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TMCx’s Accelerator at HIMSS17

Your child’s heart murmur hasn’t changed, but she’s weaker, and her pediatrician needs an updated echocardiogram. Her appointment is a few clicks away, scheduled at an affordable, convenient, and highly rated imaging center thanks to Stroll Health’s innovative scheduling technology.

Your baby’s echocardiogram hasn’t changed, but she’s weaker. Her pediatric cardiologist suggests a cardiac MRI, which your experience tells you requires repeated breath holding and an hour of scanning—neither of which seems remotely possible—yet, 10 minutes into the procedure, the “4D flow scan MRI” identifies a repairable cause.

Surgery started hours ago, and you pace the OR waiting area hoping for the best—and bracing for the alternatives—before you glance at your “Medifies” mobile app, take a deep breath, and relax. You’ve followed the process each step of the way, the procedure lasted about as long as you anticipated, and she’s on her way to recovery.

At work, a few weeks later, you feel emotionally drained until your employer offers you a “lantern” application to help light your way. The app pairs you with a coach, and guides you through processes that lower stress, anxiety and depression. Your life is back on track.

The innovative solutions described above, and 9 other accelerator start-ups, were presented at HIMSS 17 by the 3-year old Texas Medical Center Accelerator (TMCx).  Early-stage digital health and medical device companies that have not yet sold their product are eligible to participate in TMCx’s “no fee, no equity” program. Participation begins with a 4-week boot camp, and includes mentorship and shared development workspace.

Stroll Health, a start-up in San Francisco, built their patient referral software to find and schedule appointments based on three factors that are of key importance to patients: price, location, and actual user feedback. Operating in the Bay area now, Stroll plans to deploy in Washington, DC within a few months. The company hopes to add $2M from a seed round to its initial  $300,000 of angel funding. According to the company’s founder, Matt Maurer, the technology, “automatically checks for insurance eligibility and integrates with the electronic health record to handle real-time appointment scheduling.”

ARTERYS, also San Francisco based, developed a “4D Flow scan” that captures 32,000 cardiac MRI images in 10 minutes, without a breath hold, by placing flow atop volume data to create imaging slices of areas of interest. According to Carla Rosa Leibowitz, Head of Strategy & Marketing, “The technology is more efficient, more consistent, and more accurate that echocardiography. Its benefits to pediatric patients are particularly obvious.”

Patients’ families are updated on the status of a patient’s procedure in real-time by OR staff using the Modifies mobile app.

Rather than suffer from the stress of “waiting in the waiting room,” family members of patients undergoing operations can be kept current on the status of their loved one through Medifies health provider-to-family communication app. Founded in 2016 by Nate Pagel, the San Francisco based company’s CEO, the app will be “live” in 3 hospitals by next month. Operating room staff using the app can easily send multiple standardized messages to family members who have downloaded the secure application. Examples of the types of shared communications include (i) when anesthesia has started, (ii) when surgery begins and ends, (iii) when the patient leaves the OR and arrives in recovery and, (iv) “The surgeon would like to speak with you in the waiting room.” Family members can also respond with standardized replies. The app can sense a user’s anxiety level using motion sensors, and respond with suggestions on how to relax. It also provides metrics not generally captured by EHRs, i.e. the amount of OR time that a surgeon spends out of the OR speaking with family.

Lantern’s mobile app delivers a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and coaching assistance from a “masters trained digital health coach” to reduce stress and improve mental health(see their website at: https://golantern.com). Founded in 2014, the San Francisco based company raised $17M in series A funding in 2016. Luke Moo, VP, Sales, describes how “Asynchronous messaging delivers 35-40 learnings, which are like 8-15 minute podcasts, that help users set and achieve smart goals during the 3-4 months needed to complete a typical engagement.” Employers that recognize the value of offering mental health services to employees typically pay for the process on a “per engaged user” basis.

HIMSS17 visitors who visited TMCx’s booth met thirteen of the twenty-four companies currently involved in the innovation program. Further information on the early-stage companies not listed above, and on TMCx, can be found at: http://www.tmc.edu/innovation/innovation-programs/tmcx/.

Stuart Hochron

Stuart Hochron

    Dr. Hochron co-founded and is the Chief Medical Officer of Practice Unite, a mobile solution that improves healthcare communications and provides healthcare systems with a platform for their mobile strategy. His approach to coordinating care using customized, integrated mHealth tools has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, HIMSS Media, the Journal of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, MedCityNews, MedTechBoston, and by American College of Healthcare Executives and the New York eHealth Collaborative. Dr. Hochron’s approaches to mHealth integration are used throughout the care continuum to coordinate acute care, post-discharge care, and to monitor and manage long-term care.Hochron has more than 25 years of experience advising and working with healthcare systems and providers in his roles as a practicing physician and healthcare attorney. He received his MD degree from New York Medical College, and his JD degree from Rutgers Law School. He is a Clinical Professor in the Department of Medicine at UMDNJ-Rutgers medical school.

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