Ventures are indicative of a growing trend in health system innovation.
Eight healthcare technology startups just received a significant boost toward long-term success as the Cedars-Sinai Accelerator in Los Angeles launched its fourth class of graduates onto the market. Participants completed an intensive three-month program involving mentorships with Cedars-Sinai physicians and executives, and exposure to a global entrepreneurial network through Techstars, an organization that works with entrepreneurs to cultivate their ideas. Each company received an initial investment of $120,000.
The Accelerator is indicative a growing trend at hospitals and health systems to cultivate and invest in entrepreneurial ventures designed to change the healthcare system. These ventures often provide direct benefits to the systems involved in the investment and can sometimes result in profitable returns. In turn, the entrepreneurs receive access to experts who help refine their ideas and strategies, as well as obtain access to the health system itself, which serves as a living lab to test their products and services.
Cedars-Sinai's first cohort was launched in 2015. Startups in the three previous classes have raised nearly $100 million in investment funds and have collectively hired about 200 people following program completion.
Participants in this most recent class, selected from a global search involving 400 applicants, are developing technologies to enhance health system efficiency and patient care through artificial intelligence applications, hardware innovation, and other digital platforms. Several have already secured commercial contracts with health systems and companies.
"The companies in this Accelerator class are working at the forefront of technologies that can improve the delivery of care," said Bruce L. Gewertz, MD, chair of the Department of Surgery, vice dean for Academic Affairs and vice president of Interventional Services at Cedars-Sinai in a news release. "Beyond their passion for the work, what most impressed me were the innovations—particularly in the area of machine learning—that offer physicians an opportunity to increase their focus on patient care and reduce the potential for risk."
Graduates Offer Diverse Solutions to Improve Care Delivery
Companies involved in the program include:
- ALIS Health supports physicians by providing guidance in ordering appropriate diagnostic testing for patients. Using information about an individual patient, ALIS Health offers recommendations for appropriate testing and connects providers to certified laboratories to complete the tests. Initially, the company will focus on genetic testing and women's health.
- CardioCube provides at-home support to patients with chronic heart disease through a voice-enabled, interactive platform that allows patients to track symptoms and receive guidance and education. The platform also shares patient-reported symptoms with the individual’s cardiologist, resulting in more effective home monitoring. CardioCube announced contracts with John Hopkins and Cedars-Sinai.
- Digital Medical Tech, an asset tracking company using Bluetooth technology to help healthcare organizations monitor the real-time location of medical equipment, announced that the company was beginning a pilot program with Cedars-Sinai. The pilot is aimed at helping nursing staff locate frequently used equipment, such as infusion pumps, more quickly. Digital Medical Tech’s technology is already being used to track more than 3,000 pieces of equipment in a pilot at the University of Southern California, and they hope to track an additional 1,000 items at Cedars-Sinai by the end of the year.
- KelaHealth announced a contract with Duke University. KelaHealth uses patient-specific information, along with machine learning capabilities, to identify potential surgical complications and offer specific recommendations to surgeons about steps to reduce risk and minimize potential complications.
- MedPilot supports health system billing departments by using data science and behavioral targeting to recommend patient engagement methods, personalize communications, and resolve outstanding balances.
- Nicolette, a company that helps guide parents of infants in the neonatal intensive care unit in comprehending and following the care plan for their newborn, announced contracts with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Nicolette’s application provides up-to-date clinical information and education about patients in a clear, easy-to-understand format.
- Relatable's cloud-based software solution streamlines how clinicians and healthcare administrators research, compare, and acquire medical devices to safely and effectively optimize supply budgets.
- Sopris employs voice recognition, natural language processing, and machine learning to automatically translate doctor-patient interactions into clinical notes. The app enables clinicians to focus more fully on patients by "listening" to the conversation during an exam. It automatically summarizes relevant clinical information, reducing the amount of time required for physician documentation and data entry.
Health Systems Approach Innovation Investments in a Variety of Ways
Explore how other healthcare systems approach innovation:
- Collaborative Healthcare Investments Are Next Evolution of Innovation
- 2 Ways LifeBridge Enhances Access Without Burdening Providers
- How Does Mass General Tap Its Own Brain Power to Innovate?
- 4 Innovation Insights from MemorialCare's CEO
- How UPMC Turned Innovation Into an Enterprise
- How Baylor Scott & White Innovators Built a Better App
- Beyond ROI: 3 Approaches to Health System Innovation
Mandy Roth is the innovations editor at HealthLeaders.