10 start-ups to bring 'surge of talent' to health apps

By Healthcare IT News
03:24 PM

Ten start-ups have been chosen as part of a development and mentoring program that aims at developing next-generation mobile applications for the healthcare industry.

Rock Health, a seed accelerator for Web and mobile health applications, chose the 10 start-ups as part of its inaugural accelerator program. The chosen start-ups reflect trends that are shaping the next generation of health-related applications in terms of both vertical and origin.

Ideas for transformative tools addressing personal health and patient care were crafted by developers of varying backgrounds, many of whom experienced personal health-related challenges or first-hand professional needs that served as inspiration for their projects.

The selected start-ups are:

  • BrainBot (technology to improve mental performance)

  • CellScope (at-home diagnosis of diseases)

  • Genomera (personal health collaboration)
Health In Reach (medical procedure marketplace)
Omada Health (clinical treatment social networking)

  • Pipette (patient monitoring and education)

  • Skimble (mobile fitness)
WeSprout (connecting health data and community)

  • Three additional startups in stealth mode

Over 350 submitted entries were evaluated by Rock Health's partners—leading organizations in the technology and health ecosystems, including prestigious Silicon Valley VCs and top-tier hospitals.

The start-ups now enter an intense, five-month program providing funding in the form of a $20,000 grant, infrastructure, strategic medical, branding, communications and legal support, and mentoring from experts  (including the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School and Cincinnati Children's) in design, health policy, lean start-up methodology and finance. 

In addition, Rock Health selected a small group of member start-ups to receive resources and operational support.

Rock Health’s investors include Aberdare Ventures, Accel Partners, the California HealthCare Foundation, Microsoft’s BizSpark and Health Solutions Group, Mohr Davidow Ventures, NEA, Nike, and Qualcomm.

"The quality of applications submitted was outstanding, and the sheer number of ideas we reviewed is testimony to an industry that is only on the cusp of gaining traction," said Halle Tecco, founder and managing director of Rock Health. "The dominating themes addressed needs in both consumer and professional spheres, showing that the entire health ecosystem has the potential to evolve. We look forward to accompanying these start-ups through to the next phase and, although we were unable to select all qualified applicants, encourage each developer to continue to explore creativity in this sector."

"Until now, the healthcare and technology spheres have been totally separate. The brilliance of Rock Health is that, for the first time, a surge of talent is flowing into health apps – the same brainy, bold, blue-sky entrepreneurs who brought about Web 2.0," said Patrick Chung, partner at NEA. "These entrepreneurs see an ailing sector that can be restored more cheaply, easily and inventively than ever before. This inaugural class brings together physicians, Web designers and more than a few yogis to work on cool, diverse concepts. Rock Health is an excitant in a field of infirmity."

"We are thrilled to be working with Rock Health and engaging in the powerful ecosystem that is being developed," added Michael Matley, leader in business development and new ventures for the Mayo Clinic Center for Innovation. "By coupling the passion and innovation of these entrepreneurs, the scaling and business expertise of great investors, and the clinical expertise of the Mayo Clinic, we hope to create solutions to healthcare's most compelling problems."