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Dome - Healthy Technology Reimagined

Dome June 2014

Healthy Technology Reimagined

Date: June 5, 2014

Entrepreneurial boot camp produces innovative IT solutions to health care problems.


DreamIt Health Baltimore logo

Afraid of spiders, needles or heights? There’s an app in development to help remedy that. And speaking of nascent mobile applications, how about one that manages and tracks patient populations spread out over hundreds or even thousands of miles?

Solutions for many vexing health care issues could reside right in our pockets, according to founders of several IT startup companies that recently pitched their products at a demonstration day sponsored by the DreamIt Health Baltimore accelerator program.

The event, held in The Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Sheikh Zayed Tower auditorium, provided an opportunity for eight startups—five born at Johns Hopkins—to showcase their maturing projects to a crowd of investors, industry leaders and others interested in the future of health care.

Presenters included Sebastian Seiguer, CEO of emocha, a mobile platform for disease and population health management invented by a team at the Johns Hopkins Center for Clinical Global Health Education. The platform arose from the need to remotely manage patient care and capture data previously not recorded or sometimes lost in the shuffling of records. Although emocha was created to educate community health care workers treating remote HIV patients in Uganda, its developers want to take it worldwide to help improve patient adherence to prescribed regimens. (See emocha.com.)

DreamIt Health Baltimore, which ended in May, was run by DreamIt Ventures, an IT accelerator that seeds selected startups with $50,000 each and provides temporary physical space where the entrepreneurs can work and network. Originally launched in Philadelphia, the four-month “entrepreneurial boot camp” expanded to Baltimore after Johns Hopkins University President Ronald J. Daniels and Rich Bendis, CEO of Maryland-based BioHealth Innovation (BHI), encouraged DreamIt to start a Baltimore program.

DreamIt Health Baltimore provided participants with help from someone who had launched a similar company or had expertise in their focus areas, instruction in selling to health care organizations and understanding health care data and regulations, and a community of other entrepreneurs to help brainstorm ideas. In addition to support from Johns Hopkins and BHI, strategic partners included Northrup Grumman and Kaiser Permanente.

After the startup presentations, attendees met with staff from the companies and, in some cases, tested their prototypes, according to Elliot Menschik, an alumnus of the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering and managing partner of the Baltimore accelerator. “The companies walked away with some great new relationships,” he says.

In addition to emocha, the DreamIt Health Baltimore startups were: Aegle, which is developing a wearable device that measures multiple vital signs from a single location; Avhana Health, which aims to complement existing electronic medical records by extracting patient information and creating an adaptive checklist to guide care; Cognuse, which helps stroke and brain injury patients recover faster through mobile tests, rehabilitation plans and games; Protenus, which aims to help hospitals protect patient privacy by detecting and preventing data breaches; PatientFeed, which enables teams of physicians to coordinate patient care, thereby saving time and reducing medical errors; Phobious, which helps people overcome their fears and anxieties through virtual and augmented reality on mobile devices; and Quantified Care, which helps medical professionals adopt and get the most out of the exploding number of mobile medical devices.

–Greg Rienzi and Rachel Wallach

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