If healthcare in the United States continues to confuse consumers, waste money and deliver suboptimal care, it’s not because heath tech entrepreneurs are at a loss for ideas.
At the DC to VC health tech startup showcase Wednesday in San Francisco, ten startups (selected from a pool of 200), pitched their plans to a panel of judges from the health venture capital community. The annual event, which coincides with the annual Health 2.0 conference, was started three years ago by Morgenthaler Ventures to bring Washington, D.C.-based policy wonks together with Silicon Valley investors and entrepreneurs.
With help from the audience — who texted in their top picks American Idol-style — the judges announced two winners (one from each round) and a fan favorite. Take a look at the three featured startups below.
Round 1 winner — Beyond Lucid Technologies
Inspired by the personal experience of co-founder Christian Witt, Beyond Lucid is bringing needed technology to emergency medical services (EMS) to make sure that valuable patient data is handed off to hospitals and that emergency workers get paid for their response.
Five years ago, Witt said, his father and sister were killed in a car accident, and while the EMTs didn’t have the technology and tools to save their lives that day, the company’s mission is to “make a difference in the next day that happens to someone else’s family.”
According to the company, half of EMS agencies use paper records, which means that half of critical patient data is lost when patients arrive at a hospital. Additionally, they said, $3 billion in EMS interventions go unbilled and uncollected because medics in the field didn’t have a way to document their work while in transit.
With Beyond Lucid’s cloud-based Mediview platform, EMS agencies and care providers get an efficient, paper-free way to collect and transfer GPS-tagged, multimedia data about emergency events.
The company, which is a part of New York’s Startup Health Academy and has raised half a million in seed financing, has five pilots in various stages and is looking to raise $3.25 million in Series A funding.
Round 2 overall winner and People’s Choice winner — Aidin
When patients are discharged from the hospital after treatments or procedures for illnesses or injuries, healthcare providers recommend post-acute care facilities for recovery.
But, Russ Graney, founder and CEO of Aidin, said that following up on those “recommendations” – which tend to be delivered in an exhaustive list on a piece paper – takes a lot of time and headache on the part of patients, hospital discharge planners and care providers.
To fix that, Aidin offers an Opentable or Yelp-like platform for matching patients with the post-acute care providers (such as nursing homes and health agencies) that best suit their needs.
Hospital discharge planners enter in relevant patient information (including their name, the facility type needed, their insurance information, etc.). And then the site generates a report of the best providers, including reviews based on patient feedback, Medicare ratings and how frequently the provider sends patients back to the hospital.
For patients, Aidin provides an easy, efficient way for finding the best care providers and for hospitals it means a chance at lowering readmission rates (which can help them avoid penalties).
The company, which is a graduate of the New York-based Blueprint health tech startup accelerator, has raised $600,000 in seed funding and is looking to add more.
Round 1 People’s Choice Winner – CarePlanners
Founded by New York media executive and attorney Alan Blaustein and Dr. Nancy Snyderman, a surgeon and the chief medical editor for NBC News, CarePlanners aims to be the “AAA for healthcare.”
As we’ve covered earlier, the company was informed by Blaustein’s own experience in the complex world of healthcare when he was diagnosed with thymic cancer seven years ago.
CarePlanners connects patients and caregivers with a network of nurses, social workers, insurance specialists, Medicare experts and other healthcare advocates to help them navigate the often confusing landscape to find and coordinate the most appropriate care.
For now, the company offers a range of packages depending on patients’ and caregivers’ needs. But looking ahead, it plans to offer a membership-based service (hence the AAA comparison) that manages a family’s medical information and needs on an ongoing basis and provides discounted access to planners for emergencies and other acute situations.
CarePlanners, which has raised a round of angel funding, is also part of Startup Health and said it is on the verge of partnerships that could help it scale from hundreds of patients to thousands.