Startup Roundup: eCare21, Clever Commute, Vericred, Class Compete, WeHub

Photo: Vadim Cherdak, eCare21 founder and CEO. Photo Credit: Courtesy eCare21
Vadim Cherdak, eCare21 founder and CEO. | Courtesy eCare21

eCare21: Princeton-based eCare21 launched in March 2015. The company works out of TigerLabs, and is aimed at what it calls “connected seniors” who want to monitor their health and share their information with their caregivers, doctors and families.

The mHealth application collects, compares and analyzes real-time information about users’ health and wellness. The company says that its app aligns the efforts of families, doctors, nurses, volunteers, businesses and the patients themselves.

The app, available here at the Google Play store, integrates with wearable and medical devices, electronic health records and healthcare management systems. Real-time location monitoring gives caregivers instant information if a senior falls.

The company uses application programming interfaces from many wearable-device makers, according to a release. The project was a finalist in the 2015 New York City American Heart Association Open Innovation Challenge, in which developers submitted early-stage products to help people prevent and/or manage cardiovascular disease and strokes.

Photo: Clever Commute founder and CEO Joshua Crandall Photo Credit: Courtesy Joshua Crandall / file photo
Clever Commute founder and CEO Joshua Crandall | Courtesy Joshua Crandall / file photo

Clever Commute: This spring, Clever Commute (Montclair) released smart phone apps for iOS and Android. The startup, which crowd sources information about train delays from suburban commuters, now serves commuters on the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR), Metro North, NJ Transit, PATH and several buses.

According to Joshua Crandall, Clever Commute founder and CEO, the new apps are the logical progression of the well-established Clever model, which is based on email and text messaging and helps commuters share real-time information about transit issues encountered during the commute. Using their smartphones, riders can now quickly and easily post a short message that will be immediately shared with riders on their line. The Clever Commute technology curates the messages in real time, Crandall said.

“The aging transportation infrastructure will continue to be an issue for commuters. However, today’s digital networks provide exciting new opportunities.” For commuters who want to share information, the app easily guides them through the steps to create their “alert” messages. Users can now choose to “tag” their alerts with supporting information, such as “cause of the issue,” and identify which train they are on. All of this leads to a better experience for the recipients of the information, he said.

Photo: Michael Levin founder and CEO of Vericred Photo Credit: Courtesy Michael Levin
Michael Levin founder and CEO of Vericred | Courtesy Michael Levin

Vericred: Clifton-based Vericred was named one of five finalists in a competition called the “Provider Network Challenge,” run by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, according to Founder and CEO Michael Levin. Vericred and the four other contenders were awarded $5,000 each, and they will continue on to the final phase of the judging, with the first-, second-, and third-place winners to be announced in August.

The competition was run by Health 2.0, and its purpose was to spur the development of applications to help consumers understand the network of healthcare providers within their insurance plans. The apps were intended to help consumers search for physicians within an insurance network and make informed decisions.

According to a release, Vericred’s entry was based on the company’s goal of building a national healthcare provider directory, and on its initial success in developing and launching a consumer-friendly physician/insurance plan search tool, “PlanCompass.”

The PlanCompass site is free to use and is operating in four states: New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island and Vermont. National coverage is slated for this fall.

Photo: Rahul Mahna founder and CEO Class Complete Photo Credit: Courtesy Rahul Mahna
Rahul Mahna founder and CEO Class Complete | Courtesy Rahul Mahna

Class Compete: Somerville startup Class Compete launched in December 2014. Class Compete is an educational gaming platform created to combat test anxiety and improve K-12 students’ overall test-taking abilities, according to founder and CEO Rahul Mahna. The company leverages Common Core’s new digital test standards, big data and kids’ love of racing apps to construct a more engaging, positive learning environment for practice and assessment.

The app is available on all major platforms (iPad, Android, Kindle Fire, Mac and PC). The release includes Class Compete’s 3D gaming app for students, with over 250 Common Core certified math challenges and two companion apps — one for teachers and one for parents — to easily control, track and optimize a student’s progress during a game.

Teachers and parents log into the Class Compete dashboard to assign new subject- or grade-specific challenges to student(s). They can browse the app’s marketplace for existing pre-certified challenges or create their own. Once the students receive their assignments, they use personalized avatars to compete in timed racing challenges by answering questions, navigating obstacles and collecting coins. Instant feedback is given, with power boosts to reward correct answers. Teachers and parents then get real-time, clear data on the student’s performance (unhindered by test anxiety), with in-depth assessment tools that easily diagnose deficiencies, spot trends and customize learning.

According to Manha, data from Class Compete’s pilot program showed that students’ math scores significantly improved after the completion of just ten challenges. In fact, research showed a 23% improvement in students’ scores, with 30% of students electing to play the game during their free time at home. The pilot program was conducted at four schools in the U.S. and India earlier this year, with findings researched by Instructional Design experts at Lehigh University.

WeHub: Fort Lee-based WeHub calls itself the “ultimate messaging app.” It creates instant groups with one push. The app launched with a big splash during spring break in Florida this year, and has seen some viral uptake as students headed back home or to school. The app will also be used this week at The Penn Relays, where the app will connect, communicate results, and provide news and recaps in real time to the event’s 120,000 attendees.

The app was developed by Hagen Lee, a Korean immigrant who grew up in New Jersey and is a graduate of The Lawrenceville School  (Lawrenceville). After attending Dartmouth and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Lee recruited a team with which he’s been quietly developing WeHub, a new free open communication app that allows people to discover others nearby and instantaneously create any size group with just a finger stroke. 

According to a release, Lee conducted hundreds of interviews with college students and other young adults, from which he learned that users were tired of engaging with multiple social media apps, so he built an all-in-one “Swiss Army knife” messaging app.

Some of the features are: “Instant Group,” which makes it easy to discover new people in a new place and chat with them in real time just by touching the screen, without having to enter any data or create any type of account; “Look Around,” powered by GPS, which lets users find other people to connect with from nearby or as far away as 80 miles; a feature called “DaVinci” that lets users encrypt and scramble messages; “Recall,” which allows users to instantly recall any messages sent hastily or by accident; “Poof,” which enables users to create self-destructing messages; and “Whisper,” through which users send private messages within a large WeHub group chat.

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