Blueprint Health Demo Day Reveals Ideas for Hospital Efficiency

4/8/13Follow @jpruth

Graduating its third group of startups, the Blueprint Health accelerator in New York is increasingly making its presence known beyond the city. Late last week, 11 companies pitched their technology at a demo day that included platforms for improving efficiency at hospitals and giving medical device companies more ways to connect with physicians.

Mat Farkash, co-founder of Blueprint Health, said the accelerator has been working to prove it can bring together companies with real potential. “Two and a half years ago when we started Blueprint, there was concern about the ability to attract talent to healthcare,” he said. “Moreover, there were questions whether New York City could attract that talent.”

Farkash said he and his fellow Blueprint Health co-founders sought entrepreneurs from across the country and overseas to populate the incubator’s classes. The latest batch includes startups from San Francisco, Boston, Philadelphia, and New York, as well as Florida and Britain.

Elizabeth Keyser, co-founder of Evoncea, talked about her dashboard that hospitals can use to increase revenue. “There is a huge opportunity to attract more patients to their profitable service lines through precision targeting and understanding what their consumers want,” she said.

Evoncea provides quarterly data reports that hospitals can use to tailor their marketing messages. Keyser said the technology tracks market demand at the zip code-level for each treatment and service option. Evoncea collects data from healthcare providers and patients on what factors went into decisions on care and where to go. The information is segmented by neighborhood, insurance, and other factors.

To match Evoncea’s data, she estimates that hospitals would have to spend more than $3 million to run more than 200 focus groups and maintain dedicated research teams. Evoncea charges hospitals annual subscriptions of $100,000 to $200,000 per service line to access to its data.

Keyser offered some perspectives, based on Evoncea’s findings, on prenatal care preferences in the Boston area. “In Cambridge, they are wild about water births while right next door in the Brighton and Allston area, they really want midwives,” she said. In the Beacon Hill neighborhood, according to Keyser, female obstetricians with at least 20 years of experience are in demand. “Armed with this information, hospital marketers can deliver messages targeted for their population that will attract the most patients,” she said.

Other members of this Blueprint Health class focused on helping hospitals save money and function more efficiently. The team behind startup forMD developed a network that hospitals can use to find and hire physicians. Hospitals using the site can post job listings, which are matched against the qualifications of the physicians in the system. ForMD generates revenue by taking a fee whenever someone is hired through the network.

Greg Chang talks about making the hiring of physicians more efficient.

“Hospital and practice administrators don’t have a lot of time to recruit physicians,” said co-founder Greg Chang. “They rely on third-party recruiters who manually source candidates, go through hundreds of resumes per opening, and wine-and-dine physicians to understand whether they are really interested in a job.”

He said it can cost upwards of $150,000 and take on average five months to fill one opening. “Every month that passes by without a physician in place, the average hospital loses $130,000 in revenue that a doctor would otherwise generate,” Chang said. ForMD’s network includes medical societies and alumni associations from medical schools at Johns Hopkins University, Duke University, Stanford University, and University of Pennsylvania.

Here is a rundown of the other demoing startups from the latest class:

DocASAP — A platform that publishes doctors’ profiles on websites such as consumer health portals and health insurance sites with doctor finders.

HealthyOut — Though still in stealth mode, this startup plans to release a product soon to help solve issues with healthy eating.

iMedicare — A dashboard that pharmacies, particularly independents, can use to help their customers compare and choose Medicare plans.

IntelligentM — A system that uses wrist bands for ensuring that medical personnel comply with hand hygiene guidelines, and potentially reduce the spread of infections among patients within hospitals. The wrist bands use RFID and other technology to detect if medical staffers have sanitized their hands properly.

Keona Health — An online system that cuts down the time it takes for nurses to handle triage phone calls, thus giving them more freedom to care for patients.

Luminate Health — A platform patients use to access and understand their lab results.

Nurep — Gives medical device companies a way to offer on-demand, virtual support to physicians in operating rooms.

PadInMotion — Uses tablets to provide customized medical and entertainment content to patients at hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other medical facilities.

Touch Surgery — Mobile software platform for medical device companies can use to show surgeons any surgery on virtual patients for learning and rehearsal for procedures.

Blueprint Health’s summer class is booked to start in July.

João-Pierre S. Ruth is the editor of Xconomy New York. He can be reached at jpruth@xconomy.com and followed on Twitter @jpruth. Follow @jpruth

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