Dreamit Health announces new accelerator class of eight health tech startups

By Heather Mack
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Health technology accelerator Dreamit Health has announced its latest class of startups – a global selection of eight early stage digital health companies working on a range of health innovations including security of medical IoT and clinical workflow updates to app-based patient support groups. This marks the accelerator’s 22nd cohort and its fifth year in partnership with Penn Medicine and Independence Blue Cross.

The accelerator, which launched in 2012 alongside incubator Dreamit Ventures and announced its first class in April 2013, focuses on companies from multiple aspects of digital health who have already raised some seed funding and demonstrated a nuanced understanding of what it takes to operate in healthcare. Many are actively running pilots at places including Penn Medicine, Mount Sinai, and Merck, and competition is robust: just 3 percent of final applicants were accepted into this latest cycle.

“Our team has engineered an accelerator to serve the needs of healthcare startups selling to enterprise customers.” Dreamit CEO Avi Savar said in a statement. “The Dreamit program shortens the sales cycle for startups and creates momentum that leads to more customers, which in turn leads to a much higher rate of raising follow on rounds of financing. Selling to health enterprise is about relationships, and Dreamit helps startups build bonds with healthcare executives in a very condensed time."

Indeed, forming tight bonds and maximizing a jam-packed schedule are the hallmarks of the accelerator. The program starts with six weeks of working closely with Dreamit managing directors to refine each startup’s business model and build up to the next round of funding. Then, participants engage in two weeks of face-to-face customer immersions wherein they pitch and receive feedback from healthcare organizations around the country. Pilots are a frequent development from this portion of the program, and planned immersions include AARP, DuPont, Accenture, and Independence Blue Cross. The program ends with a two-week, bi-coastal investor roadshow.

“We believe that it’s critical to invest our resources, energy, and expertise in helping cultivate a thriving innovative health care community, and we are excited to welcome this diverse group of talented and passionate entrepreneurs,” Independence Blue Cross President and CEO Daniel J. Hilferty said in a statement. “Dreamit provides a structured and dynamic environment for these young companies to meet and learn from industry experts who can help them turn budding ideas into real-life, workable solutions. We are proud to continue our successful partnership with Penn Medicine and Dreamit Health.”

Dreamit Health used to take an 8 percent equity stake in its accelerator companies, but last year began offering the option for startups to keep their equity if they do not accept cash from the program. The accelerator offers no upfront investment and takes no upfront equity, but has the option to invest up to $500,000 in a startup's next round. The startups have access to a host of other benefits: free workspace, mentorship, legal advice and counsel, and access to healthcare personnel at Penn Medicine and Independence.

Here are the eight startups for Dreamit Health’s spring 2017 cycle:
 
Tine Health makes a mobile platform for nurses that serves as guide to medical devices and procedures, with the aim of reducing medical errors. The company designs training content for each device, then affixes the device with a scannable smart sticker. Before beginning a procedure, nurses scan the sticker with a smartphone and get a training video designed as a quick refresher, reinforcing what they have learned in the classroom, as well as tracking use of the device.

Marmo Health, a UK-based startup, is developing a mobile messaging app that provides coaching and personalized peer groups for patient support and behavior change.

Irish startup Bluedrop Medical is working on a device for people with diabetes to remotely monitor for foot ulcers. The cloud-based device uses an algorithm to perform a scan for abnormalities and connect the patient with faster treatment.

Citus Health is working to eliminate the middleman of call centers in home healthcare through its workflow automation and remote patient support platform.

Cybersecurity company Cylera uses machine learning to protect medical devices for healthcare organizations.

Biorealize is working on its Microbial Design Studio, a countertop biofabfrication machine that allows biologists to design, culture and test genetically modified organisms for biotech applications.

Group K Diagnostics offers a modular testing system designed to be used at the point of care. It can run multiple tests and provides results via a smartphone or desktop app.

Kaizen Health is working to help patients get rides to and from healthcare providers, with a platform to connect health systems and different transportation organizations, including Lyft.