StartUp, GE reveal 13 startups in new class

By Jonah Comstock
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Caremerge_mobile_2Last January StartUp Health announced a special class of consumer health startups that would benefit from mentorship and support from GE Healthcare. Now the company has announced its first class of 13 companies (up from 10 originally announced) to participate in the 3-year program, funded through GE's $6 billion healthyimagination initiative.

As we reported at the time, companies in the program won't have to relocate, allowing a wider international range of companies to apply. In addition, participation in the program doesn't guarantee a monetary investment from GE itself, just an investment of mentorship. GE will, however, hold a 2 to 10 percent equity stake in the companies, and could possibly take a closer interest in companies that catch its eye.

More than 400 companies from 22 countries applied, according to StartUp Health, and the class includes companies from the United States, Ireland, and Israel.

Although the program is nominally focused on consumer health, the companies in the new class define that category pretty broadly, and at least one company, hospital hygiene startup IntelligentM, isn't really consumer focused at all. This is an interesting shift, considering how StartUp Co-Founder and President Unity Stoakes described the focus in a January interview with MobiHealthNews.

"This particular program is focused on consumer health," Stoakes said at the time. "We do expect that in the future we'll do other classes -- we might do one on medtech, quantified self, companies focusing on aging solutions. This is just 10 companies of hundreds we plan on inviting in the next two years."

In addition, many of the companies are further along than is typical for an incubator. At least a few are already members or recent graduates of other accelerators. Stoakes told MobiHealthNews in January that this is an intended feature of the program.

"We do have companies even at the idea stage, but some companies are onto their B-round," he said, speaking about StartUp Health in general. "We're stage agnostic, but most companies already have some traction. Oftentimes these are serial entrepreneurs, they may or may not have done something in healthcare before. We work together as a collaborative to speed up the cycle of innovation, connecting them to customers, capital and expertise."

Here are the 13 companies:

Arpeggi - based in Austin, TX
Founders: Nir Leibovich, Jason Wang, David Mittelman, PhD

Arpeggi aims to make it affordable for anyone to translate genomic data into actionable information. Team boasts experience in big data, analytics, and Mittelman is leader of the Genetics and Genomic Medicine Lab at Virginia Tech.

Aver Informatics - based in Green Bay, WI
Founder: Kurt Brenkus

Aver hopes to help healthcare organizations better mine the data they already have to unlock "actionable insights" that can improve care and lower costs.

Care at Hand - based in Boston, MA
Founders: Andrey Ostrovsky, MD and Jeffrey Levy

The company offers a mobile early warning system for elderly home care that aims to decrease readmissions and empower home care workers with less formal training to document health observations more easily. The startup was also a member of incubator Rock Health's first Boston class.

Caremerge - based in Chicago, IL
Founders: Asif Khan, Michael Davolt and Fahad Aziz

Caremerge is a communication, care coordination and transitions platform focused on senior care.

Cerora - based in Philadelphia, PA
Founder: Adam Simon

Cerora is working to offer physicians and other care providers biomarker data that helps them diagnose and manage concussions and Alzheimer's disease.

Doctor.com - based in New York, NY
Founder: Andrei Zimiles

The startup has a database of 2.5 million healthcare providers that is updated hundreds of times each day. Hospitals and medical practices use Doctor.com to showcase services and connect with new patients, while patients use it to find and compare providers, book appointments, receive alerts from their providers, and rate their experience.

GetHealth - based in New York, NY and Dublin, Ireland
Founders: Chris Rooney and Liam Ryan

GetHealth is a mobile and online platform which increases employee engagement in workplace wellness programs that touts itself as a "Foursquare for Health".

GoGoHealth - based in Atlanta, GA
Founders: Natasha Alexeeva and Kwaku Ampromfi

Aims to help patients more easily describe symptoms to their provider and get medical advice, a diagnosis, or prescription, via computer or mobile device.

IntelligentM - based in Sarasota, FL and New York, NY
Founder: Seth Freedman

A clinical hand hygiene monitoring startup looking to curb healthcare acquired infections. The startup just finished up as one of the third class of startups participating in the Blueprint Health incubator program in New York.

itMD - based in Miami, FL
Founder: Halland Chen, MD

Trying to make it easier and more efficient to access medical imaging records.

Oxitone Medical - based in Ashkelon, Israel
Founder: Leon Eisen, PhD

Oxitone developed a wrist pulse oximeter without a fingertip probe for use in remote monitoring.

TalkSession - based in New York, NY
Founder: Melissa Thompson

The startup's platform helps patients find mental health professionals and also offers those providers tools to connect with patients.

WalkJoy - based in Long Beach, CA
Founder: Blain Tomlinson

This startup is working to restore balance, gait and reduce falls for people with peripheral neuropathy and the elderly.