Health IT

A matchmaking service connects company needs with health IT and technology startups

With all the innovation happening across healthcare and mobile technology these days, it can be difficult for companies to track them all. And then there’s the process of doing the research and working with them to ensure they’re the right company for the right project. A new company, VisionMine, has launched a portal and service to help match up companies looking to address a particular health IT or technology issue with a startup that fits the purpose.

The company, based in Englewood, New Jersey, was co-founded by Coley Brown, the CEO, and Ellen Weber, the chief operating officer. Brown is the founder of CTB Consulting, a boutique IT consulting firm. Weber is the executive director of angel investor group Robin Hood Ventures in Philadelphia, in which Brown is also an investor.

In an interview with MedCity News, Brown said the company is not industry restricted, although it does see a lot of opportunities in healthcare.

“Large organizations have realized that a lot of innovation is happening at the startup level and want to get in early before it’s on the front page,” said Brown.”We can identify [ones] that relate to a specific issue a corporation has.”


Mobile technology, for example, will be disruptive in the clinical space as pharmaceutical companies adapt standard practices to make the best use of it in clinical trials.

VisionMine helps companies create a team of “innovation portal reviewers” who are responsible for evaluating early stage companies and their innovations once they are identified and screened.

“If you are Merck or Pfizer, figuring out how to work with a three- to four-person startup can be a very difficult task. A service-level agreement can kill it. We have a process to prevent companies from making big mistakes,” Brown said.

VisionMine works with the team to guide them through a vetting process to deliver bottom-line results outlined on its website including:

  1. Opportunities and challenges are identified and matched to corresponding startups.
  2. A group of reviewers post ratings and comments about the startups visible only to the client company.
  3. Startups are invited to present to the client company when there’s interest.
  4. The company decides whether they want to make the next step to do due diligence and proof-of-concept trials.
  5. VisionMine facilitates a short-term relationship between the client company and startup to do a pilot with the possibility of a longer-term relationship.

Brown ran a consulting group that helped a big 10 pharmaceutical company improve its U.S. Food and Drug Administration submission process, one example of the kind of problem solving the company wants to facilitate.

VisionMine offers an interesting twist to the ways in which healthcare and life sciences companies can work with health IT startups to advance their value propositions and solve problems such as reducing readmission costs to making healthcare more affordable. Healthcare startup accelerators like Blueprint Health and Rock Health have been collaborating with providers, payers and other organizations on pilot programs that have the potential to evolve into longer-term relationships. Crowdsourcing ideas through innovation challenges has been another approach used by Independence Blue Cross, Sanofi and Janssen.

[Photo credit: BigStock Photo]


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