NJIT’s New Jersey Innovation Institute put on its second annual Healthcare Cluster Innovation Showcase on March 18, and NJTechWeekly.com stopped by the booths of some of the 19 companies exhibiting there.
The event brought together more than 250 providers, payers, hospital administrators and healthcare entrepreneurs to meet and network, and to listen to and learn from each other and other experts in the field.
Many of the exhibitors were members of NJII’s HealthIT Connections program, which helps growth-stage startups achieve 20 percent or more annual revenue growth through coordinated cluster-focused networking efforts to link and leverage the participating companies to additional potential customers, strategic partners and suppliers.
We stopped by the Journey Health Labs (Morristown) table and spoke to founder Anil Thomas, who told us that his company provides a suite of products focused on engaging with the patient for population-management purposes. The software provides a dashboard that lets healthcare organizations monitor how well they are doing with patient engagement.
“We provide metrics on a weekly basis. If they don’t have their own utilities to manage engagement, we provide a full suite of products, including texting and apps that go on iPhones and Android phones, so they can get their customers engaged.”
The software is aimed at organizations ranging from small practices to insurance companies, as well as researchers setting up clinical trials. “Up to now, customer engagement didn’t seem to matter in healthcare, but now it does,” Thomas said. “You’d better be out there engaging with customers or the competition will eat your lunch.” He added that Journey Health Labs provides a metric and a mechanism to ensure that health care organizations retain their customers.
Koshy Philip, vice president for business development at Alpha Clinical Systems (Piscataway), spoke about the company’s systems for handling clinical trial data. “In clinical trials there are normally six different components, and all of them come from different vendors and don’t talk to each other,” he said. “We’ve crated on single platform where all the components can talk to each other.”
The pharma industry has been lagging behind in its technology for clinical trials, said Philip. They use a manual method in which source information gathered before a trial is taken down on paper and then input into a computer. This takes anywhere from seven to 21 days, he noted. Alpha Clinical’s solution shortens the time it takes to perform this task. It’s available on tablets and has all the features needed to provide checks and balances, to ensure that the data is clean and secure, he said.
Manning the booth for startup Hindsait (Hackensack) were Felix Dasgupta, a front-end developer, and Rebecca Gordon, chief of health informatics and sales enablement. Dasgupta said that the company, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to improve the quality of healthcare and prevent unnecessary services, errors and fraud, employs seven people who are located all over the country, including a CTO in Massachusetts.
Gordon said that using AI helps payers understand correlations between data and big data points. Hindsait’s Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform applies artificial intelligence to large healthcare datasets, helping payers and providers improve patient health at a much lower cost. An AI system, she explained, “can get into the nitty gritty and associate different clinical issues and treatments and find correlations that we don’t ordinarily see.” The company, which is currently looking for Series A financing, received seed funding from Guidewell (Jacksonville, Fla.), Dasgupta said.
At the GoMo Health booth, CEO Bob Gold told us that his company is totally focused on healthcare. “We have science, methods and algorithms in a cloud platform that enables hospitals and healthcare plans to interact with their patients at work and at home throughout their day.” This is like having a health concierge, he added, so the product is called “GoMo Health Concierge.”
GoMo Health enables messages to flow back and forth between doctors and patients, and helps patients adhere to their clinical protocols, he told us. For example, an asthmatic patient could receive messages indicating when it’s time to take medications or warning about hazardous weather conditions for asthmatics. The patient could ask if it’s OK to exercise outside today, or if that would make the asthma worse.
The platform is often used for readmission reduction. If a patient has an episodic event, he or she can send a message to GoMo Health, and “we’ll help you triage that. If we think you are about to go into the ER, we’ll ping a real-life nurse, case worker or care coordinator who can call you and interact with you.”
Customers for GoMo Health Concierge Care are hospitals, healthcare plans, Medicaid, Medicare and private payers. GoMo Health also serves pharmaceutical companies seeking to provide a solution to doctors who want to be sure their patients adhere to their medication protocols, Gold said.
He added that the company, which employs 35 people, with 25 in New Jersey, is soon moving its headquarters from Metuchen to Asbury Park, and is expanding its market to Ireland and Africa.
WatchRx is a Boston-area startup. The two founders, CEO Jayanthi Narasimhan and chief product officer Arun K. Buduri, were both at the company booth, along with Dave Hochhauser, a consultant. Buduri told us “We are making a watch that is also a phone and a GPS for seniors, to help them take their medications on time and help them stay connected with their families.”
The product connects the watch to a mobile phone app so that the elderly user can be linked to a son or daughter by touching one button. The watch also detects falls and makes emergency calls. It can be used in a shower or in the kitchen because it can function when wet.
When it’s time to take medications, WatchRx beeps loudly, or the user’s family can record a voice reminder, say, from a grandchild. “All they have to do is tap the screen, and the watch will tell them the name of the medication, what it looks like, and how many to take. When they take the medicine, they tap to confirm.”
WatchRx is manufacturing prototypes now, and when full production is underway, it will start by offering the watch to consumers through the company website. Narasimhan was named one of the 2016 Women to Watch in Science & Technology by the Boston Business Journal.
Just before the formal part of the Innovation Showcase program, NJTechWeekly.com spoke briefly with Ken J. Reiher, vice president of operations at ComplyAssistant, a Colts Neck-based company that has been around since 2002. As its name implies, the company offers compliance solutions to the healthcare industry. “We have a compliance cloud-based software product that companies use for a central repository system,” Reiher told us. “We specialize in the HIPAA , high-tech and meaningful-user areas.” The system assesses a client’s vulnerabilities and provides action points and areas of improvement to focus on. “The client can manage it all from a dashboard,” he said.