Blueprint’s Newest Grads Take Healthtech to Hospitals, ERs

4/3/14Follow @benthefidler

Last month, a startup called WellTrackOne—one of the most recent grads to come out of Blueprint Health, the New York healthtech accelerator—bagged a $1.5 million Series A round led by Easton Capital. That nascent company is now on track to generate about $2.5 million in revenue this year.

No surprise, then, that its CEO, Peter Bechtel, helped kick off Blueprint’s latest demo day by giving the newest group of entrepreneurs a sense of the journey he’s been on since debuting for investors.

“Two weeks after the demo day we got a term sheet from Easton Capital,” Bechtel said, before joking: “I was in Canada yesterday I mean, what am I doing there?”

Left unsaid was whether WellTrackOne is profitable yet, or if it isn’t, when it’ll break even. As with any startup, the challenges to success are significant. But WellTrackOne is emblematic of the traction that Blueprint has gained in New York’s healthtech scene. It’s one of now 46 companies to emerge from Blueprint, including the seven new startups that debuted for investors at the accelerator’s fifth demo day on Thursday at the City Winery in SoHo.

Blueprint co-founder Brad Weinberg told the crowd that 80 percent of those startups are generating cash, with 10 of them on track for at least $1 million in revenue this year. Some of those startups are only six months old.

“These companies are generating real revenue because they’re solving real problems for organizations and consumers in the healthcare industry,” Weinberg said.

While that doesn’t mean all of these startups will succeed—Blueprint hasn’t said how many of these startups turn a profit, for instance—the accelerator has become a launch point for many companies to get off the ground and get funding. BoardVitals, another startup from the previous class, closed a $500,000 seed round in July. Procured Health, which came out of Blueprint in 2012, nabbed a $4 million Series A from FCA Venture Partners last month. Others like Luminate Health and Touch Surgery have similarly found investors.

That’s the kind of thing the latest grads are looking for, too. The going will be tough—five of these seven companies are attempting the tall order of selling directly to hospitals, for instance. But here are the ideas Blueprint’s fifth class is hoping to succeed with:

MediQuire—Developer of a platform that helps hospitals calculate the individual performance of their doctors, and pinpoint where they need improvement. CEO Klaus Koenigshausen says the company works with hospitals to come up with new clinical metrics, extracts the data from electronic medical records, uses that information to show clinicians the quality of their performance relative to their peers via a Web-based dashboard—and offers tools and information to help them improve. The idea is that this can help hospitals save money by avoiding Medicare penalties and cutting administrative costs. MediQuire charges hospitals between $100,000 and $200,000 for a subscription license. It’s raising a $750,000 convertible note.

RubiconMD—One in three referrals to a specialist are unnecessary, according to RubiconMD CEO Gil Addo. His startup is trying to change that by helping primary care doctors quickly connect with specialists within hours to answer potential treatment questions, rather than having a patient go for a separate visit. This, in turn, can land primary care doctors more money, particularly given that many physician groups are signing up for value-based contracts with insurers that pay them extra cash for preventing unnecessary referrals, Addo says. RubiconMD then shares a portion of those gains. The startup is raising $1 million, and already has 60 percent of it locked up.

Twiage—Ambulances communicate with emergency rooms via clunky old radios. Twiage wants to supplant that with a smartphone app or Google Glass service that can help emergency rooms prepare better, and get more accurate information about incoming patients—images, electrocardiograms, and more—from paramedics. That, according to CEO Crystal Law, could save hospitals money by enabling them to properly prioritize resources. Law said false service activations—when ERs prepare for, say, a heart-attack patient that doctors find later didn’t actually have a heart attack—can cost hospitals $350,000 per year. Twiage thinks its service can cut those costs down. The company charges hospitals $50,000 per year for an annual subscription fee. It’s raising $500,000 in seed cash.

Decisive Health—A Web-based platform that helps streamline doctor-patient consultations so they’re quicker and more efficient. According to CEO Jonathan Shih, the idea is a patient gets diagnosed with something, schedules a follow-up appointment with a doctor, and then gets referred to Decisive—an online survey and series of algorithms that help the patient find the treatment options he or she is most comfortable with. Decisive then relays that information to a doctor, leading to a quicker follow-up visit. This is supposed to free up more time for doctors to see more patients and do more procedures (and make more money). Decisive charges $10,000 per physician, per year. The company has raised 45 percent of a $500,000 seed round.

BoardRounds—Helps hospitals arrange follow-ups for patients after an ER visit. Hospitals get paid when a patient sees a doctor for a follow-up after being discharged from the emergency room, but often “don’t have the tools necessary to do it,” according to CEO Benjamin Jack. BoardRounds provides a software application that hospital staffers use to input all of the patient’s data. BoardRounds helps set up the follow-up appointment, and then makes sure it takes place as scheduled. BoardRounds charges hospitals an annual licensing fee of between $100,000 and $200,000 for its service, which is currently live at Mount Sinai in New York. BoardRounds is raising $500,000 to get it to five hospital customers and $750,000 in revenue by the end of the year.

PulseBeat—Remotely monitors and cares for people’s aging loved ones by sending real-time alerts and daily health report cards about their condition. PulseBeat sets up sensors in a person’s home that help track basic vital signs and daily events—what time a person gets out of bed, or when they take their medicine—to try to identify a potential medical problem before it happens. If there is an issue that pops up, PulseBeat then sends a nurse to check in on the person. PulseBeat charges customers $99 per month for a subscription, and says it breaks even on a subscription after five months.

ProofPilot—Developed a Web-based platform that helps companies design, launch, and manage complex research studies more cheaply and efficiently. The application walks researchers through the process of what questions the study needs to answer and what data are needed, has recruitment partners and marketing tools to help populate those studies, and then automates the data as it rolls in. CEO Matthew Amsden said that the company charges companies a monthly subscription fee per study based on the complexity of the trial. An average contract is worth about $81,000. ProofPilot had $400,000 in revenue in 2013, and is on its way to $1 million in revenue this year. The company is raising $1.4 million.

Ben Fidler is Xconomy's Deputy Biotechnology Editor. You can e-mail him at bfidler@xconomy.com Follow @benthefidler

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