Texas Medical Center, Village Capital launch program for digital health startups

By Aditi Pai
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AstmaMD_app_remindersHealth system Texas Medical Center has partnered with investment firm Village Capital to launch a program for early stage digital health companies, called VilCap USA: Health IT 2014.

The program will offer accepted startups four "intensive" four-day sessions over the span of three months to work on developing their startups. Two of the sessions will be held in Houston, TX and the other two will be held in Salt Lake City, UT. During this time, startups are provided with mentorship, business development, networking events, investors, and potential customers. Startups will be asked to assess one another and at the end of the program, the two highest-ranking companies will each receive $50,000 from Village Capital and Texas Medical Center. The startups themselves decide who earns the prize money.

Here are the twelve startups in this program:

1DocWay has developed a web-based telepsychiatry videoconferencing tool that can be used on smartphones, tablets, and desktops. The service is available in Arizona, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. The startup was previously part of an accelerator program, Dreamit Ventures.

AsthmaMD offers an app helps patients manage their asthma. It prompts them to share various metrics, such as the medications they are taking, the time they had an asthma attack and how severe it was. Users can choose to share this information with the service so that AsthmaMD can correlate the aggregated, de-identified data with environmental factors. In May, the company added a peak flow meter to be used in conjunction with the app. 

BoardRounds created an app that helps improve follow-up for emergency room patients. The app, available on iOS and Android devices. After a patient has an appointment in the emergency room, providers can request that the patient receive follow-up care through the app. At that point, BoardRounds will match patients with providers, consult with the patient, and then schedule appointments. The app will also send confirmation when the appointment has been completed.

Hybrent offers an app that helps hospitals manage their inventory and supply chain systems.

iRxReminder is working on a app-based system that gathers data about patients who participate in clinical trials. Researchers can use the tool to create surveys, look at medication schedules, or provide interventions using the company's web-based control center.  iRxReminder raised $250,000 in March.

Healarium has developed an app that helps patients manage their health. The service aims to help doctors provide online interventions for patients based on data from the patients' electronic health record and health assessments in the app. Clinicians can use the app to create personalized care plans for patients.

NavAssist helps cancer patients manage their health records, treatment information, and messages from their doctors all in a consolidated location. The company, previously called Hats Off Technology, was a part of an accelerator, called the Iron Yard.

Seratis has developed a secure messaging application for healthcare providers. Through the startup’s app, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare providers can send each other messages, videos, and photos. Providers can also share lab reports and imaging results. From the app, care providers can store patient data and stay up to date with what stage of care each patient is in. In October, the company joined Harvard's incubator for alumni, iLab.

Speak MODalities offers an app that help children with autism and developmental disabilities. The app, called SPEAKall!, aims to train children to find their voice and produce audible speech.

Symptify is a symptom checker that uses a patent-pending, algorithmic engine to help users narrow the causes of their symptoms and find the closest place to get care.

Uberhealth has developed CareBuddy, an app that helps adult children who live abroad to help their parents in India schedule doctor's appointments, order cabs to the hospital, schedule home care, and order medication.

VerbalCare plans to offer a patient engagement platform that helps providers coordinate patient care and connect with patients.