Six digital health startups transforming the healthcare industry

As healthcare adapts to a digitized world, Innovation Enterprise looks at six digital health startups making waves in the industry today

7Sep

Our world is becoming more digitized and better-connected by the day, so the way we receive healthcare is changing dramatically to keep up with the pace. While receiving health digitally may still seem like a foreign concept to some, according to McKinsey more than 75% of all patients expect to use digital services in the future, so it's a trend health care providers can't afford to miss out on.

As McKinsey states in its Healthcare's Digital Future report: "The healthcare industry is on the cusp of a third wave of IT adoption. Now is the time for it to go all in on digital strategies."

With that thought in mind, Innovation Enterprise looks at six digital health startups transforming the healthcare industry as we know it.

Conversa

Conversa is an AI-enabled communication platform aiming to deliver an easy and meaningful way for care teams and patients to communicate with one another.

Founded in 2014, the Portland-based company has an extensive library of more than 50 clinically-intelligent conversation programs for treating diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, hypertension and more. Conversa is employing AI to use this data to deliver automated, personalized conversation experiences to engage and manage patient populations to achieve better clinical and financial outcomes.

"We are living in the "Conversation Economy"," says Conversa on its site. "With the proliferation of messaging platforms and mobile devices, we live in an always-on, on-demand culture with instant access to each other. We "like," we "comment" and we "share" – everything we do speaks. Today, patients are expecting more than just episodic care transactions; they're behaving more like consumers and want personalized, easy, timely, and relevant experiences."

Conversa raised $8m in a Series A roundup in 2017.

MediLedger

Founded in 2017 by LinkedLab LLC and Chronicled, Mediledger is a blockchain solution for increasing transparency within the pharma supply chain. It aims to be an open, decentralized network for addressing the entire pharma supply chain, from drug makers to wholesalers to hospitals, utilizing blockchain technology.

Counterfeit medicine is on the rise, and, according to the WHO, as much as 10% of medicines worldwide are counterfeit due to the lack of transparency within medical supply chains. MediLedger's blockchain technology works to combat counterfeit medicines by storing data on several separate nodes or servers, which makes it hard for a counterfeiter to manipulate the data. If they do manage to hack one server, blockchain tech means that they won't be able to manipulate data across any of the others. This also allows it to enforce cross-industry business rules without ever revealing data, ensuring patient privacy and the safety of medicines.

Read more about blockchain's applications in preventing counterfeit medication HERE.

Xealth

Seattle-based Xealth offer a cloud-based solution for prescribing customized digital health content.

Founded in 2016 by Mike McSherry and Aaron Sheedy, two former Swype executives, Xealth raised $8.5m in funding within months of starting up. Physicians and clinicians are able to prescribe a number of customized health services, such as apps, educational videos, exercise programs and services, and allows care givers to monitor engagement and analyze outcomes.

"Xealth empowers patients to help manage their health by giving them readily available digital tools and important information which are directly connected to their care team and health system," Xealth states on their website.

Psious

Psious' provides "VR therapy" via an online platform and app utilizes VR through smartphone, VR googles and a biofeedback sensor to provide a more immersive and effective remote mental health service.

"The platform provides mental health professionals with animated and live environments they can use in their clinical practice," claims Psious' website. "The various scenarios provided within the platform comprise more than 50 resources (VR and augmented reality environments, 360-degree videos, etc.) employed for the treatment of anxiety disorders, fears and phobias, as well as for the practice of mindfulness and relaxation techniques."

One application of the Psious app is in the treatment of phobias, whereby it uses hyper-realistic virtual environments by means of gradual exposure therapy.

The solution is already being employed by hundreds of mental care clinicians, research groups and healthcare institutions.

Benevolent AI

Benevolent AI recently raised £109.5m ($142m) to put toward using AI to sift through and analyze the vast quantities of medical data that exists but aren't currently being put to use.

Vast quantities of medical data exist but a relatively small fraction of this data is ever put to use, which is where Benevolent AI software steps in to establish what data could be potentially helpful for a different application. Benevolent AI's director Jackie Hunter gives the example of the software being used to identify the molecules that have failed in clinical trials for one disease and predict how they can be used to be more efficient at targeting another disease.

"Many compounds go into clinic testing in volunteers for a particular disease and don't work because the hypothesis was wrong," Hunter says. "Our system provides unbiased hypotheses. We can take that molecule and find a new disease to target and go straight to a clinical trial without repeating all the previous early testing that's been done."

Babyscripts

Founded in 2014, Babyscripts is a digital health tool for empowering pregnant women with at-home prenatal care and enhancing the doctor/patient relationship for routine, low-risk pregnancy care.

Patients using the app receive to-lists, nutrition, exercise and behavior advice in addition to a "mommy kit" with a blood pressure cuff and connected weight scale. The data then generated from these tools is uploaded to their Babyscripts' profile, generating real-time feedback from the healthcare provider.

"Babyscripts exists for one reason. Better pregnancies" the site states. "Our team is made up of engineers, designers, marketers, doctors, and scientists with one common denominator: Our passion for improving the status quo of pregnancy care."

Babyscripts adds: "Each one of us joined the Babyscripts family in pursuit of making a lasting impact on the lives of our users. And each one of us embraces empathy for our customers and for our users' challenges, driving us to reinvent prenatal healthcare by making meaningful improvements."

To find out more about digital innovations within healthcare, visit Innovation Enterprise's Big Data Analytics in Healthcare Summit in San Francisco on October 15–16, 2018

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