Pharmacogenomics | Smart Health Innovation Lab

How Pharmacogenomics Fits Healthcare Workflows: Q&A with OneOme

In March 2019, OneOme joined us as the third company to participate in the Smart Health Innovation Lab’s Certification program. From the start, we recognized OneOme’s potential to leverage pharmacogenomics to reduce costs, decrease the burden on providers, improve population health, and create better patient experiences and outcomes.

Co-founded by Mayo Clinic, OneOme offers a pharmacogenomic (PGx) solution utilizing its RightMed® test, which analyzes a patient’s genes to help predict how certain medications may work for him or her. With this information, healthcare providers can make more informed prescription decisions, reducing the risk of adverse reactions and medication therapy failure.

Fast Company named OneOme one of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies for 2018 (#2 in biotech; #22 overall), while Inc. declared it one of the five “biggest game-changing innovations in 2018.”

I spoke with OneOme’s Chief Technology Officer, Jason Ross, about what the company has been learning in the Innovation Lab and what’s next as they expand their overall RightMed solution to support PGx at the population level.

Why did OneOme choose to participate in the Smart Health Certification Program?

At the core, it offered a unique opportunity to understand the different perspectives of payor and provider organizations. The Smart Health Certification Program gave us unfettered access to experts with different backgrounds at various levels within insurers and health systems, allowing us to validate our assumptions about organization needs, optimal workflows and how to deliver value. Without this type of open collaborative environment, it would take six months to a year to gain the same level of knowledge and understanding that we’ll get here in 12 weeks.

As we evolve our offering beyond pharmacogenomic testing for individuals to a solution for the health of large populations, this perspective has been critical. One of our goals for the program was understanding how pharmacogenomics, in particular RightMed, can be applied as part of new payment models for value-based care. We wanted to know what tools and processes are needed to create an end-to-end solution that will work for payors and health systems. This program gave us the opportunity to do so.

What have you gained so far from working with the Innovation Lab?

Much of the learning so far has been about understanding how our RightMed solution can meet the needs of both providers and payors. It was eye-opening to learn how varied the success metrics for each group are. It’s raised some interesting questions: What is the appropriate workflow and who are the champions? How do we demonstrate value? How do we pilot our solution in a way that gets it closer to payors’ and providers’ ideal, operationalized workflows?

For instance, on the payor side, we’ve had several conversations about pricing. Traditionally, innovative products might not be covered by insurance, so how do we make coverage work so patients can access the benefits of PGx and payors feel they’re getting value out of it? Learning how payors think about policy management, policy development, and reimbursement has been hugely beneficial.

On the provider side, we wanted to know how a product like RightMed best fits within a health system. We’ve met with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health (LG Health)’s pharmacy program, traditional healthcare program, and their ACO groups to figure out how RightMed can be applied at the population health level, as well as how to operationalize it.

How do you think this program will impact OneOme’s roadmap? What do you hope to gain after graduation?

We have spent our time thus far learning, testing, and validating assumptions, and we now have a better understanding of workflows and who the champions are for both payors and health systems. At the end of these 12 weeks, we aim to have proven our ability to operationalize RightMed for large populations and walk out with a clear value statement.

Our next step is taking what we’ve learned with Capital BlueCross and LG Health and applying those learnings to other similar healthcare systems and payors.

How do you hope to change healthcare for the better?

Right now, trial and error remains the predominant method for prescribing medications. Roughly half of prescribed medications don’t work as intended. Sometimes the therapy fails. Other times they cause new issues for patients. When that happens, we reach a point where prescription medication costs more in healthcare utilization than it saves.

With pharmacogenomics, we know a lot more about how the body and medications interact, especially in relation to medications for chronic disease. Knowing that we can do better — both in terms of helping patients get medications that are more likely to work for them and reducing the likelihood of harm through adverse reactions — was the impetus for OneOme.

Beyond the RightMed test, OneOme offers a clinical decision support tool that gives prescribers the information they need to help prescribe medications that are most likely to work well for their patients, based on individuals’ DNA. This not only helps patients get more personalized medications, it also stands to help address the estimated $200 billion the U.S. spends on unnecessary or inappropriate prescription drugs every year.

Making an Impact in Healthcare
I had an opportunity to discuss OneOme’s work in the Smart Health Innovation Lab’s Certification Program with Dr. Chambers, CMO for Capital BlueCross, and she summed it up perfectly: “The future of healthcare is being driven by innovative companies like OneOme. What they are bringing to healthcare through pharmacogenomics is incredibly promising. Their work will likely change the way medications are prescribed and lead to better health outcomes. We are thrilled to have OneOme as part of the Smart Health Certification Program and look forward to seeing them help to transform healthcare.”

The Smart Health Innovation Lab believes our continued work with innovative companies like OneOme offers great promise to the future of healthcare.

Health System Partner | Smart Health Innovation Lab

A History of Innovation Evolving to Meet the Needs of Today’s Healthcare Community

While Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health’s history and commitment to our community run deep, so does our desire to remain at the forefront of defining the future of healthcare. Our partnership in the Smart Health Innovation Lab (iLab) is a natural next step in the evolution of our health system.

LG Health has proudly served our community for over 125 years , and innovation has been a key part of our mission since our very first days, yet at the iLab we are working with technology startups that count their existence in months or years, not decades, so it offers us a unique perspective on the future.

Tech startups face a bewildering array of challenges. As a successful health system with deep roots in our community, we can lend our experience, expertise and relationships to help break down some of those barriers to success.

The startups chosen to test their innovations at iLab are part of our team, and LG Health and our partners are truly invested in their success. We spend months working alongside the startups in our program, eliminating the walls that traditionally exist between us.

LG Health and our partners really get to know the spirit of the companies and what drives the people behind the innovations. We can learn a lot from their tenacity and ability to pivot quickly to more precisely meet the needs of our patients.

Our program offers invaluable access to LG Health clinicians, who regularly visit the iLab to provide real-time feedback. Our startups also visit clinical locations to gain a greater understanding of the challenges and constraints of a functioning medical practice.

Our first two startups – Emovi and NeuroFlow – have now completed the 12-week program and earned iLab certification for their innovations. Emovi has created KneeKG, a noninvasive knee assessment device. NeuroFlow has designed an app that enhances engagement for behavioral health patients.

It’s exciting to watch our iLab graduates take the next step toward bringing these products to health-care consumers. Emovi and NeuroFlow are now fine-tuning their innovations during a pilot period at our LG Health Physician practices.

Just like the startups in our program, LG Health and our iLab partners will learn quickly from our own experiences, continually evolving to meet the needs of today’s healthcare market and the community we serve.

Payor Partner | Smart Health Innovation Lab

Working Together to Help Innovation Improve Healthcare

What happens when you bring together healthcare technology entrepreneurs, payors, health systems, providers and clinical experts to improve health outcomes? You get collaboration, insight, and results seldom so rapidly achieved in the healthcare industry. The Smart Health Innovation Lab (iLab) is where it all comes together.

Founded to advance healthcare technologies that help achieve the Quadruple Aim, the lab is celebrating its inaugural year with successes. Its first class graduated from the state-of-the-art facility after completing the 12-week certification program newly equipped with enhanced business models, opportunities to pilot their technologies with a large health system, and greater potential to accelerate market adoption of their products.

As a health insurer, Capital BlueCross’ mission is to improve the health and well-being of our members and the communities in which they live. We’re enthusiastic about the opportunities for improved healthcare the iLab and its entrepreneurial companies will bring to the people we serve and to healthcare more globally. We value our role in educating and nurturing these companies and improving their chances of success. By bringing the unique experiences and expertise of a payor to the table, Capital BlueCross is able to offer a wealth of information including mentorship and coaching not otherwise readily accessible to a start-up company. Combined with the contributions of the other founding members of the iLab, growing and innovative healthcare companies accepted into our program receive a powerful boost to their goals of effecting change and achieving broad market adoption.

While accepted companies have already achieved a level of success by proving they have a product or service that can make a positive difference in healthcare, they generally have not secured any enterprise contracts with large health systems or reimbursement from large payors. Many times, their original business model is centered on individual or small clients, and they don’t understand what growth strategy is required to scale and integrate their technology to achieve further advancement in the market. This was evident for the first graduating class when it became clear that the young companies “didn’t know what they didn’t know.” That quickly changed as a result of the immersive nature of the iLab program where the entrepreneurs received unparalleled access to experts who provided them with information they otherwise would have gained through extensive and lengthy trial and error or expensive consultants.

The education began early in the 12-week certification process during the iLab orientation. Capital BlueCross contributed to acquainting the companies with the iLab process, and what to expect. We also hosted the companies’ executives for a day at our Harrisburg, Pa. headquarters. There they had the unique opportunity to meet in our board room with executives from various areas of our company, including Clinical Solutions, Medical Policy and Coding, Network Management, Provider Partnerships, Information Technology, Business Development and Pharmacy. The companies received an overview of Capital BlueCross and health insurance, in general. Of particular interest to the companies was information on the BlueCross BlueShield Association, including its history and how its licensees operate and function. More importantly, they had opportunities throughout the day to informally interact with our senior leadership. During the course of their time at the iLab, the resident companies learned information crucial to gaining broader market adoption, such as the importance of complying with HIPAA, integrating with electronic medical records, and understanding medical policy as well as payment coding and billing. Among a myriad other facts essential to working effectively in healthcare, they learned how to reduce costs by considering such factors as site of service, and how to apply the “Quadruple Aim”–all knowledge essential to accelerating their integration into the healthcare market.

The other founding members of the lab were equally generous in offering insights and information to the iLab’s inaugural class. Strong relationships were formed that didn’t end with a graduation certificate. The iLab serves as an ongoing resource as the companies continue to navigate the complexities of the healthcare industry. Capital BlueCross values the relationships we built with our first class and looks forward to supporting future classes and innovations to come.

Knee Assessment | Smart Health Innovation Lab

A Conversation With Emovi About KneeKG and the Smart Health Certification Program

Earlier this year, the Montreal-based healthcare technology company Emovi began commercialization of their innovative, non-invasive knee assessment device KneeKG, which has the potential to revolutionize knee care and lower costs. With $5 million in capital raised thus far, Emovi (which stands for emotion, movement, and vision) aims to transform the complete knee care pathway to achieve better outcomes at lower costs. Since their pre-commercial launch of KneeKG, their device has already been used to assess thousands of patients in eight countries at facilities such as Hospital Cochin in France, Centre de Médecine Sportive de Laval in Canada, and Saxony Health Hospital in Indiana, USA. This year they joined the Smart Health Certification Program in June as an inaugural class member, and were selected as one of 50 companies featured in the 2018 MedTech Innovator showcase.

KneeKG is the first device that enables in-clinic, dynamic, 3D knee assessments of patients while they are in motion and in weight-bearing conditions. It provides kinematic information to doctors critical to identifying specific pathologic patterns and developing a focused treatment strategy to restore optimal knee function. Emovi says their device can result in a number of benefits, including reduced pain, recovery time, opioid intake, number of interventions and cost per patient.

We are thrilled to have Emovi as an inaugural class member of the Smart Health Certification Program. We believe KneeKG could have a big impact in orthopedics, pain management, and preventative care, and we’ve been working closely with the Emovi team to overcome the challenges associated with integrating into a major health system and gaining insurance reimbursement.

We recently sat down with the Emovi team to discuss their experiences at the Smart Health Innovation Lab.

Why did your company choose to participate in the Smart Health Certification Program?

The Smart Health Certification Program is totally unique and probably the only program that creates a fast-track to clinical adoption and integration. To us, that was an extremely valuable proposition that we couldn’t pass up.

What have you gained so far from working with the Innovation Lab?

Working with the Smart Health Innovation Lab has helped us address some critical components needed to scale the deployment of KneeKG. They helped us uncover and overcome some HIPAA compliance challenges, assisted us with EHR integration, and introduced us to an expansive network of solid contacts.

How do you think this program will impact your company’s roadmap? What do you hope to gain after graduation?

In addition to achieving privacy compliance and EHR integration, the Smart Health Innovation Lab is providing validation of our product offering, workflow, and value. The integration blueprint that is being developed in concert with Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health and Capital BlueCross will help us replicate the integration process into other health systems and insurance reimbursement models, ultimately helping us scale our business.

What makes our program unique?

Not only does the program create a fast track to clinical adoption and integration, but it is also full of dynamic, capable and motivated people who have rolled up their sleeves to help us accelerate our path to market adoption.

How do you hope to change healthcare for the better? Do you think the Innovation Lab can help other companies make a positive change in healthcare?

We anticipate transforming knee care in the United States and the rest of the world. KneeKG can make a big impact on healthcare by addressing the Quadruple Aim – positively affecting patient experiences and outcomes, improving provider satisfaction, improving population health and reducing costs. We believe the Innovation Lab’s guidance and validation will positively influence the future of medical devices, by helping transformative companies like Emovi and NeuroFlow gain a stronger foothold in the market.

* * *

Emovi will celebrate their graduation from the Smart Health Certification Program, along with NeuroFlow, on October 4, 2018. We have been honored to work with such innovative companies for our inaugural class, and we believe both companies are positioned to make a positive impact on care. Our next Smart Health Certification Program will begin in January, 2019.

At the Smart Health Innovation Lab, we aim to inspire innovation in everything we do.

Q&A: A Conversation With NeuroFlow About Smart Health Certification

Founded in 2016 in Philadelphia, Pa., NeuroFlow is poised to make a big impact on healthcare. The company acquired its first paying client during the beta-testing phase of its product in August 2017, and raised $1.25 million in institutional capital by October. It launched its first commercial, fully-operational product in March 2018, joined the Smart Health Certification Program in June, and reached 100 paying clients in four countries shortly thereafter. NeuroFlow has won a variety of awards, including Psych Congress’ Best New Technology 2018, Philadelphia magazine’s 10 Startups to Watch 2018, Technical.ly Philly’s realLIST 2018 of top start-ups, and MedTech Boston’s top 5 mental health technology companies.

NeuroFlow’s HIPAA-compliant, cloud-based software platforms empower healthcare providers to objectively assess, track, and engage patients using evidence-based practices to support their mental health remotely, throughout all of therapy, not just during clinical visits; the platforms also empower patients to be accountable for their improvement and engagement in the therapy process, which is paramount for successful outcomes. Their suite of tools enables remote monitoring and behavioral health integration across the continuum of care, including psychology, primary care, and pain management settings. EngageBH assists behavioral health specialists in enhancing evidence-based therapies, improving engagement and compliance with therapy assignments; and IntegrateHealth seamlessly integrates behavioral health assessments and tracking into primary care and pain management settings. Combined, NeuroFlow’s platforms not only help clinicians and providers save costs, but also — more importantly — they help patients feel better.

We are proud to have NeuroFlow as a member of our inaugural class in the Smart Health Certification Program. We see broad potential applications for their technology, and we’re helping them build a blueprint for integrating into health systems to gain enterprise-level customers. We’re also facilitating critical conversations around insurance reimbursement that could offer NeuroFlow a major advantage in the future.

We recently sat down with Adam Pardes, COO of NeuroFlow to discuss their involvement in the Lab.

What is NeuroFlow’s core mission?

Healthcare providers are our heroes. They’re responsible for helping those who need it most, which can be a tough challenge when patients struggle with mental health conditions, often resulting in poor engagement, motivation, and treatment compliance.

NeuroFlow’s mission is to be a resource and asset to healthcare providers in their tireless pursuit to help patients feel better faster.

Why did your company choose to participate in the Smart Health Certification Program?

The program set us on a collision course with two vital aspects of the healthcare ecosystem: payors and providers. The Smart Health Innovation Lab is a collaborative environment where our technology has been able to make an immediate impact. We felt we had scaled our technology to be effective in a large-scale healthcare provider, and here we are today, in over 100 clinics and hospitals with thousands of patients using the platform.

What have you gained so far from working with the Innovation Lab?

This has been an invaluable experience for all of us working at NeuroFlow. To be able to tinker and tailor our product with real-time feedback from clinical professionals has given us the greenlight on future opportunities at major healthcare providers. We knew our product was capable of supporting clinical decision making, but this has been further validation, and more importantly, evidence that it could work in large health systems. We have been given several pathways to success, with doors opened by members of the Smart Health Innovation Lab ecosystem.

How do you think this program will impact your company’s roadmap? What do you hope to gain after graduation?

NeuroFlow grew 183% in the two quarters preceding the program. During the summer months, in the midst of the program, the company experienced 700% growth and has several more large hospital systems inquiring about using NeuroFlow’s unique and powerful tools with their providers and their patients. The program helped validate our product’s usability at scale in a large health system, and has thus accelerated our company’s growth and expansion. We will be making several key hires on the product side before the end of 2018. By adding new features and making it interoperable with major EHRs, we’re poised to make an even bigger impact with more patients and providers at large systems like Penn Medicine Lancaster General Hospital.

What makes our program unique?

The physical lab environment created is truly comprehensive — from the workstations to the product demo rooms built to replicate a hospital or clinical therapy setting. We have not seen anything like it, and it has been an opportunity to debut our software across the healthcare spectrum with leading experts in each discipline serving as a focus group. It has been a great second office to call a home away from our home in Center City Philadelphia.

How do you hope to change healthcare for the better? Do you think the Innovation Lab can help other companies make a positive change in healthcare?

Far too many people struggle with depression, anxiety, and PTSD. Millions of Americans are diagnosed but never seek treatment, or do so but find it to be ineffective. The good news is that there are evidence based therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), that are proven to work and be effective — there’s hope. These do not have to be chronic conditions. The challenge is that they work predicated on the patient’s engagement, compliance, and willingness to be an owner of the process. We believe NeuroFlow can help this and integrate behavioral health into the primary healthcare conversation.

With the resources, expertise, and access available as virtue of the Smart Health Innovation Lab, the program has helped prove that new, innovative technologies can deliver value to large health systems. We wholeheartedly recommend the program to other healthcare technology start-ups at similar stages of growth. It will serve as a learning experience and creative environment to try new things and to scale your ability to meet your company’s mission.

Photos: Smart Health Innovation Lab Friends and Family Night

Photos: Smart Health Innovation Lab Friends and Family Night

At the Smart Health Innovation Lab, we aim to inspire innovation in everything we do. That means we not only plan to advance the most cutting-edge technologies to transform healthcare, we also want to provide a space in the community that will foster collaboration, promote the sharing of ideas, and spark the imagination in all kinds of people.

In that spirit, we invited friends and family of the lab, along with their children, to visit our facilities and learn more about what we do. Families took tours, spoke with key people at the lab, and kids participated a variety of fun and educational activities. Who knows, maybe we helped to spur a new generation of healthcare innovators. If nothing more, it made for some great photos.

Video: the Beginning of Smart Health Innovation Lab

Video: The Beginning of Smart Health Innovation Lab

The Smart Health Innovation Lab is now open and our certification program is underway! We’re bringing together healthcare providers, insurers, and entrepreneurs to help advance innovative technologies that will transform care. At the lab, startups in our certification program are gaining unprecedented access to doctors, healthcare administrators, and specialists to help them integrate their technologies into large health systems and navigate insurer reimbursement.

We’re not the only ones excited about the lab, our opening drew headlines regionally and nationally, and the event itself drew excitement from healthcare professionals and entrepreneurs across the state and beyond. Watch the video of the opening here!

The Smart Health Innovation Lab Opening Event

The Smart Health Innovation Lab Opening Event

Last week, we held our grand opening event on Thursday night—and what a night it was! Doctors, entrepreneurs, health insurance experts, policy makers, and other friends of the lab came to tour our facilities, see demonstrations of innovative healthcare technologies, and meet our first resident startups to enter the Smart Health Certification Program: NeuroFlow and Emovi. It was clear that we were all taking part in something really special that could have a powerful impact not only on healthcare innovation and the health of our local community, but also on the healthcare industry as a whole.

NeuroFlow and Emovi gave presentations in our simulated care environments and clearly demonstrated the powerful impact their technologies could have on the care continuum. NeuroFlow, a mental health company from Philadelphia, showed how their platform could assist doctors and boost patient engagement not only for mental health and behavior experts, but also for clinicians and family doctors. Emovi, a medical device company from Montreal, demonstrated how their breakthrough device, KneeKG, can assess knee pain by providing accurate imaging in 3D while the patient is in motion and in a weight-bearing condition.

Sponsors of the lab who provided integral technology for our simulated care environments also gave demonstrations of their products. The Connexion Health team demonstrated how their self-service kiosk could automate health assessments; Guldmann gave presentations on their cutting-edge lift systems; Siemens displayed their smart room technology; Sage Technology Solutions exhibited an innovative nurse call system provided by Rauland and Versus RIFD badges; and Oneview introduced their in-room patient experience platform for the inpatient care setting.

Other sponsors that were vital to the lab’s design, construction, and technology infrastructure like 2K Networking and RMS were also at the event to discuss the amazing work they did for the lab.

There were many other highlights of the night, too numerous to mention, but check out our pictures below of the event!

We’re so pleased to open our doors to such amazing healthcare innovators. Now, the hard work begins!

 

The NeuroFlow team at the Lab.

The Emovi team at the Lab.

Smart Health Innovation Lab CEO Kim Ireland gives an interview with ABC27 during the opening event on Thursday, June 7, 2018.

Over 150 people came to the opening event for our Lab.

Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health President and CEO Jan Bergen provides remarks during the opening event.

NeuroFlow team members Paul Zirbser and Ellen McGeoch demonstrate how their mental health software can be used in clinical settings to boost patient engagement during our opening event.

Alex Fuentes, Emovi Vice President of Clinical Affairs, demonstrates how their knee assessment device KneeKG analyzes the knee in 3D and in motion during our opening event.

Jennifer Leinbach, Executive Director of the PA Department of Community & Economic Development Office of Technology and Innovation, gives opening remarks during our event.

Construction is Nearly Complete! | Smart Health Innovation Lab

Construction of the Smart Health Innovation Lab is Nearing Completion!

After a year of planning, building, and hard work, construction of the Smart Health Innovation Lab in Lancaster, PA is finally nearing completion!

Our new 16,000-square-foot space on the second floor of Aspire’s headquarters on 100 N. Queen St. is designed to foster collaboration, enable validation of new technologies, and facilitate integration into existing health systems. At the lab we’ve built out collaborative working spaces, a hardware lab, offices, a communal kitchen, a theater, and simulated care environments where startups can demonstrate how their technologies impact experience, outcomes, cost, and workflows. The care environments include a clinician’s office, a physical therapy training room,  a hospital room, a nursing station, and a fully furnished apartment.

We’ve also designed the lab to engage the greater healthcare community and spread innovative ideas that will catalyze change in the industry. Throughout the lab we’ve built digital displays that will enhance tours and showcase the technologies being used in the lab.

As we outfit our care environments and put the finishing touches on the lab over the next month,  we’ll be preparing for the next chapter of our story: opening the lab to the inaugural class of 2018. We’ll have more to share about that soon.

As we ramp up planning for our grand opening, partners from Aspire Ventures, Capital BlueCross, Clio Health, and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health took a tour of the lab last week to get a lay of the land and to take a few photos. Take a look at the progress we’ve made at the lab!

Smart Health Innovation Lab marketing team members from Aspire Ventures, Capital BlueCross, Clio Health, and Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health at the newly renovated lab.

 

Lancaster General Health Director of Public Relations and Corporate Communications John Lines takes a look at the 8-panel video wall in the Smart Health Innovation Lab lobby.

Visitors of the lab will be able to view work being done in the simulated care environments, which are nearing completion and awaiting to be outfitted by their sponsors.

Smart Health Innovation Lab CEO Kim Ireland discusses opening plans with team members from Capital BlueCross, Clio Health, and Lancaster General Health.

The Smart Health Innovation Lab executive conference room is completed and already in heavy use.

Collaborate. Validate. Integrate. | Smart Health Innovation Lab

Five Transformative Healthcare Technologies You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

2017 was a record-breaking year by every measure for investment in new healthcare technology, soaring to more than $25 billion according to a report on AngelMD. The breakout year is a continuation of an upward trend, as spending on healthcare innovation steadily climbs year by year. According to Startup Health Insights, funding for digital health startups has grown from nearly $3 billion in 2013 to well over $8 billion in 2016. As efforts to innovate healthcare grow every year, one thing is becoming clear: entrepreneurs, health systems, payors, and investors are all growing increasingly eager to completely transform healthcare.

Although the intensifying focus on healthcare innovation in 2017 by a growing number of organizations is an encouraging sign, the amount of money thrown at a problem isn’t a measure of success. Healthcare consumers and providers alike have yet to experience the transformative impact promised by new technology, while healthcare costs stubbornly continue to rise by about 5 percent every year despite the promise that innovation can curb those costs.

The problem is not a shortage of inventive solutions. 2017 saw a number of headline-grabbing breakthroughs, from reversing paralysis with brain implants to major advances in artificial intelligence. More and more companies are working to innovate care. On AngelList alone there are more than 17,000 healthcare startup companies, with new ideas for healthcare solutions popping up on nearly a daily basis. And last year tech giants like Alphabet, Amazon, and Apple increased their stakes in the game through major healthcare startup investments and acquisitions.

One reason inventive ideas in healthcare have a hard time trickling down to affect the healthcare consumer is that they face unique hurdles to gaining adoption by doctors and insurers. A revolutionary app or cutting edge medical device could have all the promise in the world, but if it doesn’t get buy-in from providers, administrators, insurance companies, and patients, it will never effect meaningful change. According to a recent research paper by UK innovation foundation Nesta, investment in new healthcare technologies outpaces investment in initiatives to adopt and spread those technologies. The result is an “innovation pile-up,” which compounds difficulties for innovators in finding buyers, and vice-versa—a situation known as “search friction.”

We designed the Smart Health Innovation Lab to help market-ready innovations overcome those hurdles and gain meaningful adoption. There is no shortage of innovation labs that help companies ideate and build new products, but when it comes to crossing the finish line and gaining adoption, entrepreneurs are too often left on their own.

As we prepare to open the doors of our new lab in 2018, we’re planning to help more innovations gain a foothold in the healthcare marketplace. In the process we’ve extensively surveyed the field of healthcare innovation, and here is a short list of five transformative technologies we believe could make an impact in 2018:

 

1. Sansoro Health

Funding amount: $6.4 million

Last Funding Round: Series A

Impact: Operations, Patient and Provider Experience, Data Management

The Company: This Healthcare startup based in Minneapolis is working to bring Electronic Medical Records’ (EMRs) interoperability to health systems nationwide.

The Tech: Sansoro software allows digital health applications and EMRs to exchange real-time data seamlessly. Their team claims that their software can reduce integration time from months to days and that it streamlines workflows, decreases maintenance costs, and minimizes risk.

Why We Like it: EMR interoperability is a major issue that needs to be resolved in order to create a better, more streamlined patient and provider experience.  In response, Sansoro Health claims to provide secure, open APIs that shorten integration time, reduce maintenance and development costs, and deliver scalable results.

 

2. Propeller

Funding amount: $44.25 million

Last Funding Round: Series C

Impact: Respiratory Health Management, Outcomes, Patient Experience

The Company: This late-stage venture backed by high-profile investors is making asthma and COPD management easier.

The Tech: The Propeller sensor attaches to most inhalers and syncs with the Propeller app to deliver actionable insights that help patients better manage their respiratory conditions.

Why We Like it: Propeller Health says that its simple solution can turn an existing medical delivery device into a smart device in a cost-effective way and can drive meaningful results, with 79% fewer asthma attacks, 50% more doses taken on schedule, and 50% more symptom-free days.

 

3. Sentrian

Funding amount: $13.25 million

Last Funding Round: Series A2

Impact: Patient and Provider Experience, Preventative Care, Chronic Disease Management

The Company: This physician-founded startup uses a big data analytics platform and biosensors to provide remote health intelligence for patients when they’re away from the doctor.

The Tech: The Sentrian Remote Patient Intelligence system uses biosensors and clinician-directed machine learning to remotely detect patient deterioration and reduce preventable hospitalizations.

Why We Like it: This team brings a lot of medical expertise to solving one of healthcare’s costliest problems: chronic disease management and preventable hospitalization. They claim that, by using machine learning to reduce false alarms, their solution helps to reduce the burden on scarce care managers, while keeping patients healthier.

 

4. Lark

Funding amount: $18.17 million

Last Funding Round: Series B

Impact: Chronic Disease Management, Payer cost curve

The Company: This esteemed AI company is providing personal AI health coaches to help patients manage chronic conditions.

The Tech: Lark’s award-winning AI platform delivers personalized coaching on your mobile phone for chronic conditions like diabetes and hypertension as well as lifestyle coaching for personal wellness.

Why We Like it: A recent JMIR study revealed that Lark’s AI coaches are as effective as in-person healthcare professionals. The Lark team is partnering with insurers to bring down healthcare costs by improving behavioral health and advancing preventative wellness.

 

5. Iris – Intelligent Retinal Imaging Systems

Funding Amount: $13.29 million

Last Funding Round: Series B

Impact: Diagnostics, Outcomes, Operations, Diabetes

The Company: This Florida-based startup is working to improve diagnostics for diabetic retinopathy and end preventable blindness.

The Tech: They offer an end-to-end diabetic retinopathy solution that optimizes diagnostic workflows, enhances diagnostic images with proprietary software, and provides actionable analytics for decision support.

Why We Like it: This end-to-end solution has shown promising results. Iris asserts that its image enhancement software reduced the percentage of ungradable images from 20% to 4% and that, by making diagnostics easy enough for primary care centers to handle, it increased exam rates from 32% to 72% while improving the experience for the patient.

 

These and other bold, market-ready healthcare technologies could help to transform our healthcare system into one that’s more affordable, convenient, and effective. What they lack is help gaining adoption by providers and reimbursement by payors–preventing them from realizing their potential to effect widespread change. We’re here to help fill that void. If you’re a healthcare innovator with a market-ready product, and you’re struggling to gain adoption, learn about our Smart Health Certification Program here!

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