What’s going on in the 305’s health innovation sector? On January 18, 2017 in Miami, Aceso Ingenuity teamed up with Startupbootcamp Digital Health Miami, Life Sciences South Florida, and Health 2.0 Miami to host its premier event during the Venture Café Thursday Gathering.
Alexina Alonso from Florida International University (FIU) and Life Sciences South Florida shared information about their Shared Equipment Portal that contains a listing of scientific instruments available for use courtesy of South Florida’s research institutions that include but are not limited to FIU, Florida Atlantic University, Nova Southeastern University’s new Center for Collaborative Research, and The Scripps Research Institute.
Guests also heard from HealthSnap Solutions and Circulogix, Inc., two University of Miami (UM) Innovation startups from South Florida that are creating value within the South Florida health care community.
HealthSnap Solutions uses a survey and reporting platform based on an algorithm Co-Founder Samson Magid and his partners developed at the University of Miami. The technology generates recommendations based on peer-reviewed research in combination with expert lifestyle recommendations. The platform is geared to help providers generate lifestyle recommendations for patients that either are or want to become more actively engaged in chronic disease prevention.
Circulogix, Inc. developed a method to capture circulating tumor cells (CTCs), additional cancer-related cells, and liquid biopsy biomarkers from blood samples to help providers characterize, in real-time, cancer disease progression, personal risk of cancer reoccurrence in a non-invasive manner, and other measures such as therapeutic response rates. Chief Operating Officer Sid Rawal was the driving force behind developing and automating the company’s CTC capture workflow and framework.
Guests also heard from Jennifer Lannon at dot.health and Health 2.0 Miami and were specially invited to attend Health 2.0 Miami and Medstartr present: Momentum Miami and Navigating the Federal Government: Advice for Healthcare Startups, which happened the following week. Dr. Rachele Hendricks-Sturrup was there representing Aceso Ingenuity to scout additional startups that are creating value through health innovation in South Florida. More to come!
During a fireside chat with panelists from Startupbootcamp Digital Health Miami’s new accelerator cohort:
Quick’r Care – A platform that is used to help patients find the shortest wait times at emergency rooms and urgent care centers and reserve their places in line.
FRND – A platform used to connect MDs, payors, and providers to a network of mobile nurse practitioners to activate the practitioners to make local house calls.
Wellth – A company focused on improving patient treatment adherence and decreasing readmissions by helping patients engage in healthful behaviors.
Diego Perilla , a health administrator and health policy expert from the Cleveland Clinic joined the panel to talk about the challenges associated with helping health systems embrace digital health innovation. “Health systems are very risk-averse,” said Diego Perilla during the panel when asked about these challenges.
Diego is right. In fact, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality say that adoption strategies and coaching are much needed to help health care systems engage in care redesign to help reduce chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes, which are some of the most common, expensive, and preventable health problems in the United States.
User engagement is also a challenge. For example, Gordon Lanza from Wellth said his company openly relies on incentives to encourage and increase engagement among their platform users. Incentives are often debatable, especially to those who believe people should not be incentivized to engage in healthful behavior. However, Gordon mentioned that sometimes incentives are needed to get things like healthful behavior off the ground and into normal practice.
Special guests in attendance were Paul Griebel from the Miami-Dade Beacon Council’s Life Sciences and Healthcare Committee and Dr. Richard Bookman, Senior Advisor for Program Development & Science Policy and former Executive Dean for Research and Vice Provost for Research at the UM Miller School of Medicine.
Rachele’s key takeaway from the event is that prior to development, digital health innovators must connect with health care stakeholders locally to understand the root causes of problems in the health care system, which is key to bypassing hype and creating value. “We have to talk these problems together to understand what the patient journey really looks like,” Rachele said, “to truly progress toward improving health care and health care equity.”