News 7/11/14


As Lt. Dan reported, Validic has acquired Infometers. Durham, NC-based Validic is having a fantastic year. The acquisition gives it a team and location in Northern California, which is a great hub for a company that offers an API.


I have a hard time keeping track of all the health accelerators. NextHIT launched in Houston this week. Startup applications for the first class are due August 13. Companies selected get $30,000 and a host of other services. The accelerator is a partner of University of Houston. One of the founders is Patrick McGinnis, MD, MS, MBA, director of medical informatics at Texas Medical Center at Memorial Hermann Healthcare System.


23andMe got in trouble last year with the FDA for providing medical advice directly to patients. Now a new company is offering a different approach to genetics and personalized medicine. Base Health and its Genophen product combine DNA info with self-reported information from apps and devices into a dashboard that helps physicians provide personalized medical advice to patients. It’s an interesting spin that could be useful in concierge medicine, but I’m not sure there is a financial incentive for most docs to use this with patients. Lack of physician training in genetics many also be a barrier, though maybe Base can overcome that with good evidence and links back to original research.


Pilot Health Tech NYC announces the 11 startup winners for its second class. Pilot Health is a bit different than most accelerators as it’s a longer program and links its startups with pilots. The startups are:

  • Smart Vision Labs
  • GeriJoy
  • QoL Devices, Inc
  • Hindsait, Inc.
  • Nonnatech
  • Fit4D
  • AllazoHealth
  • Canopy Apps
  • Urgent Software
  • Healthify
  • Tactonic Technologies


Speaking of Pilot Health, a pilot recently completed found positive results for SMS messaging for Medicaid patients. Messages were delivered by SenseHealth, a Pilot Health company. The results were self-reported and concluded that patients were more adherent to appointments, medications, and care plans. The evidence for SMS in Medicaid and underserved is growing steadily.

A new CHOP study finds that telemedicine is an effective way to evaluate newborns for retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). The study used remote image reading by non-physicians. The need for a service like this is due to less ophthalmologists doing evaluations of ROP.


Loophole or not, lots of companies are capitalizing on the new health exchange rules. Benefitter offers a service to companies to help identify public funds to subsidize employer insurance and now BeneStream is offering something similar. BeneStream analyzes a company’s payroll to determine which employees qualify for Medicaid and then helps those employees enroll.


A healthcare CRM or PRM (patient relationship management), platform is promising in healthcare. It’s been talked about a lot, although that seems to have peaked a couple of years ago. Salesforce, the global leader in CRM, is now offering industry-specific tools. The idea of a CRM for healthcare is to unify and improve communications and relationships with patients. What will be interesting to watch is if Salesforce can relegate EHRs to back-end systems in the same way it did with Oracle and others outside of healthcare. Healthcare is a vertical of focus for Salesforce and it recently announced an alliance with Royal Phillips, a bio-pharma company.

It’s pretty cool what some researchers and companies are doing with smartphone cameras in healthcare. This article highlights smartphone tools and services for evaluating the cervix, eye, ear, and oral cavity.

Cincinnati Children’s will offer remote pediatric specialty consultations to the Dominical Republic via telemedicine. Academic centers have the equipment to do remote evaluations and can easily add new sites all over the world.


President Obama visited 1776, the co-working space in Washington, DC, to discuss startups, job growth, and "economic patriotism." I bring it up because MedStar recently became a founding partner of 1776 and it’s great to see an ecosystem like that taking off in DC.


Travis Good is an MD/MBA and co-founder of Catalyze. More about me.

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