(Photo by Stephen Babcock)
Socially Determined, a company that makes a platform providing data and analytics around the social determinants of health, was named the winner of the LifeBridge Health/CareFirst Innovation Challenge on Wednesday morning.
The D.C.-based company won $50,000, as well as access to LifeBridge Health programs and membership in a new affiliate program from the two organizers, and plans to apply the funding toward work in Baltimore, CEO Dr. Trenor Williams said.
Socially Determined was one of six startups that pitched at Wednesday’s Payvider Innovation Summit. It was the first organized jointly by hospital system LifeBridge Health and CareFirst, the latter of which is the largest health insurance provider in the state, and marked a partnership between innovation teams at the two organizations who are supporting startups.
The six companies were named finalists after the innovation challenge received more than 100 applications.
Williams said the event stood out for Socially Determined.
“Although we look nationally with the work that we do, caring for and supporting organizations in our region is incredibly important for us,” Williams said, adding that the approach of bringing “a leading health plan and a leading health system together, with the same aligned goals, is really powerful.”
Founded in January 2017, Socially Determined is focused around the science of the social determinants of health, which are the economic and social factors contributing to health that go beyond traditional metrics. These include the structural conditions in which people live, as well as access to transportation, food, housing and other community based resources.
“We believed that if we could create an anayltics platform that could integrate all this data together, we would finally have the ability to take the holistic view of what’s going on with a person, and help solve their challenges,” Williams said.
The company’s platform has data from 130 publicly-available datasets, and also integrates data from the organizations it works with, which include insurers and health systems, as well as foundations and life sciences companies. It provides data and analytics that can help the organizations identify and match interventions based on patients’ needs.
“We are able to use a common platform across different healthcare stakeholders and across different use cases,” he said.
With the funding, the company will have opportunity to apply that work in Baltimore. With the presence of Baltimore organizations among judges at the event including CareFirst and LifeBridge Health, as well as judges on the panel including Baltimore City Health Commissioner Letitia Dzirasa and Towson University President Dr. Kim Schatzel, CareFirst CEO Brian Pieninck noted the strong local potential for collaboration.
“We’d like to earmark this $50,000 to be specifically directed to affect change within the context of Baltimore,” Pieninck said as he announced the winner.
In turn, Williams sees opportunity to help define social risk in Baltimore and integrate data from the city, as well as working with the partners on the event and the university.
Companies who pitched also included:
- Docket, which is partnering with public health agencies to expand access to immunization records with human-centric design and QR codes.
- Kermit, a company supplying real-time data on implantable medical device transactions to reduce costs and improve patient care.
- Nest Collaborative, a startup offering telehealth lactation support that’s covered by health insurance.
- Pilleve, maker of a smartphone application that prevents opioid misuse by monitoring a person’s intake and securely holding the drugs.
- Rubitection, a company developing a system for the early detection and intervention of bedsores.
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