By Justin Boyle, originally published on AlliedHealthWorld.com
Take a look at 10 up-and-comers in the ever-changing space of healthcare tech. Innovation in healthcare is non-stop, and startups like these might offer the next big breakthrough in the way we look after our bodies and psyche. Some of these forward-thinkers and inventors were inspired by their personal experience as the family of patients or medical professionals. These innovations in healthcare join numerous other procedures, devices and services that have emerged recently to help providers give better care to patients, or help patients take better care of themselves:
- 1DocWay wants to make it easier for you to see a doctor. Billing itself as "telemedicine," this New York startup intends to take some of the stress off of consumers as well as providers by making it possible to conduct psychiatric and medical business of a less serious nature by video-chat. Patients don't need to take time off work and make an extra trip for an appointment. The startup website AngelListnames the founding team as Samir and Mubeen Malik and Danish Munir, in charge of code.
- Aidin, developed by Dogpatch Labs in New York, is a software application designed to streamline patient discharge from acute care. The app uses a search tool to match patient information with the indexed details of post-acute care providers. Aidin aids social workers and case managers in providing next-step options for discharged patients.
- Axial Exchange, a Raleigh, NC, startup is led by healthcare and tech executives like Joanne Rohde, building on their collective experience at Red Hat and other high-tech firms. Software-based services target different aspects of healthcare: for example, hospitals can automatically notify primary care physicians when patients are admitted. Doctors and nurses can use Axial's Transition of Care software to send an organized batch of patient records to other providers; hospital admins can deploy a medical library or an extensive directory of contact information; and patients can stay on top of the outpatient care process.
- BitGym and its developers want to make working out at the gym more fun. The team -- Alex Gourley, Clint Stevenson, Joshua McCready and Keerthik Omanakuttan -- found support from the Rock Healthaccelerator in San Francisco, the Reuters blog reports. This firm offers video games for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch that interface with exercise bikes, treadmills and elliptical running machines. BitGym wants to help you become more engaged with your cardio routine, hoping to make it more enjoyable so it might "stick" as a part of your lifestyle.
- CampusMD, out of Bethesda, MD, makes telemedicine available to students at more than 1,100 colleges and universities. The program, co-advised by Kevin Kelleher, MD, and Duke University Vice President of Student Affairs Larry Moneta, is underwritten by a nationwide telehealth service called HealthNation. The service offers students 24-hour, 7-day access to physicians who can diagnose and recommend treatment for minor ailments.
- Care Thread is a Providence, RI, company founded by CEO Scott Guelich, CTO Andrew Shearer and COO Nick Adams, who contribute years of experience in both high-tech and healthcare industry positions. With a goal of moving intra- and inter-facility communication away from pagers and whiteboards and toward today's multimedia devices, Care Thread's mobile messaging service focuses on connecting and organizing the multiple streams of patient information necessary for effective care.
- EveryMove takes the "rewards program" concept that credit cards have been using for decades and applies it to the world of exercise: rewards for doing what's right for your body. Co-founders Russell Benaroya and Marcelo Calbucci -- a healthcare entrepreneur and an experienced technologist, respectively -- aim to connect exercisers with entities such as insurance companies, employers and brands that offer rewards.
- Omada Health is a San Francisco startup specializing in programs to help prevent and treat type 2 diabetes through healthier habits and more wellness-conscious behavior. The firm's founders are startup veterans Sean Duffy, Adrian James and Andrew DiMichele. Omada makes use of personalized coaching, digital tracking, and support from family and friends to guide individuals with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes to build healthier lifestyle choices.
- Slow Control, a French company started by inventor and biomedical engineer Jacques Lepine, takes a slightly unorthodox approach to boosting human health. Lepine's invention, a digital fork, measures the speed at which a user eats and shows personalized results online. Slow Control hopes to fight disease and prevent metabolic harm by encouraging people to take their time eating, rather than shoveling food into their mouths.
- SmartWard is designed to reduce human error when transferring a patient from one healthcare department to another by reducing paperwork and enhancing staff communications. The app's features were devised by Michelle Teo, a doctor based in Nottingham, England, and built by a global team of designers and developers to work across platforms, on computers or mobile devices. The firm was founded at Startup Weekend London, a Silicon Valley Comes to the UK 2012 event.
Healthcare sees a continuous influx of new technologies aimed at enhancing our well-being and helping care facilities and other institutions run more smoothly. These 10 are just a few of the emerging developments on the horizon -- stay on the lookout for other healthcare innovations. The current standards for healthcare technologies had to start somewhere, and a quiet little startup flying under the radar might become the next industry standard.
About the Author
Justin Boyle is an experienced tutor and media technologist who works in video design for an ecology non-profit. He lives in Austin, Texas, and finds a lot of things interesting, especially food, finance, education, software, art and travel.