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Pulse@MassChallenge Digital Health Startups Win $200k Cash

On Tuesday evening, over 30 digital health startups from Boston’s PULSE@MassChallenge accelerator competed for $200k in cash prizes and national recognition at the program’s gala awards ceremony.

Leuko, a device for screening neutropenia, captured a $100,000 “diamond” award, while InsightRX, a platform for precision medicine, took home a $60,000 “platinum” prize. Fitly and their SmartPlate intelligent nutrition platform, rounded out the evenin with a $40,000 “gold” award.

“As we saw at PULSE Finale, our startups are making a huge impact across the healthcare industry – thanks in large part to the incredible support of our partners and our digital health community,” said Nick Dougherty, Program Manager of PULSE@MassChallenge. “We believe that only together can we truly transform healthcare, and we look forward to welcoming new startups, partners, and collaborators to our 2019 program.”

Since January, the cohort of 32 hand-picked health startups has been working out of PULSE’s Longwood-area shared-space accelerator. They’ve had the opportunity to meet with mentors to refine their businesses, connected with corporate and nonprofit organizations to explore partnership opportunities, and attended workshops to learn more about product/market fit, pitching, and fundraising.


Launched as a strategic component of Mass Digital Health and fueled by public-private partnerships, PULSE@MassChallenge accelerates the impact of digital health startups from around the world.

Through rigorous matchmaking, PULSE@MassChallenge’s 2018 cohort was selected by an impressive pool of institutions, providers, and payers​ looking to form unique partnerships with digital health startups. ​These leaders — ranging from AARP and Vertex to Cisco and Aetna — support the entrepreneurs throughout the program by facilitating key advisor introductions, pilots, research, and even investment opportunities.

The event, held at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, featured Alexandra Drane, co-founder of ARCHANGELS as a keynote speaker. She shared her highly personal journey from smug self-centeredness to reflective self-awareness—by way of a year working as a Walmart cashier. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and John Barros, Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston, attended and spoke as well.

To date, startups that have participated in PULSE have raised more than $52M in funding, generated more than $13M in revenue, and grown their employee headcount by over 22 percent. More details on the programs impact can be found here.

The 32 participants in the 2018 cohort of PULSE@MassChallenge (along with their self-provided elevator pitches) were:

Aam: Introduces the first-ever connected hardware device that will keep the 9.7 million U.S. women who take the Birth Control Pill from missing a dose again.

Aluna: Develops a respiratory management system consisting of a portable spirometer and gamified app to detect early signs of asthma attacks.

Astarte Medical Partners: Makes it easy to quantify, optimize treatment, and personalize nutrition for gut health, which is central to infants growth and brain development.

BOLD Medical Partners: Develops a robust method of measuring blood pressure through a non-invasive and continuous device.

Day Zero Diagnostics, Inc.: Uses a novel sample prep, high throughput sequencing, and machine intelligence to shorten the time it takes to identify a pathogen and predict its drug resistance profile from days to hours.

DeepHealth: Leverages machine learning to bring the best doctor in the world to every patient.

DocFlight: Enables patient in China to book an appointment with a top U.S. doctor, have a virtual consultation on a screen, and receive medical recommendations.

DynamiCare Health: Enhances chronic disease management with patient-generated behavioral data and evidence-based technological interventions.

Edification Project: Utilizes virtual reality technology to heighten knowledge and frame attitudes toward avoiding dangers of opioid use among young adolescents.

Epharmix: Increases care management productivity with evidence-based remote patient monitoring via automated text messages and phone calls.

Epidemic Solutions: Develops the Opioid Recovery Bracelet to detect signs of overdose and automatically administer life-saving naloxone without the participation of bystanders or first responders.

Epion Health: Patient access company, beginning with digital check-in and expanding to solutions aligned with provider and patient goals.

Fitly: Develops SmartPlate, the only patented, intelligent nutrition platform that deploys computer vision, deep learning, and proprietary image recognition techniques to help consumers and patients track food intake.

Folia Health, Inc.: Enables caregivers to record this data by answering simple, personalized multiple choice questions.  

Healthimation: Brings highly effective population health solutions to life for chronic diseases.

HealthRhythms:Offers real-time, personalized assessments of mental health and provides within-reach activities that have been proven to boost mental health.

InsightRX: Combines data, mathematical models, and machine learning to individualize treatment for patients.

Leuko: Develops a home-based neutrophil test that enables physicians to personalize chemotherapy and improve survival.

Macro-eyes: Develops Sibyl, a scheduling intelligence tool that leverages AI to predict which patients will show up and when to schedule them for appointments.

Medumo: Develops CareTours, which enables healthcare organizations to guide patients using automated just-in-time instructions and checklists pre, peri, and post-procedure.

Moving Analytics: Provides a complete solution to help hospitals deliver cardiac rehab to patients from the comfort of their homes in a cost-effective and scalable manner.

Multisensor Diagnostics, LLC.: Develops a rapid medical assessment device, MouthLab, which measures respiratory-rate and pattern, pulse-rate, ECG, SpO2, temperature, BP and spirometric lung functions in 30 seconds.

Nutrimedy, Inc.: Matches moms-to-be with personalized, expert Registered Dietitians to help them navigate nutrition during their pregnancy.

Orbita: Uses next-generation voice assistant and AI technologies to vastly improve remote patient monitoring, education, care coordination, and research.

OZONE.ai: Develops its smart file security technology to protect data in motion, in use, and at rest with complete intelligence, governance and reporting capabilities.

Pillo Health: Creates a home health and wellness platform centered on a voice-first countertop device called Pillo, the first intelligent healthcare assistant for the home.

SafeInHome: Develops assistive technology solutions for caregivers that passively tracks activity to ensure routine patterns of movement around the living space remain consistent.


TailoredCare: Provides care professionals the means to assess and support the most forgotten key stakeholder in health care: the family caregiver.

TelaDietitian: Develops a solution for medical nutrition therapy counseling via a HIPAA compliant video portal and phone.

ThinkGenetic: Helps people harness the power of genetics by offering trustworthy information to guide them to the diagnostic help they need, faster.

TORq Interface: Develops a free agnostic tool to help hospitals fairly share surgical schedules in cost saving efforts.

Unima: Develops a fast and low-cost diagnostic and disease surveillance technology, which allows all users to diagnose a disease directly at the point of care.



James A. Gardner

James A. Gardner

James A. Gardner, @jamesagardner, is a Boston-area sales and marketing professional with a passion for consumer technologies and all things health, web & social. He started his career with Procter & Gamble before earning his MBA at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management. Since then, James has served senior clients as a consultant with McKinsey & Company, led complex digital projects with Boston-area agencies, and built several high-performing marketing teams. He’s also been published and quoted in multiple professional publications, most recently CMSWire, CIO.com, eHealthcare Strategy & Trends, and MedTech Boston.

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