
This online catalog aggregates information, reviews, prices, and ordering information for thousands of medical devices. It is designed to help hospitals cut costs by giving them access to the full range of available products. The company derives revenues from charging subscription fees to hospitals and lead-generation fees to medical device makers. The company is raising $750,000, $325,000 of which it says is already committed. “Hospitals that are able to get product evaluation right are able to save more than 20 percent a year,” says co-founder Hani Elias.
On this site, people can input their symptoms and get instant access to information about potential diagnoses and suggestions for choosing choose the right care for them. The site—which can be incorporated into health plan portals—is designed to save plans money by preventing unnecessary emergency room visits. “We want to inform you about your choices rather than deny you [access to care],” says co-founder Craig Monsen.