(Photo by Michael Kennedy)
Five health-focused companies joined 1776 in Crystal City recently, after the incubator and MedStar Health named winners of the #Patients2Consumer startup challenge. Eleven startups competed earlier this month to join the three-month MedStar Innovation Lab Cohort. As the name suggests, Columbia, Md.-based hospital and healthcare facility operator MedStar Health is a prime partner.
Of the five selected winners, two companies hail from D.C.
VEDA Data Solutions incorporates AI to provide dashboard free data science tools, eliminating the team of scientist required to operate the dashboards and their “lofty promises without real results” according to CEO Meghan Buck. Before joining the MedStar Innovation Lab, VEDA landed a contract with health insurance company Humana and began expanding their clientele in D.C. and Madison, Wisc.
No matter how much they grow, the opportunity to showcase their product and cut through the noise generated by the overused buzzword “machine learning” remains of utmost importance to Buck and her team.
“VEDA saw this partnership as a perfect opportunity to demonstrate how machine learning and AI can make healthcare work better,” Buck told Technical.ly. “Updating provider directory data, cleaning up claims and automating provider network performance might not sound like the kind of technology that fundamentally changes healthcare– but the cost savings are enormous.”
The other D.C.-based company in MedStar’s Innovation Lab is Pacify Health. Like VEDA, this isn’t the startup’s first major partnership.
Pacify aims to bridge gaps in the healthcare system by providing efficient support to new mothers and their infants. Concerned with the unnecessary panic and lack of care, CEO and cofounder Ben Lundin said that he sees “a real opportunity for technology and telemedicine in particular to address some of these challenges.”
Prior to the startup challenge, Pacify tested their platform with Women, Infants and Children (WIC), the USDA supplemental nutrition program for low-income antepartum and postpartum women, and kids up to age five, in D.C., Maryland, Mississippi and Nevada.
Both Lundin, and his co-founder George Brandes hail from Nashville, Tennessee but according to Lundin, their company has come to thrive on the diversity and talent in the capital. Now with the backing of one of the biggest healthcare providers in the region, the Pacify team is looking forward to how this opportunity will help them refine their existing program with new additions or alternations.
— MedStar Health (@MedStarHealth) July 19, 2017
“The opportunity to work with MedStar will dramatically affect our product roadmap and the way we think about the platform moving forward,” Lundin said in a call. “MedStar has a unique set of challenges around supporting their customer base in this particular region. And that set of challenges is different from what a public health agency or a Medicaid plan faces.”
The remaining three companies selected for 1776 and MedStar’s program include:
- Care+Wear: A New York-based “healthwear” company that designs clothing for patients.
- Level Therapy: A San Francisco-based mobile therapy app.
- RoundTrip: A Philly-based on-demand service providing non-emergency transportation for patients.
All five companies will participate in a three-month incubator program that allows participants to test their products with MedStar stakeholders and ultimately culminate in a demo day.
The program is the latest example of 1776 partnering with industry on an incubator program. More startups in the transportation and travel verticals will be heading to the Crystal City location later this year.