Incubators and accelerators have become prominent within health tech due to their obvious and quick-to-realize value—they help bring people together and give fledgling companies access to otherwise-hard-to-obtain resources. Back in our startup days, Redox participated in a few accelerators, and we're no strangers to incubators either.
Incubators are pretty straightforward: they're coworking spaces meant for groups focusing on a specific industry or vertical created with the intention that if disparate groups all focusing on the same issues are brought together, collaboration will ensue. Accelerators are often thought of as synonymous, but truth is, they're a little more complex. For those uninitiated, here's a brief breakdown on what healthcare accelerators are followed by a rundown of the most well-known healthcare accelerators and startups they're partnering with.
What is an accelerator?
Put simply, an accelerator is like a short term, intensified incubator for startups with clearly defined goals for each organization participating. Any startup that participates in an accelerator gains access to mentorship, networks, one-to one coaching, and typically (but not always), some level of funding. Participating in these short term programs were meant to—you guessed it—accelerate promising startups and help them achieve growth faster than they would on their own.
In a traditional sense, accelerators started about a decade ago with Techstars and Y Combinator (which are not healthcare accelerators, to be clear). Typically, they had an investment motivation, meaning the accelerator partnered with a fund or created a fund themselves that put money into these companies in the beginning of the program (and possibly put more into them towards the end).
These kind of accelerators typically last around three months. Though they offer different benefits and access to different networks, their goal is to help grow worthwhile companies.
Where do healthcare accelerators fit in?
What’s happened in the healthcare space is that we’ve realized that three months is not long enough to get a company to market—the sales cycles within healthcare typically take much longer than that (around 18-24 months for health systems).
It became clear that for healthcare, it's very difficult to move a company from zero to more-than-zero in 90 days under the traditional accelerator model. So early healthcare accelerators like Blueprint, Rock Health, and DreamIt Health came to market and took the traditional Techstars model and tweaked it so that it could function correctly within healthcare.
Essentially, two things happened: one, programs were extended to a more appropriate time frame of (generally) six months. This allowed meaningful connections to develop and solutions to be adequately scoped without the threat of them being stunted or cut short. Secondly, instead of an accelerator being the mechanism to accelerate a startup and get them off the ground, accelerators shifted toward being the mechanism for a health system to evaluate the innovation market.
So, a health system would partner with an accelerator to say “show me all the great digital health startups out there and which ones I should care about”. These strategic partnerships became a deal-flow mechanism for health systems to develop relationships with startups and figure out who would be a right fit for their organization.
Healthcare accelerators have changed over time, and that's a good thing.
Looking at accelerators a year or two ago, the first thing you’d look for would be the funds they've invested as a primary barometer for how strong a program is. But now, you look at their network and portfolio of relationships to determine which accelerators are more beneficial to your organization.
As a company who's participated in startup accelerators, we know the value of connection within a network. Forging strong relationships is often just as beneficial (if not more so) than simply being funded. This is why we want to increase awareness about the health accelerators out there that startups can utilize. After all, we work with a ton of health tech companies both large and small, and some startups may not know what connections could be right at their fingertips.
Here are some of the most prominent healthcare accelerators (and a few incubators, for good measure) and the awesome startups they've partnered with for their most recent cohorts.
Helium Healthcare - Helium Health developed a smart, rugged all-in-one EHR specifically for Africa, accelerating West Africa's transition to an electronic/data-driven healthcare system by making it possible for healthcare facilities to go-digital using a highly intuitive EHR / HMIS.
Darmiyan - Darmiyan's technology provides a platform for presymptomatic diagnosis of neurodegenerative disorders, with precise quantification and localization of microscopic abnormality in the brain. Their platform also generates accurate dynamic maps of distribution kinetics in the brain for novel drugs and biomolecules.
ShiftDoc - ShiftDoc is a freelancing marketplace for healthcare professionals. Their platform connects clinical workers to facilities that need them on a per diem or temporary basis. ShiftDoc is a completely transparent website that allows professionals to communicate directly with one another.
Sunu - Sunu band is a sonar smartband that improves navigation for the visually impaired. The band emits a high-frequency sound wave that bounces off of objects that the user encounters, and the resulting vibratory pattern changes depending on how close or far away the object is to the user. Sunu band augments awareness of the user’s personal space, reduces unwanted accidents and ultimately improves confidence while providing a more fluid and enjoyable mobility.
Forever Labs - FOREVER LABS was founded by a group of biomedical research scientists and medical doctors with the goal of helping everyone live longer, healthier lives through non-pharmacological means. Their system, based on a growing body of evidence from the latest state-of-the-academy research, allows people to access their younger and healthier self later in life.
Cambridge Cancer Genomics - CCG is democratizing access to precision medicine for all cancer patients. By applying the latest scientific advances, they can detect a non-responding tumor 210 days earlier than current solutions, sparing patients unnecessary side-effects and giving clinicians a seventh month head start in choosing the right drug for their patients.
Helpwear - The HeartWatch is a 24/7 wearable heart monitoring system that detects when the user suffers a heart attack and contacts EMS. HeartWatch also records minor heart palpitations and arrhythmias and can flag them for review by a physician. HeartWatch is currently in development, and will enter clinical trials in the near future.
Modern Fertility - Modern Fertility makes fertility information more accessible for women, earlier in their lives by offering the first comprehensive test users can take at home to get specific information on ovarian reserve, ovulation, and more.
Caelum Health - Caelum Health developed software that aims to improve population health without prescribing drugs. They provide behavioral health treatments which they’ve found to be three times more effective than traditional drugs, and they’re piloting at top health systems now.
Enzyme - Enzyme provides FDA compliance and quality systems as a service, coupling a cloud-based software solution with tailored support. They help companies get to market faster with less risk by taking the guesswork out of the paperwork process.
Billion to One - Billion to One’s novel technology can detect even single-gene disorders such as thalassemia through a simple blood test, are replacing amniocentesis, an invasive and risky procedure that has a high miscarriage risk, with a safe and affordable blood test, starting with developing countries.
PreDixion Bio - MicroKineTM was developed to measure a patient’s specific, individual immune response by identifying up to 6 cytokine proteins – proteins that control and direct the body’s response to inflammation – from a single drop of blood in just 30 minutes.
CureSkin - CureSkin uses AI technology and pictures to analyze photos to find skin issues like pimples, acne, dark spots, scars, pigmentation on the face. Users can chat to instantly find products that are right for their skin.
HealthWiz - HealthWiz helps people get better faster by simplifying the path to better healthcare decisions. They aggregate the best digital health information to help people understand their condition, find a doctor, estimate costs, and most importantly, take action.
Carrot Fertility - Carrot offers a fertility benefit for modern companies and is focused on making fertility care easier, accessible, and more affordable.
Applied VR - AppliedVR’s vision is to drive positive behavior change to solve some of society’s most intractable problems by leveraging the unique attributes of immersive technology. They help transform behavior through amazing VR experiences that are built on a deep understanding of underlying needs and motivations.
Deep6 - Deep 6 AI applies artificial intelligence and natural language processing to all clinical data to find eligible patients for clinical trials faster, cutting recruitment delays significantly and getting cures to the people who need them more quickly.
Ella - Ella helps patients manage their chronic pain through digital mindfulness programs. Through mindfulness, Ella trains the brain to process pain differently.
Grace - Grace is an online search tool that allows users to read reviews, learn about services, and view certification information to find the best care for them and their family.
Inscope Medical Solutions - Inscope Medical Solution is a medical device company focused on developing low cost, disposable, connected medical devices. Their first device is the Inscope Laryngoscope, an innovative technology that optimizes intubation, improving this high-risk procedure’s efficiency, speed and safety --- saving lives and lowering costs to healthcare providers.
Silversheet - Silversheet aims to revolutionize how healthcare facilities manage their workforce, and how healthcare professionals manage their own careers. They started by tackling physician credentialing. Silversheet allows facilities to add a new physicians in minutes, automatically verify their credentials, and invite doctors to join, empowering them to maintain their qualifications and keep facilities up-to-date and in compliance.
Stasis - Most hospital patients around the world are only seen by a nurse once every six hours. Due to the high cost and complexity of existing monitoring devices, these vulnerable patients are left alone without even a vitals monitor. Stasis has built a cloud-connected vital signs monitoring system that rescues these patients.
Well - Well developed a patient engagement platform that allows patients to feel heard and valued as more than just an EHR file. Beyond this, it helps automate messaging, repeated actions, and also appointment scheduling.
Yosko - Yosko is a mobile front-end application that interfaces with the hospitals’ electronic health records (EHR) systems to provide on-the-go access to patient records. Yosko is the first-of-its-kind app designed to meet the needs of the physician in the hospital setting, thus providing a comprehensive on-the-run solution that cuts red-tape by 70% and allows more patient face-time, better quality care and less resident burn-out.
ZendyHealth - ZendyHealth empowers people to look and feel their best at their price. Their patented technology pairs users with a trusted Certified Provider that can deliver the procedures and the results users want.
3Derm System - The patent-pending 3Derm imaging system captures and delivers the same 3 views a dermatologist uses in an exam room, making remote visits virtually indistinguishable from current practice.
ACT.md - With ACT.md, everybody engaged in the healthcare system—clinicians, patients, families, and communities—can act together to make health happen, wherever they are. ACT.md’s interoperable Care Coordination Record promises a better, safer, less expensive, and more flexible approach to managing healthcare’s complex tasks and achieving user goals. ACT.md also offers Care Traffic Control services to support care teams and advanced Analytics to help teams work better.
Cake - Cake is the easiest way to discover, share, and store end-of-life preferences. Whether someone is planning for themselves or for a loved one, Cake offers the tools they need to give themselves and loved ones the peace of mind they all deserve.
Care Thread, Inc. - Care Thread provides secure mobile messaging and team-based collaboration solutions that empower providers to maximize communications and productivity across care teams. Care Thread delivers a HIPAA-compliant mobile messaging solution that provides every member of the care team with real-time information detailing a patient’s status and treatment.
ConquerX - ConquerX is a biotechnology company that provides innovative molecular profiling solutions to clinical trials in precision medicine. ConquerX's flagship product, the EbeGen, is an electro-chemical biosensor capable of detecting multiple molecular targets such as DNAs, RNAs, mirRNAs at the same time.
EDI Institute, Inc. - The EDI Institute promotes recovery and emotional resilience through the imagery people create on their mobile devices. The EDI Institute is committed to improving clinical outcomes by identifying and disseminating best practices, performing scientific research, and innovating new technologies.
Emerald Innovations - Emerald is a wearable device that tracks the 3D motion of a person from the radio signals reflected off her body. Similar to a Wi-Fi router, Emerald works even if the person is in a different room than the device. There’s no need for the individual to wear any sensor or modify their behavior in any way.
Gain Life - Gain Life combines consumer-grade product development principles and technology (big data & AI) with best-in-class science to give individuals what they want (e.g., reduced health risks and weight loss) while building into the process what they really need (change in mindset).
HealthyMation - Healthimation is bringing the world's most effective evidence-based medical programs, starting with the leading diabetes weight management program, to mobile devices in an easy, simple and fun format outside of the clinical settings.
Herald Health - HERALD is a smart notification platform that allows healthcare providers to create, subscribe to, and customize protocols. Using these protocols, Herald delivers critical patient data in real time through a pager, email or mobile phone—when and where care decisions are made.
Hey, Charlie - Hey,Charlie is an app-based solution to help individuals in recovery for opioid addiction rebuild their social environments.
Human Resolution Technologies - Human Resolution Technologies Virtual Homecare Nursing team is responsible for patient onboarding and designing customized intervention strategies for each at discharge. They then follow up with patients on a set schedule to assist with general questions, medication instructions, and follow-up appointments.
Insightfil - Insightfil works with medical advisors and their patients. Clinicians carefully select a medication regimen ("care plan") that meets their patient’s unique needs. Insightfil then assembles and sends convenient, personalized daily dose medication packages to the patient; their online dashboard and reminder system facilitates participation in the care plan for patient and clinician.
Medumo - Medumo’s CareTours enable healthcare organizations to effectively provide turn-by-turn guidance to patients without disrupting workflow by utilizing automated, precisely-timed messages sent via text and email.
Meetcaregivers - Meetcaregivers is a unique online platform that uses video technology to help families safely find and connect with qualified caregivers for their aging parents. Meetcaregivers is less expensive than full service agencies and easier and safer to use than platforms such as Craigslist. What sets the organization apart is not only that it uses video technology to make the process easier for families, but also that it pre-screens the caregivers ahead of time before posting their videos on the website.
MobioSense - MobioSense developed HERO, an all-in-one instant and affordable panel for heart attack detection and prevention. With a drop of fingerstick blood on their biochip, HERO gives users 3 heart attack related marker results in 10 minutes. By using HERO on ambulance and in ER, MobioSense effectively cut down time to first lab to 10 minutes from 90 minutes, hospital stay from more than 16 hours to 3 hours, cost of care from 3000 dollars to less than 1000 dollars.
Neopenda - Neopenda’s first product is a small wearable device that monitors the vital signs of critically ill newborns being cared for in hospitals in low-resource areas. Neopenda has re-engineered clinically validated technologies into a low powered multiparameter sensor array that measures pulse rate, respiratory rate, peripheral blood oxygen saturation, and temperature. The wearables are powered by rechargeable batteries, and wirelessly transmit health data to a central monitor which alerts nurses when a newborn is in distress.
Neuroelectrics - Neuroelectrics® is a digital brain health company that innovates at the intersection of neuroscience, physics, machine learning and hardware. They’ve developed wireless EEG and tDCS/tACS/tRNS stimulation devices with up to 32 channels, amongst other products encompassing software and research services, with the purpose of monitoring and enhancing brain health.
QueueDr - QueueDr has developed an award-winning product that immediately and automatically fills canceled appointments for providers. Without needing to press a single button, offices using QueueDr achieve the triple aim of increasing staff efficiency, increasing physician utilization, and increased patient satisfaction.
Rendever - Rendever is an MIT based startup that is building a research-driven virtual reality platform for elderly care to improve the quality of life of older adults. Rendever's platform enables older adults to travel back to their childhood homes, explore cities like Paris and all the wonders of the world, cross off bucket list items, and participate in family events that they would normally have to miss.
Spring Care, Inc. - Most depressed patients struggle with a number of drugs, providers, and therapies until they find relief. Spring Care use peer-reviewed machine-learning technology and measurement-based care to minimize trial-and-error and get patients better as soon as possible.
STA TECH - STA Technology introduced the first cuffless wearable blood pressure monitoring device that allows 24hr continuous BP monitoring at medical level accuracy in a home environment. Their device features remote monitoring with excellent portability and reliability, and their proprietary algorithm to collect data and interpret results will greatly assist medical decision in outpatient settings, where frequent misclassification and frustration appears due to current suboptimal 100-year-old cuff based technologies.
SyncThink - SyncThink is a leading neuro-technology company with foundational IP in eye-tracking metrics and devices.
THINKMD - THINKMD’s initial solution is a simple and intuitive clinical assessment tool called MEDSINC, that can be used by everyone, everywhere. MEDSINC is an evidence based platform that facilitates physician-like clinical assessments and automatically generates treatment recommendations. It also gathers important medical and public health data with each assessment, creating a medical knowledge network that can be shared globally.
TORq Interface, LLC - TORq Interface is devoted to elevating the mode in which hospitals and medical device companies collaborate for surgical planning by leveraging the current movement of EHR interoperability to create a secure platform for efficient communication.
Twiage - Twiage is an award-winning mobile communication technology that enables hospitals and EMS to accelerate life-saving emergency care by reducing the need of radio and phone communication.
VIT - VIT is a startup based in Pittsburgh, PA that is focused on improving the health of workers utilizing wearable technology as a means prevent long term injuries.
VRPhysio - VRHealth develops breakthrough medical solutions using VR (Virtual Reality) environments to deliver real-time data analytics that benefit patients, clinicians, and other healthcare professionals, at clinics and at home. The company develops products for the fields of physical therapy, psychology, cognitive rehabilitation, pain management, and coordination disorders.
Arterys - Arterys has developed an automated, intelligent software that uses real-world clinical data to make imaging more accurate and data driven.
Avalon AI - Avalon AI uses machine learning to automatically measure key features from brain MRI scans to increase speed and accuracy of neuroradiology diagnosis.
Babyscripts - Babyscripts uses remote monitoring to better identify high-risk pregnancies.
CNSDose - CNSDose is a genomic solution to fast track finding the most suitable antidepressant.
DOT - DOT developed precise and effective wearable consumer devices that diagnose and treat neurobehavioral disorders.
Glidian - Glidian is an electronic portal that streamlines prior authorizations for medications and procedures.
Healthcoin - Healthcoin is a blockchain-based incentives and data platform for diabetes prevention.
InContext Reporting - InContext Reporting uses quality management and clinical decision support tools powered by cognitive computing.
Insight Rx - Insight Rx uses quantitative pharmacology and machine-learning enabled precision medicine platform.
Lantern - Lantern has developed personalized programs that combine daily exercises and professional coaching to strengthen emotional well-being.
M&S Biotics - M&S Biotics utilizes artificial intelligence and RFID technology improve resource utilization and efficiency.
ManageUP PRM - ManageUP PRM is a communication and collaboration solution to improve the ability to deliver quality patient care.
Medable - Medable provides a fast path to secure, HIPAA-compliant health care applications for researchers, startups, pharma, payers and academia.
Medifies - Medifies built a platform to improve the hospital waiting room experience by keeping families informed through real-time updates.
NeuroLex Laboratories - NeuroLex Labs developed a voice analysis platform to detect health conditions before advanced symptoms appear.
Oncomfort - Virtual reality technology to help ease patients' stress, pain and anxiety during their medical journey is Oncomfort’s mission.
Personify Care - Personify Care’s mobile platform enables clinical teams to monitor patient recovery beyond the hospital stay.
Psious - Virtual reality immersion therapy for mental health disorders.
SensorRx - SensorRx is a patient-centered application to improve outcomes for migraine sufferers.
Stroll Health - Stroll Health is an EHR-integrated referral platform.
Vios Medical - Vios Medical is a patient management information systems focusing on clinical workflow automation and remote patient care services.
Ward Medication Management - Ward Medication Management is a decision support analytics engine that provides evidence-based prescribing recommendations.
Biorealize - Biorealizes makes low-cost, easy-to-use, portable tools for designing and growing organisms for novel biotech applications. Their first product, "Microbial Design Studio," dubbed the Personal Computer version of a biolab, allows anyone to design, test, and monetize biology at the bench and in the field.
Bluedrop Medical - Bluedrop Medical helps reduce the burden of diabetic foot ulcers via a smart home-based device which sends a daily scan of the patient's feet to the cloud. Advanced algorithms monitor photographic and thermal images to detect and monitor diabetic foot ulcers and provide actionable alerts to both patient and provider.
Citus Health - Citus Health offers a suite of workflow automation and remote patient support software solutions that makes home healthcare less cumbersome and stressful for patients, while enabling providers to more cost-effectively deliver superior patient support and better patient outcomes.
Cylera - Cylera developed smart cybersecurity hardware which analyzes network traffic and behavior to identify and mitigate threats coming to and from all connected medical devices using machine-learning algorithms and known signature databases.
Group K Diagnostics - Group K Diagnostics developed a low-cost, rapid, paper-based diagnostic system, providing multiple results from one patient sample within 30 minutes or less at the point of care. The modular system can currently combine up to three different tests and can be read via a smartphone app, desktop app, or comparison paper guide, allowing the test to be conducted in any setting.
Kaizen Health - Kaizen Health developed a patient transportation platform enhancing healthcare efficiency and population health by leveraging logistics technology and data to improve patient outcomes.
Marmo Health - Marmo Health provides patient support and a behavioral change service delivered through ultra-personalized peer groups in a mobile phone messaging app with coach-led education programs and natural language processing.
Tine Health - Tine’s mobile platform augments medical devices with Just-In-Time training and compliance tracking for front-line healthcare providers. Pilot studies have demonstrated over 50 percent% reduction in error rates, generating additional revenue for hospitals.
Plug and Play
BioBeats - BioBeats uses artificial intelligence for healthy living and offers a family of wellbeing and coaching products that helps people manage their health and productivity.
BioFlight VR - BioFlight VR is an immersive platform for VR & AR that aids in medical training and simulation for doctors, students and teaching institutions.
Breezing - Breezing Co. creates game-changing solutions for personal health, combining proven science with intuitive technology to enable better biometrics tracking
CrowdVision - CrowdVision is a leading automated pedestrian analytics and insights company that provides video-based people tracking software that accurately shows what’s happening with complete pedestrian populations, in real time.
Firstbeat Technologies - Firstbeat is the leading provider of physiological analytics for sports and well-being. They transform heartbeat data into personalized information on exercise, stress and recovery. Hundreds of elite sports teams, wellness professionals, and millions of consumers worldwide trust Firstbeat to enhance performance and well-being.
Geneticure - Geneticure is a pharmacogentic testing company dedicated to achieving the decades-long promise of personalized medicine. They are focusing on helping healthcare providers get the unique genetic information they need to determine the right course of treatment for patients suffering from hypertension.
GoGoGrandparent - GoGoGrandparent is a senior concierge that arranges and oversees on demand transportation for older adults.
GYANT - GYANT uses AI to leads patients from symptom to likely condition by asking questions and listening to the answers, just like a doctor does.
iClinical - iClinical is a real-time analytics and collaboration platform for clinical trials.
iTreatMD - iTreatMD is a smart workflow platform that generates customized patient encounter documentation that benefit both doctors and patients.
KNOX - KNOX is developing Aeris, a portable spirometer for kids that has hospital-grade accuracy to detect early signs of asthma attacks.
Lief Therapeutics - Lief Therapeutics is a smart patch for stress and anxiety management for consumers, patients, and healthcare systems.
Pillo - Pillo can answer health and wellness questions, connect directly with healthcare professionals, and securely manage vitamins and medication; storing, dispensing, and even ordering refills when required. And it’s an intelligent platform, so its functionalities will grow over time.
NowRx - NowRx developed a platform that makes pharmacy on-demand with free same-day delivery for all prescriptions.
Thryve - Thryve helps people to learn about the microbes in their body to improve their overall health.
Tueo Health - Tueo Health is creating a solution that delivers accurate, objective indicators of asthma control as part of a service to support patients and their families in achieving the best outcomes.
VibroniX - Vibronix aims to provide advanced imaging and sensor technologies for disease diagnosis and treatment. They specifically focus on the development of optical and acoustic technologies for surgical guidance.
Vida Health - Vida Health is a mobile platform that helps people prevent, manage, and reverse over 20 chronic conditions such as obesity, diabetes, hypertensions, and depression.
Vitagene - After completing a simple DNA test and a brief lifestyle questionnaire, Vitagene creates personalized diet, exercise, and supplement recommendations to help users reach goals such as weight loss, increased energy, reduced stress, and improved sleep.
Lastly, we wanted to wrap this post up by talking about a couple of incubators and a venture fund that are sometimes thought of as accelerators but actually don't quite fit the traditional description. Nonetheless, their presence in the healthcare space is huge and worth including.
MATTER - MATTER is a community of healthcare innovators, an incubator of ideas, and a catalyst for change. They're comprised of boots-on-the-ground entrepreneurs pushing against the status quo and established institutions dedicated to improving patients’ lives. MATTER is hungry for change, and they’re working together to solve real and complex healthcare problems.
We're actually hosting an event with MATTER in November called the Redox Interoperability Summit. If you're in the Chicago area, check it out—we'll have panelists from Allscripts, Walgreens, and other healthcare companies looking to further the discussion on solving interoperability.
Healthbox - Healthbox is a healthcare innovation services firm that leading organizations trust with decisions on when and how to build, buy, or partner. Founded in 2010, Healthbox was the first to combine investing experience and consulting services in a way that is strategic, objective, and actionable for providers, payors, and others across the industry. Their unique perspective and expertise drives innovation from the inside and out to rapidly deliver dynamic results.
Rock Health - Rock Health exists to fund and support entrepreneurs working at the intersection of healthcare and technology. Their goal is to make healthcare massively better for every human being—driving down the cost to deliver improved services to more people. Massively better means incredible change—it’s improvement by an order of magnitude or more along every dimension—and healthcare that is incredibly functional, reliable, convenient, and inexpensive.
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