Cedars-Sinai accelerator's new class includes voice assistant, chatbot, blood-draw tool, and more

By Jonah Comstock
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Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles has launched the third class of its accelerator, which the hospital runs in partnership with TechStars.

Startups in the Cedars-Sinai Tech Stars accelerator receive a $20,000 investment and a $100,000 convertible bridge grant in exchange for a 6 percent equity stake. But the main draw is the opportunity to work with the health system, through guaranteed mentorship relationships and the strong possibility of a pilot. To put it another way, the value of the accelerator is to confront Silicon Valley idealists with the reality of healthcare, and push them to create solutions that meet providers where they are.

“The innovations these companies bring to the accelerator have the potential to dramatically improve and streamline the delivery of healthcare,” Darren Dworkin, chief information officer at Cedars-Sinai, said in a statement. “Through this program, these companies will test and improve their ideas. By working with world-class physicians, they will advance their technologies and push their companies to the next level.”

Read on for the 10 startups that make up Cedars-Sinai's third class:

Aiva is creating an Amazon Alexa-like voice assistant platform for hospital-bound patients. If a patient's needs are for entertainment, educational information, or reminders, the system will intelligently respond; if their needs are more complicated, it will intelligently triage it to the mobile device of the appropriate care provider.

CancerAid is a little further in its development process — the startup's app is already in use by more than 12,000 patients and has appeared on Shark Tank and the Today Show. The free app helps cancer patients keep track of all their treatment information, track symptoms and medications, learn about their disease, and stay in contact with their treatment team and their support network. In addition to the patient-facing side, providers can license the app to unlock additional features for their patients.

ChoiceMap is working on an app that helps doctors and patients make treatment decisions together. The app collects patients' preferences about what factors are most important to them — factors like cost, impact on appearance, side effects, and likelihood of relapse. The app ranks different treatment options based on those preferences, and lets doctors and patients compare the pros and cons of different procedures side by side.

GYANT is creating a medical chatbot app that uses AI and machine learning to provide patients with information and possible next steps based on information about their symptoms. The company plans to make the app work either via voice or chat. GYANT is live now on Facebook Messenger, offering a general symptom check and screeners for Zika virus and prediabetes.

Invio is an early-stage startup focusing on eliminating paper from the clinical trial process. The company offers a cloud-based content management platform for clinical trials called Invio SourceDrive. Within the platform, trial documents can be managed and regulatory documents can be distributed, controlled, and collected.

Lumeon's Care Pathway Management platform uses automation to standardize a wide range of workflows in the hospital, from scheduling to surgical follow-up. At Cedars-Sinai, the company will focus on re-surgery preparation, discharge management, and post-acute care. They also aim to improve care team coordination, minimize variation, and adapt care to the individuals' needs.

NarrativeDx uses AI and natural language processing to analyze patient feedback and return suggestions on how a healthcare organization can improve the patient experience. The company has already raised a first round of funding and participated in another accelerator, DreamIt Health in Philadelphia, back in 2014.
 
Seremedi offers Carescriptions, a care coordination app for clinical teams. The app supports remote monitoring of high-risk patients and connects caregivers, allowing them to share data and exchange messages. It also sends reminders to patients to help encourage treatment adherence.

Sway Health is using digital tools to provide preventative counseling at the point of care, using relevant medical histories to determine the right counseling for the right patient.

Tasso is the only startup on the list with a hardware focus. The company has created Hemolink, a wearable, minimally invasive device that lets patients collect blood samples at home. Those samples can then be analyzed by labs across the country.