Health Startup Accelerator – Blueprint Health – 1/13/12

In my post earlier this week on the new class of Rock Health startups, I mistakenly wrote the name of a mobile image viewing company as Nephrosity, instead of the correct name of Nephosity. I think I saw the name and assumed it had to be "nephros" for kidney, but one of the founders was kind enough to reach out and tell me that it is "nephos," which apparently is Greek for cloud. Thanks for the correction.

Over the last several weeks, I’ve covered the new startup classes for Rock Health and Healthbox, the health specific accelerators based in San Francisco and Chicago, respectively. Earlier this week, the New York-based health accelerator Blueprint Health announced its first class of startups.

Blueprint is a member of the TechStars Network, which has had success as a general technology accelerator. The three-month program started this week, providing  $20,000, free office space, legal, and other support. It takes 6% of each company. The Blueprint list of mentors is impressive, with lots of investors and diverse representation from payers, healthcare orgs, pharmacies, and even Allscripts and Cerner. I also like the size of the program at only nine companies instead of the 15 that are a part of Rock Health.

5 O’Clock Records. A nifty name for a company with a tagline of Work less. Make more. Go home early. The idea is that the company can streamline the process of requesting medical records through a HIPAA-compliant website. The company states that "at least 6 phone calls are made to the practice for each medical record request," which seems bit extreme to me. Whatever the number of calls, it’s true that requesting records can be a real nightmare — I’m experiencing it right now. This would work well if providers could get requestors to use the 5 O’Clock site. Also, the company seems, from the very limited info it provides, to be catering to indirect medical records requests, or those from people other than the patient themselves.

AHEAD Research. The company, founded by two fourth-year med students at Hopkins, has a platform called Symcat (, which is up and running to test but only intended for educational purposes. The tool takes symptomatic and other historical information and comes up with a list of possible diagnoses with probability attached to each. From there, you can get summaries from the NIH as well as studies related to the diagnosis. You can even find local providers that can treat the condition. It’s really impressive in speed and usability. I tested out "pain in testicle" and said I was a pediatric female, which the system didn’t seem to think was odd, and gonorrhea was the most likely diagnosis it found. I think the success of this is dependent on believing the premise of the company that, "At our core we believe that people given access to information the right way will make good decisions". I don’t agree with this, but I do see the value of Symcat for more acute conditions.

Aidin. This service hopes to streamline the discharge process and create a competitive marketplace for post-acute care providers. Discharge is a cluster of a process, so any streamlining would be great. Discharge itself has a lot of different kinds of bottlenecks so I don’t see this solving the entire problem of discharged patients waiting around all day to go home, but I think this could help discharge planners and coordinators and maybe even patients make more informed post-care decisions. I thought GetWellNetwork did something like this, but maybe it is more passive and not meant for discharge planners.

iCouch. I love the name and the concept. Users fill out a questionnaire and are then given a list of qualified counselors to choose from. Once chosen, they use Skype to do a remote counseling session. Counseling is perfect for telecare. I’m curious if patients will be able to either bundle services (buy bundles of sessions) or choose specific providers once they’ve forged a relationship.

InquisitHealth. This company offers a service that connects new patient with experience patients based on medical needs. It sounds like a good idea and something in which both new and old patients would want to participate. I’lll be curious to see how this works.

Meddik. It sounds a little like Google for health information. The company wants to provide intelligent, personalized health information to each user. User are able to rate content they find and in the process help refine their own search results, but also those of others as user ratings (up or down) affects the overall ranking of that data. I’m not sure if this is right, but it seems a bit like Zite + Google for health. And both docs and patients can use it. It’s a concept with a lot of potential, but I assume it will be dependent on heavy adoption.

Patient Communicator. This is a platform to improve communication between providers and patients. It allows patients to do things like schedule appointments or pay co-pays. What I’m confused about is if this is a full practice management system or a separate system. It might work well just to customize Kareo PM with the added patient-facing tools. The systems also does patient reminders.

Procured Health. There is very little information on this one except that it’s a great founding team and it is going to help hospitals with "medtech product evaluation and purchasing.”

Needl. Again, not much on this one either. It’s a platform to help hospitals connect to vendors. I read recently that it has a pilot going on in Minnesota.

What impressed me about the Blueprint class is most of the offerings are B2B and there are not any fitness-related companies. I’m curious to see how this class does compared to the classes at Rock and Healthbox. It won’t really take that long to find out, as all the accelerator programs are either three or five months long.

Travis Good is an MD/MBA involved with HIT startups. More

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