Sprint reveals first 10 companies in its mobile health accelerator

By Aditi Pai
09:00 am

YoskoMobile operator Sprint's Mobile Health Accelerator announced the 10 companies that will participate in its three-month program in Kansas City. The accelerator is thanks to a partnership with TechStars, and the companies first announced the accelerator in September 2013.

The 10 companies can receive up to $120,000 in funding, $20,000 upfront and the option to accept a $100,000 convertible debt mode funded by Sprint. Techstars retains 6 percent of the equity for each company.

The accelerator was looking for "any tech-powered start-up who has an innovative idea for a product and/or service that will propel mobile health forward" and that are already "well-rounded". This means, while the accelerator will provide mentorship and guidance, each company must be capable of building its own product. The Sprint Accelerator team also noted that they would accept applications from healthcare technology companies that may not necessarily have a mobile component yet.

Here are the first 10 startups to join Sprint's accelerator:

Akibah -- San Jose, California-based Akibah wants to help users "intuitively manage their diabetes" without carrying around a standalone glucose meter. Akibah is developing a glucometer integrated into a smartphone case. Its companion app will provide the user with suggestions for how to control their blood sugar.

Fitbark -- New York-based Fitbark is developing a collar that will track a dog's activity levels. The device comes with a companion app that shows how long the dog has been active and how long it was at rest. The company suggests that users share the activity report with a vet or trainer. If the dog's owner has a fitness tracker with an open API, Fitbark also integrates that data to compare the activity of the owner and the dog.

Lifeline Response -- Chicago-based Lifeline Response says security personnel need three pieces of information to make sure someone is safe. A notification the person is in trouble, identifying details about the person, and a location to send someone to help. Lifeline Response is developing an app that helps the user provide security personnel with all three. To use the company's app, a person places his or her finger on the smartphone screen when in an unsafe place and holds his or her finger until safe again. In the event of an attack, the person's finger will slip and a timer will start. When the timer runs out, security can verify the emergency and send local authorities to the GPS location of the phone, and also provide authorities with a description that the user entered into the app when registering.

Medicast  -- Palo Alto, California-based Medicast has created a service that helps doctors make house calls. The company can send a doctor to the user's hotel room, office or house. Each visit costs $199, but with a monthly membership which costs $29 per month or $49 per month, users get extra features, including a number of free house calls, a percentage taken off extra visits, and no after hours fee.

Ollo Mobile -- Brisbane, Australia-based Ollo Mobile is making a wearable device called CloudPhone 3G, that can detect falls and movement. The button in the middle of the device also allows the user to make voice-activated calls to family members. The CloudPhone 3G companion app provides insights into the user's steps, distance, and time spent in and out of the house.

Prime -- San Francisco, California-based Prime aims to streamline a user's health information into one app. The app aims to connect with clinics, hospitals, and other care providers and compiles the user's health information there. Prime says it currently connects to close to 200 providers. Users can add notes to their health data so they can remember specific details. The company says this app is ideal for managing illnesses, keeping track of family members' health information, tracking a pregnancy, or having reference materials when visiting the doctor.

Sickweather -- Baltimore, Maryland-based Sickweather wants users to avoid getting illnesses and uses a patent-pending process to track and map reports of illness from social media to do so. Users can receive alerts whenever they enter a known sick zone where others have recently reported being sick. Users can also choose from several illnesses, including Flu, Norovirus, Pink Eye and Whooping Cough. When people report sickness, map markers are added to Sickweather’s map. Sickweather also made Apple's app list for best new apps of 2014, even though the app launched in 2011.

Symptom.ly -- Salt Lake City, Utah-based Symptom.ly helps users track their symptoms to reduce costs of chronic illnesses. The app tracks symptoms, identifies triggers that could potentially put patients in the emergency room, and aims to modify the user's behavior to live a healthier life.

Tenacity Health -- Boston, Massachusetts-based Tenacity Health "builds wellness communities and reduces health care costs for organizations". The company also use social tactics to try to improve the workplace.

Yosko -- Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Yosko is developing an app for patient coordination. The company aims to provide a problem-based summary of the patient’s active issues, assign tasks to each team member, and monitor the workflow. Yosko was previously part of two other accelerators, MassChallenge and Healthbox.


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