Digital health startups had a big year last year, raking in over $6 billion in venture capital funding according to some estimates. At times, it can seem like every day brings a press release from a new startup that claims it will transform or disrupt healthcare as we know it. And while many, even some with great ideas, are destined to fade away, there are certainly a few that will impact the quality and efficacy of the care we provide.
StartUp Health today announced the addition of six new members to its expansive portfolio. Here are a few that caught our attention.
AlemHealth – Integrated Telemedicine for Developing Countries
This startup, from co-founders Aschkan Abdul-Malek and Sajjad Kamal, aims to take telemedicine global in an interesting way. For hospitals and clinics and resource-poor areas, even basic staffing can be a challenge. The luxuries of specialty or subspecialty services are often absent. And even when those services are accessible through say a transfer, just getting to the tertiary hospital can incur significant cost. The basic idea here is to provide an asynchronous curbside or consult model. It appears they’ve started with hospitals in Afghanistan, where clinicians can upload details on specific cases including notes, imaging, and so on. Specialists in other countries, like India or the United States, review the cases and provide feedback. While its certainly not the same as having say a neurosurgeon on site, it’s definitely a start.
Gritness – Search Engine for Group Fitness
Step off a plane in any city in the United States and within thirty seconds you can find the closest pizza place or Chinese restaurant thanks to Yelp. Co-founders Tommy Fad and Jason Whitson applied a similar principle to fitness and put together a platform to help users find local exercise classes, running groups, and more. While there are many reasons people don’t exercise, one of the many barriers can simply be figuring out a place to get started. With Gritness, everyone from a local gym to an informal running group can list their activities, times, and costs. Users can browse options and jump in to whatever interests them. It’s definitely a unique approach to helping people get fit.
Healarium – Digital Care Plans to Help Patients Follow Daily Regimens
A few months ago, we reported on a study out of the Mayo Clinic using a smartphone app to deliver a cardiac rehabilitation program to patients after a heart attack and stent placement. The platform used in that study was Healarium which can deliver a variety of condition-specific care plans to patients via an app. Those plans can include specific daily tasks, educational material, and more. Patients can be tracked by clinicians or case managers using a real-time dashboard interface.